Sun pillar?

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We visited Devon about ten years ago and stopped in a caravan site near the sea. We walked down to the sea at sunset on the first day as there was a glorious sunset. Then as we got near the beach and were walking through tall grasses along the path to the beach, I saw this. I was stunned. I knew it was something to do with the sun, that had set. But I had my camera, so I took this photo. I think it’s called a sun pillar. I’ve seen sun dogs since. They are bright spots some way from the sun on either side. And brocken spectre, where your shadow is cast onto cloud by sunlight being you and it creates a sort of glowing rainbow halo. There are many other effects caused by the sun and light from it.

The world is a fascinating place.

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Shells

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In this case a bi-valve. Shells are made up of calcium carbonate. They need a neutral water environment  to grow and survive. But like so many problems we cause, we are damaging the oceans. The seas are slowly acidifying them. The oceans are now weakly acidic which is slowly affecting the growth of shells and corals. They cannot lay down the material they are made of as easily in the current environment. If things get worse we could lose many of these beautiful creatures (yes they are animal not plant life).

More to work on in the coming decade. If we don’t a large number of animals that eat shellfish may be affected. We really do have to think about it.

Prestatyn beach

Cold, wet and windy. But Prestatyn beach this morning was also clean and sandy. The rain showers blew over and although the sun didn’t shine it did try and break through the clouds.

The seahorse is something I drew on the spur of the moment. I usually try and draw a running horse, but this one wanted to be wrapped in mystery, my hubby called it a Merhorse.

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Seaside views

Mooching round Morecambe. The B&B we are at is very friendly and if anyone is disturbing the other guests it’s probably us. My hubby decided to explore the ‘sands’ on the beach tonight, but got stuck in the mud instead. He’s cleaned his sandals in the shower while I cleaned up all the mud he’d walked into the bedroom carpet! I dare not look outside at the stairs. For that reason I’m not naming the place here although I would call it excellent on trip advisor.

It’s been a long drive and a long day. So rather than doing my usual thing of blogging into the night I’m going to listen to the sound of the traffic driving past…. My hubby coughing because he’s got a bit of a chest infection and the noise of people going home late from the pub. Hope I sleep better than last night, it was 4.30am before I fell asleep….

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The clarity of sea and sky

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Sue Vincent’s challenge.

The clarity of my memory was funny, it came and went, but I felt certain that I had been on this beach, in this bay, before.

Perhaps it was the scent of the sea, seaweed, and the aromatic plants on the shore that took me back. Or the azure water, the sandy beach or the dark craggy rocks that caught in the folds of my memory.

Yes, the island in the far distance, in my memory I clearly saw a lighthouse there. Not visible here, but as you sailed out beyond the headland it would come into view, built of the hard stone that makes up the coast. On stormy nights it saved many a sailor, and its booming voice could be heard on foggy days and nights.

Now I remember with clarity why I was there. There is a cave just beyond the tideline. I’d been snorkeling in the bay and found a small chest, iron clad and rusted shut. The cave had seemed a good place to hide it. I was only eleven and it was exciting to hide a treasure chest. Plus my brother would have claimed it if I’d shown it him.

Now it was thirty years later, was it still there?

…….

The dubloons had bought me my yatch. Now I am free to visit the bay any time I want.

I want to be by a beach

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An old watercolour of Bovisand Bay. Choppy waters, Devon coast near Plymouth. Cornwall in the distance. Thus is where I want to be. Staring out at sunshine or showers, paddling in the water or splashing about further out. Looking at the plants and animals in the countryside around the bay.

The rocks on the left hand side are where local youths “tombstone” or jump off the top into the bay when the tide is in. Round the headland is another part of the bay. A woman died trying to swim round to it several years ago. There are shops and bungalows High up on the cliffs in the other part of the bay, but the last time we went the carpark above it was partly fenced off due to the cliff collapsing. With more storms and bad weather it is possible that costal erosion will increase and many costal properties and land will be lost to the seas.

Memory of the sea

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Sunny day, top of the steps, Rhyl.

Over beyond this wall is my sea, the one I remember as a child, the one we visited on steam trains when I was very young.

Out beyond this wall the beach is flat and spreads far out. The sand is yellow and ochre. There are ridged ripples in the sand caused by the waves. Lines of groynes (posts with flat planks in between) hold back the waves and stop the long shore drift washing the sand away. New sea defences have been built to try and prevent flooding during storms. In summer planes fly over for Rhyl air show. Thousands of people arrive in mid summer like a migrating flock of starlings to see the show. Then disappear as quickly. Sometimes the days are wet and windy, other times the sun beats down and uv rays and ozone help burn your skin.

This old lamp post was once lit with gas. Now it’s rusting in the salt air. It looks like it was highly decorated in years gone by. Rhyl itself sometimes feels like time is leaving it behind. There are attempts to restore its faded glory though. If you want to see the sea its worth a visit. Just follow the A55 road North West of Chester and on into Wales.

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Sun pillar

 

It was about 5 years ago when we were on holiday in Devon. We had arrived at the camp site late in the evening after a leisurely drive down from the Midlands.

As the Sun started to set we walked down through the dunes to the beach. My eye was taken by a pillar of sunlight shining from below the horizon where the Sun had just set. I have seen sundogs before (reflections off clouds on either side of and above the Sun that look like tiny parts of rainbows). But I did not know what this was. Luckily I had my camera with me and snapped these shots.

I later found out this was a sun pillar, caused by the sun reflecting off high icy clouds. I’ve never seen another one.