Underfoot

Moving up from the beach at Whitford Point my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers meandered through the woods to continue this circular walk from Llanmadoc on the northern tip of the Gower Peninsula.

The ground underfoot was now mostly a soft carpet of pine needles and so for those walking barefoot (just one, not me), the transition from the sand of the beach would have been a relatively comfortable one. I was tempted to go barefoot myself, remembering the experience being described by Nan Shepherd and Robert MacFarlane in their books as one which puts you in contact with the ground (literally) in a way that walking in boots cannot, however sensitive and sympathetic you are to the land.

woodland path

Woodland Footpath

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Hidden in the Trees – Reviewing the Walk

The endpoint of my walk this week at Penllergare Valley Woods was the cafe at the northern end of the valley. The cafe was only developed in the last few years by The Penllergare Trust who are restoring the gardens to something t like their original state in Victorian times. Much of the work is done by volunteers and if you are interested in helping or becoming a friend, visit their website for details.

Penllergare Valley Woods cafe

Below I have selected some of the photos from my posts this week which you can view in sequence while listening to the soundscape of the walk. Click the play button and then the first thumbnail image to review the walk.

Penllergare Valley Woods Soundscape

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Valley Viewpoints and Detail

There are a number of “viewpoints” along the various upper footpath routes at Penllergare Valley Woods. Some reveal the amazing range of greens to be seen in so many trees. Others allow you to look down on lower path networks or reveal the contrast between trees and water.

Penllergare Valley Woods - lake

As I near the end of my walk this week, there are cultivated details to be seen as well. The yellow welsh poppy may grow naturally all over the place, but the old tree stump these wildflowers are springing from may have had a helping hand in the positioning of plants. If so, then it was very well done!

Welsh poppies

Penllergaer Woods-30

Broom Bloom

Moving to higher ground from the woodland river on my walk this week in Penllergare Valley Woods, we came upon a familiar meadow where, a year or two ago, we picnicked in similar sunshine. A broom was in full bloom and my favourite ribwort provided a foreground to this peaceful scene on a beautiful day

broom bloom

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Enjoying the Waterfall

There are people hidden in this first photo today from my walk this week at Penllergare Valley Woods – you can just see them near the centre of the image. They are enjoying the area on the river where the waterfall from the lake flows over the rock arrangement constructed by John Dillwyn Llewellyn back in the 19th century when he was developing the original valley gardens.

Penllergaer Woods-8

The colour of the rhododendrons in this image is accompanied by foxgloves below, and then there is the beautiful yellow of buttercups in a marshy looking meadow displaying the lushness of the environment at this time of year.

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Descending Through the Wild Woods

Descending from the hill at Weobley Castle to the level of the salt marshes on my circular walk this week on the northern edge of the Gower Peninsula, we passed through some woodland which was filled with wild flowers.

It is always good to see bluebells and it is also good to see wild garlic. Even though the scent can be almost overwhelming at times, I love both the sight and the smell garlic in the woods.

Bluebells

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Alpacas Looking On

Having crossed the first couple of fields on my walk this week with the Taste of Gower walkers at Weobley Castle, we came upon one with three very curious and stylish looking alpacas. I am familiar with the curiosity of alpacas from my visits to The Waterside, but these three were no less entertaining for that.

Alpacas

The Taste of Gower walks are well organised and usually have three walk leaders making sure that everyone is accounted for. As the organiser of the walks, Steve Lancey was sharing his lead with both mid-group and back markers and though trailing a bit at times in order to do some field recording, I managed to remain close to the slower members of the group.

Gates, Wind and Walking

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Rosebay Rockets

I love these wild flowers – Rosebay Willow Herb. In every season they have so much to offer the eye. An explosion of tiny rockets like a firework going off. Whether there be colour in them during the Spring and Summer or the patterns of curly lines in the Autumn and Winter, they always have attraction for me.

Complementary images are posted on Instagram through the week and can also be seen on the sidebar of the StillWalks blog.

Rosebay Willow Herb

 

Rosebay Willow Herb