The Miner and the Polar Bear*

With the end of British Summer Time at the weekend, the mornings are brighter and more welcoming.  Consequently at 8.00am today there were plenty of people about making the most of the beautiful conditions.

At this time of year of course the sun sits lower in the sky, so that every detail on the beach is made visible in sharp relief by the long shadows that are cast.  At high water it is even possible to see what initially appear to be some sort of tracks along the sand, but are in fact the “fingerprints” left by each individual wave as the tide recedes.

To the south the banks of cloud that have deposited heavy rains are moving away, though the draining waters create a small river that divides the beach for those without the footwear to brave the water, or the energy to make the jump.

This worked in my favour for it meant that Lester and his dog Nanook were forced in my direction allowing me the opportunity to photograph them both.  Lester (whose name is actually Edward) is a former pitman, who has seen the closure of three different collieries during his working life.  Now 76 he is still a picture of health, not always the case with those who have spent their lives inhaling coal dust.  Initially I photographed him and Nanook individually, explaining that the lens I was using was too tight to shoot him full length without backing off some distance.

Quick as a flash he was crouched down alongside his dog and the problem was solved.  His knees must be in good nick too!

*Nanook (or Nanuk) is the Inuit bear god.

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