Colourful landscape

My Walk this Week 137 – Quiet Quarry Walk

My walk this week takes place at first light in an old, quiet quarry and its surrounding landscape. The rocks were black with the wet weather and to begin with the atmosphere felt quite oppressive. However, things lightened and brightened as I ascended to the upper edge of the quarry and into a very mossy woodland.
black quarry rock

The soundscape down in the dark confines of the quarry was still and my footsteps echoed in the amphitheatre of hewn rock, the small birds chirped and the crows cawed. Once I arrived at the top edge of the steep, dark slabs and could look over the Welsh landscape,Continue reading

spiky foreground

My Walk this Week 130 – It Must Be Mist

Mist or fog – whichever you think it is depends on where you are in relation to the cloud that creates it. Near the start of this walk I was able to look down on the mist/fog in the valley below, but as I climbed up the side of the valley, so it thickened to become more fog like.

mist and crow

But early morning fog is apt to clear or at least move and it is the latter that happened on this occasion – at least until later in the day when the sun finally raised the temperature and dispensed with the dampness. The gloom was very atmospheric and I didn’t mind in the least as I stopped to photograph and listen to my surroundings. The sounds included electricity pylons and cables fizzling in the moisture filled air and temporarily the sound of Continue reading

Wildflowers broom 2

Wildflowers – Yellow

Wildflowers in yellow from the south western Scottish coastline.

Wildflowers- broom

These are some of the yellow wild flowers I photographed on a short walk while on holiday – there are so many! Again, I have tried to name all of them but there is one name missing. Continue reading

Becalmed

Sea patterns

The day was calm for the memorial walk for Mike Aspland to raise funds for the Old Mill Foundation cancer hospice and the sea was becalmed. The light and gentle patterns on the water along with the almost non existent change between sea and sky illustrate the atmospheric conditions perfectly. If you would like to donate to the Old Mill Foundation, please visit their website and click the “Donate” button.Continue reading

Climbing into Forest Stillness in November

It’s a steep path into the forest from the road but during a murky November when the days are getting very short the stillness that can be found there when the wind isn’t blowing is a real treat. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of the wind, but I also like the quiet peacefulness amongst the trees of this small forest when the sound of the motorway to the west is not carried over the hill. Even in the upper, thinner parts of this woodland, in amongst the spiky gorse, the air can be still and the sound of the conversing birds carries through the trees.

Forest Gorse in November

Continue reading

Beach Bottleneck

I photographed Oxwich beach at the start of my walk this week. The shape may be a little less obvious in the shot below but it still reveals a bottleneck form. If from this angle the shape is a bottleneck, then the third image in the sequence below could only be described as a wedge. The shape seemed obvious to me and is the reason for taking the photo but I wanted to emphasise it more and experimented with the contrast in monochrome.

Having enjoyed the overexposed beach image I posted from the previous Taste of Gower walk at Llanmadoc, I increased the exposure on the last photo below as well. With almost no reference points in the image, what is real becomes abstract.

Beach bottleneck

Beach Bottleneck

Making Connections and Conversations

It could be said that the subject matter of the first two shots below is 1. the whin bush and 2. the grasses in the foreground. This would be a reasonable assumption as these items are in focus whilst the rest of the photo is not.

While this may be true, I think I would argue that if I was interested in taking photos of whin or grass, I could do a much more interesting job, perhaps looking at the sharp thorniness of the whin or the colours and patterns in the grasses.

However, the true subject matter is the story of my walk this week and the purpose of images like these within a sequence is to connect one aspect or stage of a walk with another. Having descended from the higher part of Graig Fawr, I am now approaching civilisation again and this can be seen by the blurred pattern of buildings at the foot of the hill. However, in my mind I am still with the natural landscape, the whin and the grasses and I am not yet ready to dive back into the everyday world of people and work.

A single elderly dog walker provides a gentle re-introduction to society with a brief conversation near the end of my walk about the weather – what else? Listen below.

Graig Fawr Walk-25

grass and trees

A Brief Conversation 

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.

Graig Fawr Walk-27

 

Sculpted by the Wind

This visual evidence of the prevailing wind on the South Gower coast with its effect on the hawthorn trees produces wonderful natural sculptures typical of Britain’s coastline.  There are probably not many trees like the hawthorn or blackthorn with their ability to survive and thrive in the rugged conditions that come with the Autumn and Winter seasons here.

That’s not say that we have particularly harsh winters, but they still have to cope with the strong winds and sea salty air and I know plenty of other species of tree that do not welcome this sort of situation at all. I love these trees and I also love the equally hardy whin or gorse and, in this case, their silhouette against the dark grey horizon line of sea and sky.

windblown hawthorn

windblown hawthorn

Whin at Three Cliffs Bay

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

That Early Morning Mist

Sunlight was not the only element of the atmosphere on my early morning walks in Scotland. The sun had toy work at lifting the moisture in the air as well as lighting up the landscape.

These views are looking inland from Knockbrex Hill, Galloway.

morning mist

morning mist

morning mist