The Waterside and Reviewing the Week 56

Heading home from my day at The Waterside, I was surprised and delighted to be driving across the Welsh hills and into a fantastic sunset. The colour, light and shade typified the mixed weather from the start of the day to the end.

The soundscape below may not fit perfectly with the sequence of photos if you listen and view them at the same time, but it is not meant to be StillWalks video but hopefully it will help to give you a better sense of that beautiful, secluded South Wales valley.

The Waterside-27

The Waterside Soundscape

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Looking Down at the Sky

When I drove over to The Waterside – Felindre I had an expectation of taking this walk, but on arrival it was pouring rain. I thought, “I must get my recording kit out and capture the sound of the rain on the cabin decking and the lake surface“. However, by the time I was set up and ready to go outdoors, the rain stopped! Strangely, it did not rain again that day.

There were clouds in the sky as can be seen in the images below, but it was also quiet and calm, at least from time to time, and so the surface of the water was unbroken by anything other than very gentle ripples.

That is one of the exciting things about The Waterside – the weather being unpredictable means that the views and the sounds, the whole atmosphere of this small, South Wales valley, can change constantly throughout a day. Having the optional warmth of the log burner in the comfort of the cabin means that you can always view the scene from a dry place. But if you have come equipped for wet weather (as we must do in this part of the world), then the rain need not stop you enjoying everything else the valley offers.

Tomorrow (Friday) StillWalks will be at The Waterside running presentations  about the StillWalks package for businesses and organisations. If anyone is interested in coming along to this regular open day at The Waterside, please check out the website above and contact us in advance.

sky reflection

Peace at The Waterside

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Wintry Walk Soundscape and Reviewing the Week 55

I am ending this week’s walk where I started, amongst the trees of Blaenige at MLRUK in Carmarthenshire. The wind had picked up at this point but as I love the sound of the wind in different trees, I was very happy to record it, albeit on my small Edirol recorder which doesn’t stand up to the wind in the same way my RODE mic does.

There may be some rumble in the soundscape below as a result of the wind, but it does not spoil the memory experience for me, though it does mean I won’t be producing a StillWalks video with it.

As a soundscape rather than a StillWalks video, it is unlikely that the sounds will match the images if you play it at the same time as looking at the photos, but perhaps it will still help to provide a better sense of place.

Trees and Sky

Blaenige Soundscape

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Details and Vistas

My short walk this week at Blaenige, near Cynwyl Elfed in Carmarthenshire was a mixture of snow, sunshine, wind and a brief spot of rain – in other words, typical for this part of the world. I had to take it carefully down the steep track but on the way I found some great views over the landscape as well as some attractive details in my closer surroundings.

Track and Gate

My Walk this Week 18 – First Snow

This winter has been so mild it came as a bit of surprise to find myself driving carefully through snow on my way to a meeting in Carmarthenshire. The meeting was at Blaenige, the home of MLR UK with whom I have been working for a while now to develop a StillWalks business package. The meeting finished in good time, and as I had brought most of my kit with me, I took the opportunity to go for a short walk down one of the steep hillside tracks through the farmland and woods.

There wasn’t a lot of snow and it was already melting during my walk but considering I hadn’t expected to see any this year, it wasn’t unwelcome and as the sky was partially blue, my walk this week, though short, was quite exhilarating.

Blaenige, Carmarthenshire

One aspect of the walk which is changed with the snow is the environmental sound. Below I have included three sound clips of my footsteps in the changing snow. How much difference can you hear in them.

Crunchy Snow

Deeper Snow

Wet Snow

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Suburban Lakeside Soundscape and Reviewing the Week 52

While my walk this week has not appeared very wintry, the photos were taken and the sound recorded in January and though there is no ice or snow to be seen, it seems that mild winters are now a feature of the seasons in many parts of Britain.

I hope you have enjoyed the first of my walks in 2016 and I look forward to posting many more this year.

Hemlington Lake

Try listening to the soundscape of the walk while viewing the images in sequence – click the play button and then the first thumbnail below.

Suburban Lakeside Soundscape Sample

If viewing this in an email, to see the sound player you will need to visit the blog – please click the post title to view the full post.

Winter Colours

Changeable weather can make it difficult to predict the conditions and therefore what to wear on a walk – rain and sunshine can be expected as well as rapidly changing temperatures. It can also mean that the colours to be seen in the landscape change dramatically and so winter colours can include the deep shadows of cloud and simultaneously the bright colours of nature reflected in sunlight.

These images just begin to show this effect with the colour in the bare branches and twigs of the tree or the reflective feathers of the ducks set against the slate grey of the water

Hemlington Lakeside

Mallard

Ducks

Pattern, Light and the State of Stanchions

Liquid patterns in water can be mesmerising but I also love the patterns created by these platform stanchions in their different states at the edge of Hemlington Lake. I guess those twisting in a double row along the lakeside are from previous fishing platforms, although their arrangement suggests the platform was a continuous structure, perhaps a boardwalk.

The light in these scenes suggests the normal changeable weather conditions of Britain but it is also reflective of the time of day and season. The first shot is from an early stage of this wintertime production walk. The other photos are from later on in the walk and the light in the last two reveals the cloud cover overhead and potentially impending rain.

Hemlington Lake stanchions

Hemlington Lake

old stanchion pattern

station abstract