hilltop heather

My Walk this Week 219 – Working Up Above

My walk this week meant that I was working up above the place I have been working in for the past nine months. Sitting outside at break times in good weather, I would look up at the hills overlooking the bay and wonder if there was a footpath that would allow me to look down from above.

rocky outcrop

Finally, this week, the opportunity arose and on investigation I discovered there is no footpath and some of the land is private. However, a helpful resident told me his kids play up there and on taking a closer look, I found the route they had worn over time.

It was a steep clamber through the wild woods but on reaching a rocky outcrop near the top, I was rewarded with the views I had been seeking. I felt a bit like an intruder to a hidden lair but and I cannot imagine many other people (if any) making their way up there. With my kit bag on my back and seemingly insistent on dragging me back down the hill head over heels, I was grateful to find a rope tied between a few tree trunks to aid the persistent climber.

Bay Soundscape

The soundscape reveals the ambience of the bay as well as that of the woods. Sitting on the outcrop of rocks the full scene could be heard with deep rumble of traffic beneath the mid pitches of the sea and the higher pitches of seagulls. Turning back to dip down from the edge of the slope the ambience changed – the traffic disappeared, the sea became distant and flies could be heard buzzing among the damp undergrowth.

Back in the woods on my precarious downward journey, jays were calling vociferously. But as always seems the case with jays, I couldn’t tell whether they were arguing about something or laughing their heads off at a good joke (probably me negotiating the steep, muddy slope).

thistle and path

My Walk this Week 216 – Returning To What Was

My walk this week takes a look and a listen to what was at one time a railway track. Listening to the soundscape for the walk also means returning to the sounds we were used to pre-pandemic.

The old railway track could still be seen in places when we first moved here many years ago. Things have changed significantly over that time and this part of that old rail route has become a wonderful slice of wild woodland. Unfortunately I suspect its days are numbered as the ever encroaching local housing and road developments continue apace and I was sorry to find my way blocked by a building site.

The soundscape below could have been edited down further. Although there are few birds singing at this time of day, I still enjoyed the sound of the wind in the trees and even the nuances of the distant motorway traffic. Returning to what was, pre-pandemic, means inevitably more traffic on the roads, jet aeroplanes in the sky (listen carefully) and of course the sirens of police cars. This last one I decided not to include and is the point at which I stopped recording.

Old Railway Woodland Soundscape

 

swamp pond surface

My Walk this Week 208 – Compare and Contrast

My walk this week is green and luscious and through something of a swamp! It is one I have only done once before and that was during an icy winter, so I wanted to compare and contrast the two seasons.

green walk

I don’t think I need to say much about the differences as they can be seen in the galleries below, but one of the most interesting to me is the is the water surface in the swamp/pond. In winter it was covered in thick, dark, opaque ice with a dusting of snow while on this more recent walk it is covered in thousands of catkins and algae.

The soundscapes are different as well, and again, I don’t think I need say much. The strange “groaning” sound in the Spring soundscape may be a distant goods train as there is a railway track nearby, but I cannot be certain.

Gorseinon Walk Soundscape and Images

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Winter Walk Soundscape and Images

Troserch Woodland Walk

My Walk this Week 199 – Corona Confusion

My walk this week is an offer to use my StillWalks® videos as well as these blog posts to keep calm and bring the outside in either for yourself or others who are self isolating as a result of the Corona virus pandemic, the confusion it brings and need to de-stress and cope with the anxiety that inevitably accompanies this unusual situation.

As the isolation strategy is to keep away from other people but not actually to stay indoors if you are living away from an urban environment, the StillWalks® message still applies as it is my hope that the videos and blog posts prompt you to go out if you can, and pay attention to the environment around you.

So this week I am providing a video below and links to one or two others as well as a selection of samples.

Starting at sunrise early on a summer morning in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, you will hear the birds and bees, sheep and a horse as you start out along the lane towards the beautiful woodland of Troserch. Crossing a footbridge, the reflections of light and shade in a river are accompanied by wild flowers and footsteps as you head towards a kissing gate leading out into the open fields.

Other videos you can watch or just listen to are:

A colourful Springtime garden video from France Garden Walk, France

You may also enjoy this StillWalks project video – Happy Muddy People

And this video which, unusually for me, uses actual video rather than still images! Forest February

Then there are further samples available on YouTube.

If these videos can help anyone in any way, isolating or not, I will be delighted. As always, more StillWalks® videos are available to download via the shop.

long shadows

My Walk this Week 196 – Woodland Wander

My walk this week is a wander through woodland I have not visited for some time and it was good to see that whilst there had been developments and changes made, the character of the place remained as I remembered it.

Lake through trees

Penllergaer Valley Woods is wonderful place on the outskirts of Swansea that I have enjoyed immensely at different times of the year. One of my favourite visits was about 4:30 AM for an early morning StillWalks production walk in Spring, but I have made StillWalks videos there from all seasons.

My visit on this occasion was a short one but I still very much enjoyed the patterns, textures, colours and sounds to be found there. I think my favourites below are the various  tree stumps and the mass of bare birch branches on either side of the footpath as it descends to to the valley floor.

Woodland Soundscape

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The soundscape is a little shorter than usual this week as I was recording on my phone again but I hope no less enjoyable.

So click the play button to listen while viewing the images below – click the first one and then again to move forward through the carousel.

 

Woodland pond reflections

My Walk this Week 181 – Natural Benefits

My walk this week is one of the most enjoyable I have had lately – the benefits of natural elements within an urban landscape are not to be underestimated.

Coedbach Woods

Currently I am having to work 4 days/40 hours+ with a well known online supplier (needs must and all that) which means going out before dawn and getting in after dark while spending the whole working day indoors. As a means of compensating for this, I have started using my StillWalks videos at the end of the working day, before going home, and they definitely help.

So when I found myself on a bright sunny Sunday morning walking through the local countryside and woods, it felt so goodContinue reading