Clown

Another bright and sunny day but the anemometer is accelerating bring the kite surfers back to the waves.  The waves themselves remain as powerful as ever and continue to bring interesting objects ashore.

It seemed to me that it was about time I shifted my attention away from the man-made objects on the beach to more natural finds.

The first wasn’t washed ashore, but was a tiny patch of bents grass, the plant that gives the area its name.  Peaking through the dry sand I like the strands of colour that it provided.

A little further and the plant-life got a whole lot bigger.  The bents grass has strong roots that help to bind together the sand at the edge of the beach.  This tree was clearly not so resilient.

From this angle I thought it was reminiscent of a scorpion!

And finally I spotted a small fish, breaking through the waves.  Its colouring suggested that it wasn’t indigenous to the area and the journey had clearly taken its toll upon the little creature, but it’s actually my favourite picture today.

As I left the beach I spotted today’s portrait subject hurrying to the bus stop.  Luckily the bus wasn’t due so I had the opportunity to shoot a couple of images.  Thanks Carol.

April Fish!

Today is April Fools day in the UK, and so for about a week now I’ve had a spoof blog written, weaving local events into a tale of subterranean crimes and terrors in a network of tunnels beneath the village green, and featuring local songstress and thespian Lauren Waine as my portrait, but in character.  For those familiar with Iranian culture there was also a character called Sizdah Bedar as a clue to the deception.

Then the plug was pulled on the idea when Lauren’s director needed her earlier today and our opportunity for pictures was lost.  Ces’t la vie.  Back to the drawing board and a theme free blog.

Except that having researched the tradition of the day, I was reminded of it once more when I reached the beach this morning.  Surf was up, and a group of of wet suit clad enthusiasts were already out to sea – and I had just defrosted my car!  A whole new take on April foolishness perhaps, although they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

An April fool in Denmark, regarding Copenhagen...
An April fool in Denmark, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Their activity would have been more appropriate in France, or maybe Italy, not because there are better waves there (is the Med a good place for surfing?) but because of the date.  April Fools day is a truly international celebration of the absurd, but in these two countries it is known respectively as “poisson d’avril!” and “pesce d’aprile!”.  I’ve no idea why the fish reference is important, but for the surfers , wet and shining in the bright sunshine it seemed a fitting description.  As they were thrust forward and buffeted by the waves they made great pictures.  Flying fish perhaps?

While I was standing at the waterline watching their antics, I spotted a woman walking her dog towards me, the bright sunshine illuminating her fair hair.  Something in her expression told me that she would have a great smile so I approached her.  Her name is Sheila, and she agreed to be photographed without even asking if it was an April Fool!

I would have loved to have captured the sunlight in her hair as I saw it, but the same offshore wind that was whipping off the wave crests was blowing her hair across her face, so I opted for a backlit shot, where the wind worked to keep the hair away.  Most women would have been horrified to be shot when out walking without full make up, but Sheila was game and I think she looks great.

Because I’d positioned her with her back to the water, and I was focused, literally, on her face, neither of us spotted the wave that pushed in just a little further than its predecessors, but Sheila felt it as the icy water rushed into her plimsolls.  The sacrifices we have to make for art!

I don’t think she was too vexed though, and she and her dog headed off to somewhere warmer.