All posts by Mike Howe

I am an ecologist and a composer of guitar based instrumental melodies signed to the Real Music label in California. I like to write about my work, music and nature conservation and how it all comes together. I try not to write about things I don't know much about.

A Trip to Grassholm

Great short film

SAM HOWE FILM

Grassholm is a small rocky outcrop, 13km off the coast of the Marloes peninsular. In the summer it is home to nearly 80,000 gannets. Dale sailing regularly do trips out to the island and during the trip you’re likely to see porpoise, dolphins, shearwaters, razorbills and puffins depending on the time of year. It is a fantastic sea safari and this summer I made a film of my most recent visit.

A Trip to Grassholm Island, Pembrokeshire, narrated from the book “Waterfalls of Stars” by Rosanne Alexander. This is a sequence taken from my most recent film on Skomer Island, Cynefin.

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Hills and habitats

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Beacons

A Wild Joy

Ominous cloudscapes, mountain roads, music to rip your heart out.

Snow flurries warp past the windshield, motion-blur, a starfield simulation.

I’m triangulating off gross landscape features, echo-locating.

Assigning local meaning, at this manifestation of scale.

And you might make a thing holy. Index everything to a single colour frame –

To that obscurest of sorrows, the moment of tangency:

It’s seconds, minutes, decades away.

I didn’t blink, and I missed it anyway.

If a tree falls in the forest, it’s an arbitrary event.

Life’s hard-forks are just waypoints, too.

Successive phases of madness. It’s a single story.

No what-ifs, no parallels. And for a season, for no reason – a universe occurs.

Grains of its self-awareness circle the local star.

Eleven hundred miles a minute, artefacts everywhere, and I’m still hoping for an everything’s gonna be fine attack.

If it helps, this was never about you.

If it helps, consider the user…

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Always nice to rummage in a mountain farm blanket bog with the magnificent Tryfan in view

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Alps and glaciers, Chamonix/Mont Blanc

East Meets West

The Siberian airmass arrived on the very Western edge of Wales this week, bringing with it snows, ice, and thousands upon thousands of birds we rarely see in such numbers. Redwing, lapwing, fieldfare and golden plover driven to the edge of the country in search of food and shelter from the storm.

So for the first time in years not only were there thousands of unusual birds on the beach, there was snow too!

This is the same beach (Marloes Sands, photo Mike Alexander) in summer…….

Thoughts, deeds, music

Up here, on the roof of Snowdonia, we have restored the blanket bog and protected the largest and deepest area of peat in Wales. Not only is this good for increasingly rare birds such as curlew and hen harrier, but it locks up more carbon than all of the woodlands in Wales combined, and stops it from being released into the atmosphere.

This is also the place where I first thought of this tune, which bizzarely went on to be nominated at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, two very different worlds. But that’s the power of music I guess……

Remember

More Stories We’ll Never Know The End Of…

Amazing desert landscape in Arches National Park, Utah

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Beautiful Utah desert

Desert 3, Arches