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

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.

Goodnight Belfast and Reviewing the Week 54

My city walk was taken through the day but this photo looks across the River Lagan in Belfast later that same evening. The horizontal line of lights in the dark are christmas lights running along the crane featured near the start of the walk.

This was a Winter city walk taken on Boxing day a few years ago. There is only frost on the riverside footpath at the walk and the bare branches of trees by the crane to prove the season. However, a couple of days later the river was frozen over and covered in snow, but we had left to return to mainland Britain by that time!

Belfast Glow

Click the sound clip play button below and then the first thumbnail image to view the walk images in sequence.

City Ambience

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.

My Walk this Week 17 – City Walk

My walk this week moves from a suburban location (see the last two weeks posts) to the inner city location of Belfast in Northern Ireland. The first two images below may not look like the inner city but you don’t have to walk far up the river Lagan to reach this point on its route into Belfast. Perhaps the construction crane in the third image comes closer to proving the city location.

Frozen Footpath

River Lagan Cormorant

Belfast Crane

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

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

Swan, Lake

The subtle colours of the late afternoon sunset reflected in the water of this urban lake in Middlesbrough accompanied by the slow, calm meanderings of the swan and its reflection belie how cold it was at the time.

Earlier photos from this location showed the apparent confusion of some of the birds walking on water with the ice part melted just below the surface. The sunny day had caused this part thaw, but as the sun dipped below the horizon the low temperatures returned rapidly.

sunset swan

swan

Liquid Gold

There has been no temperature adjustment or colour cast put on these images. whatever you do the liquid gold stays gold, it’s just the carat that changes!

Obviously I am exaggerating but it is true that I had no desire to make changes. The photos capture something of the beauty and peace that I enjoyed on a late afternoon Winter walk around this Middlesbrough lake. The Coots had found an area without ice and as I walked I was in continual awe at the ever changing light.

Lake Sunset-7

Lake Sunset-10

End of the Day at the Start of the Week

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether the sun is rising or setting, especially if you don’t know what direction you are facing. It might be better to start the week with a sunrise, but who is to say (other than me) that these shots were not taken in the morning?

Lake Sunset

Lake Sunset