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.
Radio 4 is broadcasting today’s weather forecast. Appropriately the voice is Peter Gibbs, a native of Sunderland from my era. His summary includes words to the effect of “I’m pleased to be able to say for the first time in a while that most of the UK will be dry and bright today!”
And what is more, the man from the Met Office seems to be right; in fact even at this hour there are so many individuals who have clearly been driven stir crazy by the cold and wet spell we have been experiencing that they have hit the beach without delay. The seafront car parking is already 90% gone.
Recent rough seas have been replaced by a gentle swell. The 7 or 8 surfers already immersed bob like seals playfully seeking attention. None of them are going to be setting any records today for the tallest wave (recently set in Portugal at 78 feet!).
For others even that smooth bobbing seems way too energetic. Better to just bask in the sun (more seal-like behaviour) than go to all that trouble. Interesting choice of seating though. A long bench adjoining the sun-worshipper’s perch lies empty, yet he has managed to squeeze his buttocks onto a narrow ledge at the foot of the concrete wall!
There are dogs & walkers aplenty of course.
For some time the ball launcher, inspired by atlatl spear throwers, has become de-rigueur in the canine fraternity. This simple tool gives greater leverage allowing even the most feeble to project their ball far enough to provide their dog with an entertaining chase. Someone always has to go one better though.
Today I was not alone in photographing the shoreline traffic. Perched on the parapet above Little Italy, was another photographer. Armed with telephoto, and an already abandoned tripod, he and his companions were scanning the vicinity of the surfers. Hope he got some good shots, though by the size of his lens and the distance he had put between himself and his subject he was making the job unnecessarily difficult. I diplomatically resisted the temptation to point out the error of his ways. For me the best surf shots need you to be at the water’s edge, as close to being in the action as you can manage without exposing your camera to the salt water.
And amongst it all in breeches and riding boots a woman and her small dog were purposefully heading into my path. Debbie surprised me by being probably the most willing subject I’ve encountered (after Eseyoma anyway) and agreed immediately to being photographed. With her hair scraped back and not a trace of cosmetics she acknowledged that “I’m not at my most glamorous.” but who cares when you get such a great smile.I had no idea who she was at the time, but later discovered that she was the mother of one of the girls in the junior school photography club that I ran earlier in the year. Fitting that she should have been so helpful then; I hope that she and Amy like the result.