Leaving the Beach and Reviewing the Walk

Reviewing my walk this week I realise that the railway line running across this bridge separates not only the beach from the town, but also something of the wind as well. The beach at Colwyn Bay in North Wales is a wide open expanse across which the wind can blow unimpeded until it reaches the railway embankment above the promenade. However, this barrier does not run the full length of the bay by any means and so I imagine, like Swansea’s seafront in the south of the country, the sand gets blown far into the streets nearby.

The soundscape below illustrates the point at which the wind starts blowing – just as I cross the road to the promenade at the pedestrian crossing. My favourite sound in this soundscape is towards the end – the rhythmic rattle of metal on metal in the wind before I return to the road.

Leaving the beach

Leaving the beach

Colwyn Bay Soundscape

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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

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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My Walk this Week – Windy Day in Colwyn Bay

My walk this week takes me back a couple of months to a working visit to Colwyn Bay on the north coast of Wales. It was a fresh Spring day and the wind was blowing strong. I think the image below describes the conditions perfectly.

Whether or not I develop a StillWalks video from all the material I recorded on this short walk along the beach remains to be seen. If I do, it will not be one of the relaxing ones – more invigorating I think!

The off shore wind farm seen on the horizon of the first shot below is an interesting feature, sometimes there and sometimes not! Depending on the light (constantly changing on this particular day), the turbines can become almost completely invisible or present complex repeating patterns as they shine with reflected sunlight.

Running into the wind

Running into the wind

Windy Day in Colwyn Bay

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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

Overview of Cliffs

The Taste of Gower walk in June stayed on the cliff tops rather than descending to the bays and we found a good spot to rest and get an overview of the cliffs at Three Cliffs Bay. We were lucky with the weather and although it wasn’t bright sunshine all morning, it was a great deal better than we had last year when we approached this bay from the other side. You can see these same cliffs from the other side on that day here.

Three Cliffs

The sound on this day was quite different to that of last year as well if you care to compare, there is also a sound clip on the post linked to above.

Summer Crickets

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Big Tor

On the Taste of Gower walk this week from Nicholaston Farm, before you get to Three Cliffs Bay, you skirt round the cliffs of Tor Bay.  The walk has its ups and downs as you might expect on this South Gower coastline but none of us were going to attempt the scramble up onto the top of Big Tor. Somebody was up there but it wasn’t one of our party.

Tor Bay cliffs

Another even more aerial viewpoint than this would be from the seat of a light aircraft . . . and someone was enjoying just that, as you can hear in the sound clip below. I like this clip with the inevitable clifftop wind and the faint voices of walkers and birds ahead of me. The airplane gradually approaches and flies overhead.

Clifftop and Aircraft

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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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