Pale blue sky with hazy clouds; low sun glinting on rippling water; jagged rocks and smooth, wet sand. Low tide on Spittal beach on a calm, autumn morning.
There’s so much more that I’ve failed to capture in these photos. If my camera battery hadn’t run out, I might have spent a while trying to catch the interweaving patterns of ripples in the streams of water running down the beach. Here’s a picture from a low tide morning last March, similar but different in so many ways.
I might have spent some time taking photos of sunlit waves and the silhouettes of low flying sea birds. Here are some waves from July 2019 – another calm, clear, low-tide morning but the waves just aren’t the same.
You’ll have to imagine the birds. Just out of the image to the left, terns are chattering in shrill, slightly creaky calls as they hunt for sand eels in the shallows. They drop gracefully to snatch their breakfast from the water as they fly. Further out to sea, gannets are diving for fish, gliding nonchalantly, high above the waves, then suddenly folding their wings and plunging beak first in an explosion of spray.
To complete the picture you need to add the feeling of cool, firm sand under bare feet, the uncomfortable crunch of fine gravel and the hiss of the gently breaking waves. A feast for all the senses? Well not quite. I’ve not joined the seabirds in fishing for my breakfast!