Wild Weather Walkers and Reviewing the Week 46

Reaching the end of my wild and windy walk between Southgate and Three Cliffs on the South Gower coast, like these other two intrepid weather walkers, I was huddled over and protecting my camera against the rain.

I have not created a full StillWalks video of this walk using a mixture of still images and video because I am not a great fan of hand held video and I have not had the time. However, the sequence of photos and the sound clip below can be viewed at the same time and if you are interested in the video I took on my iPhone during the walk, this can also be viewed at the end of this post.

Mixing video and stills is something I will continue to experiment with for StillWalks and if I can find the time I will probably work further with this walk in this way. In the meantime I hope you can enjoy all that I have posted this week and don’t end up too breathless or blown off your seat!

walkers

Wild Wind

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

When playing the video I recommend you click the HD and full screen buttons.

Waves of Grey and Lack of Light

The waves breaking on the South Gower coast near Southgate may not be the huge breakers that can be seen on some coastlines around the world, but I wouldn’t fancy falling in there on a day like this!

In writing this post about my walk between Southgate and Three Cliffs Bay on this wild and windy day, I realised that I had made the third image monotone. The strength of colour in our surroundings comes from reflected light and as there is so little light on a day like this, there is consequently very little obvious colour. In reality of course there is colour and even in the sea, if you focus your attention, there is a range of subtle colours to be seen. The trouble is that in weather like this the inclination to stand still and observe intently is rather weak and the sensation instead, is that the day is dark, the wind is wild, the rain is wet and it is time to get back inside, not linger too long on the edge of the cliffs however many colours there may or may not be.

And so I headed back to the Three Cliffs Coffee Shop at Southgate for another cuppa and to calm the wind that had been blasting my brain for the last hour or two.

waves

waves

waves

Blown Away at the Point of Return

This was the point the group reached on the Taste of Gower walk at Southgate. Looking over the edge to Three Cliffs Bay, it was disappointing not to go any further but the wind was very wild and this was causing difficulty for some in the group.

Having gone out again on my own afterwards, this was again the point I reached with my cameras and sound kit before deciding to turn back. I may have found the wind exhilarating but the rain which had started to blow in from the sea was less so.

All of the photos taken on this outing are rather grainy and in some cases they were a bit blurred. Considering the weather conditions, even if I had taken my tripod I would not have faired any better – it would simply have been blown away just as I was on one or two occasions!

Below is another short sound clip from my walk. For those of you with an interest in these things, the strength of the wind is evident in this clip recorded with my RODE NTG-3 shotgun mic with a Blimp windshield and dead cat fluffy cover onto a Fostex FR-2LE.

Wild Wind at Southgate 2

Wild Wind at Southgate 2

waves

Walkers at Three Cliffs Bay

Taste of Gower - Southgate-23

Gothic Light

Exposed as I was to the weather on my walk at Southgate, I again used less exposure in these shots of the cliffs at Three Cliffs Bay on South Gower than was technically correct. However, as on previous occasions, this was deliberate and the result is definitely more realistic in terms of how it felt than if I had used the correct exposure. The result is quite Gothic in atmosphere.

The second shot is monochrome and can be seen on Leanne Cole’s Photography blog post Monochrome Madness MM 2-34.

cliffs

Gower cliffs

Exposure, A Thorny Issue

I don’t know if photographic exposure is a thorny issue for anyone but speaking more literally, the subject of this first image is definitely thorny!

These images may seem under exposed but if they are slightly dark, that is because it was a very dark day for our Taste of Gower walk at Southgate on the Gower Peninsula. Personally I would describe the walk as exhilarating but I accept that it would not suit everyone. There was still colour to be seen on such a dark day – the Whin (or Gorse if you prefer) and the fungi to be found in the grass was a welcome break to the slate grey of the clouds and sea.

thorns

gorse or whin

gorse or whin

yellow mushroom

There and Back Again – My Walk this Week 9

If my walk last week was peaceful and calm, this weeks walk is quite the opposite! Another Taste of Gower walk organised by Mike Aspland and the Swansea Walking Forum with the support of Gower Landscapes Partnership, this walk along the cliffs at Southgate was bit windy to say the least.

We walked far enough to look down on Three Cliffs Bay (not far) but at that point the leaders decided to turn back. The weather was very wild and as some in the group were struggling with it, it was the right decision and we all headed back to the Three Cliffs Coffee Shop.

In fact some of us took another short walk in the opposite direction and I decided that after eating another great lunch at the cafe, I would venture out again with my recorder and cameras. So I will be able to post about this walk through the coming week as intended – I hope it blows you away – sorry about the pun 😉

Listen below is a short sound clip of the wind.

Wild Wind at Southgate

Wild Wind at Southgate

walking on Gower

Underfoot and Overhead

Completing the meandering loop of this week’s walk brought me to the oak woods of Coedbach Park.  It looks like there is plenty underfoot to keep the squirrels going through the winter. Overhead the twisting branches of these wonderful crooked trees will provide progressively less shade from the weather as the season moves on. Whatever weather the seasons bring, it is unlikely to stop me enjoying the sights and sounds I encounter on my walks.

acorns

crooked oak trees

Passing Underneath

The puddle below tells the story of the weather and the long horned cows underneath the M4 motorway bridge know that story as well as the farmer and I do. Having constructed a coral for his cattle the farmer has given some convenient shelter to these mothers with their calves and allowed me to walk without fear of being pronged by one of those sharp looking objects.

The railway bridge which also crosses this footpath is made of older material than concrete and the various colours of the stone used create a fascinating pattern within pattern in the construction of the bridge. You will have to watch the video at the end of the week to see more.

Under the motorway

puddle reflection

colourful railway bridge stone