Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

With the wild wind and dark sea on my walk along the beach at Colwyn Bay this week, it was with some relief that I finally passed alongside the safety fence around the dilapidated pier and up off the beach. In fact the weather was exhilarating, all the more so because it didn’t rain and wasn’t so rough as to make it too difficult to contend with.

Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

Dark Sea and Weathered Fence

Colwyn Bay Wind Clatter

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Patterns of Natural Sand Art

The wind on my walk this week on the beach at Colwyn Bay had been going to town (so to speak and literally!) when it comes to creating patterns. Not just the wind of course – its take the combination of wind and sea to create these particular patterns. In the first image they appear to have been brushing each others hair while in the second there has been more apparent friction with the sand ripples developing a multitude of blisters

Rivers of Sand

Sand Hair

Sand and Tide

Sand Blisters

Sand Drift and Textures on the Beach

The sand in Colwyn Bay was filling more than the gaps between rocks and it wasn’t long before my shoes were filled as well. Where the surface sand had dried it was easily blown by the wind, creating a strange sense of movement on solid ground. The sand drift smoothed out textures as it caught on rocks and other beach features and appeared as a haze higher up the beach as it flowed across a concrete groyne.

sand drift

Sand Drift

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Tilting at the Wind

No tilting at windmills here – just tilting at the wind as I nearly get blown off my feet. The power of the wind and the sea is not imaginary and it is remarkable that the youngest member of the family looking out to the horizon in the second image below isn’t being rolled up the beach like the foam of the waves.

On the gentle incline of Colwyn Bay beach the waves may not be very big, but that doesn’t mean the weather is any less wild. A number of the photos I took that day had an horizon line in danger of falling off the edge but whilst it is easy enough to correct this, leaving the first image below as it is helped to emphasise the nature of that environment at that time.

Wild and Windy

Tilting to the Wind

Looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

Sea foam

Sea foam

 

 

Paragliders – Colours in the Sky

It was a perfect day for my walk this week at Colwyn Bay . . . if you like the wind! There are those that will take full advantage of the wind every time, such as paragliders. I spotted these two the moment I stepped onto the seafront and as I walked towards them, it was difficult to pay attention to the rest of my surroundings. The mesmerising entertainment of their aerial acrobatics was quite a distraction.

Paraglider and rainbow

Colours in the Sky

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Nicholaston Farm Cafe – Reviewing the Walk

Always on the Taste of Gower walks there is a welcome cafe to be enjoyed at the end of the walk. Many of the walks have given me a first visit to the cafes associated with them and do an excellent job of persuading me and others to return in the knowledge that refreshments are available as well as beautiful views, wonderful habitats and enjoyable exercise. Nicholaston Farm Cafe was no exception and everybody enjoyed the fayre they provide.

The next walk will be next week on Friday 29th July and starts from Gower Heritage Centre – I’m looking forward to it!

Nicholaston Farm cafe

Nicholaston Farm Cafe

Listen to the walk soundscape below while viewing the image sequence, just click the play button and then the first thumbnail image.

Nicholaston Walk Soundscape

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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

My Walk this Week – Taste of Gower, Nicholaston Farm

My walk this week is the Taste of Gower walk from June. The walk starts at Nicholaston Farm and follows the footpath along the cliffs to Three Cliffs Bay. The walk was led by Steve Lancey who organised it for Gower Landscape Partnership and we had Helen and Charlotte from Gower Unearthed as guides and providers of information on aspects of the walk such as Pen y Crug burial chamber.

Oxwich Bay

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Bleached Beach

When walking with a group and trying to do some photography and field recording at the same time, it is easy to end up rushing a bit and, as in this instance, forget to adjust the camera setting for the scene I’m wanting to capture. More often than not this results in useless images, but sometimes you get a happy accident.

When I first looked at this photo I thought “Whoops but wow! That’s just what it felt like at the time!”

The over exposure produced a bleached, white hot effect and when the sun was out this broad exposed hazy seascape felt just like this. I have included  a more correct exposure of the scene in the gallery below so you can compare.

Bleached Beach

Bleached Beach

As can be seen from the “Pergyl – Danger” notice, the area used to be a firing range and people are advised  not to touch anything they find as it may explode. One of the walkie talkies for the group was dropped on the beach during the walk and could not be found – I hope it doesn’t cause a scare for the person who finds it.

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Magical Calm Before the Storm

I have said that the weather was kind to us on my walk this week. It can be seen here on the expansive beach at Whitford, that there was the potential to be caught by an impending storm. Fortunately the wind favoured us and took this huge bank of dark cloud off to the north east.

calm before the storm

calm before the storm

The scene felt other worldly with the calm humidity and the simplicity of the open space. The haze blurred the details of what land could be seen and the “canvas” was reduced to indistinct sea and sky in muted colours. The old Victorian iron built Whitford Lighthouse was an enticing object just out of reach in the water and a small flock of one of my favourite birds flew as if in slow motion along the length of shore, mixing their calls with the skylarks. It was magical!

Larks and Oystercatchers

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