On the beach

10 May

This is a bit of a lazy post, but that’s appropriate for the beach, I think.  We spent a long weekend on the coast in Cornwall and I filled my ocean-loving tank (that’s a metaphor) with waves, salt breezes, sandy beaches, seagulls, and the glass or two of adult beverage.  Spring tides in Cornwall have dramatic highs and stunning lows.  Take off your shoes and come on a dreamy walk with me …

This is high tide.  The water comes up almost to the sea wall.  Where we saw this fellow:

I don’t know why I like him so much.  Look at those clever legs, that shiny jacket.  And he gets to live at the beach and hang out on sunny walls all year long.

Now stroll out at low tide.  Miles of beaches open up, and mysterious rocks produce fairy mermaid circles. (Are there fairy mermaids?  I’ve decided yes.)

Do you see it?  This rock and pool are the shape of a heart.  Love.

The sand, the rocks, the water, the plants, the reflections … it’s like walking in a living watercolor. Dazzling.

The flowers along the cliffs aren’t bad either.

Mussel-covered stones, just waiting for a mermaid convention.

Holding on tight to their sips of seawater, waiting for the tide to return.  When I’m away from the ocean for too long, I start to feel like this.

Death comes for the small mussel. A seagull smashed it and was picking it apart.  (My son does double duty as the shadow of death.)

Small and large caves are revealed all along the coast.  Usually these are underwater.  Standing in this spot, I felt like I was dreaming.

If you could stand here at high tide — as in the first photo — you’d be under about 8 feet of water.

I’m still feeling dreamy, so I’m ending with a poem by Cornish writer A.G.  Folliott Stokes:

The Cornish Coast and Moors
With granite ribs and black basaltic brows
And flanks of dark and metal-bearing slate
All veined and patined o’er with snowy quartz,
Cornubia rises storm-swept from the sea,
A land of legend and strange mystery,
Of tragic frown and sun-kissed ecstasy,
He who would know the depths of that old heart
For aeons cradled on the changeless rock,
For aeons guarded by the encircling sea
Must seek the silence of the purple moors,
Must know the fury of the mighty surf,
Must mark the splendors of her sea-born clouds.


16 Responses to “On the beach”

  1. Tesni May 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Lovely photos. I find beaches, the sea, marine/beach wildlife fascinating and magical too. The tides are definitely very impressive! Whereabouts did you go? I am desperate for a trip to Cornwall. Use to go about 5-6 times a year, now it’s about once 😦 and I miss it so much. It’s my favourite place to be in the whole of the England.

    • Monique May 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      Oh, I’m envious of your 5+ trips a year to Cornwall–I’d miss that, too. We were at Watergate Bay, near Newquay. I’d love to keep going back. Ahhhhhhhh.

      • Tesni May 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

        I recommend the Lizard peninsula- a lovely part of Cornwall

      • Monique May 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

        Oh, it looks so unique! I must go back when it’s warm…

  2. unncle Jack May 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Perhaps my favorite post to date, and you have an eye for compositon.

    • Monique May 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks, Uncle Jack! Glad you’re still enjoying the blog. 🙂

  3. Zazzy May 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I should be having dreamy responses but I look at the mussel covered stones and I think white wine, butter, garlic, shallots, some fresh parsley….

    • Monique May 10, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

      Ha ha! Same here, to be honest, and I did have cornish mussels one evening – not these, tho!

  4. competentmom May 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    gorgeous, just gorgeous. thanks for sharing!
    next time i will go to cornwall.

    • Monique May 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

      Welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I had no clue how great it would be.

  5. satnavandcider May 10, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Now I feel all relaxed and happy. All I’m missing is a briny sea breeze and sand between my toes. Your beautiful photos really captured a day of exploring by the sea. And I love your observations.

    • Monique May 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

      Only thing missing is the glass of lemonade (or other beverage of choice)…

  6. Heiress May 15, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    I’m thinking there’s something wrong with me. The photos are beautiful and I enjoyed reading about them, but I couldn’t help wondering with each passing picture if you were about to be imminently buried under seawater. How quickly does the tide move in and out there? With such a dramatic shift I’m thinking it must move rather fast.

    • Monique May 15, 2012 at 6:26 am #

      When we got to the furthest point of our walk and looked back over the beach (and the only way out, sooooooo far away), I had a moment where I did wonder what would happen if we stayed out too long. There are signs along the beach about not getting stuck as the tide comes in — yikes. We went out before the peak of low tide (or is that the nadir?), and it would be hours before it was up to the cliffs again, so we were safe, and you can feel safe looking at the photos, too! 🙂


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