As the dawn chorus serenaded a calm sun-kissed day into life, I was presented with a terrible dilemma: the headland or the lanes. When you live by the coast, calm days are few and far between, and every single moment of one is treasured, especially when you are into macro photography: trying to photograph a flower, that is being whipped around by a gale force wind, is nigh on impossible. Only three more weeks of the headland until the autumn, but will there be anymore calm days? I looked at the dogs and thought of their enjoyment, as well as my own, and the headland won out.
I decided to head down to the little rocky bay, the only one that is accessible easily on this stretch of the headland. To enter it you drop down a steep incline into a valley riven by a stream. The path zig-zags to and fro, cutting deeply into pebbled-clay as you descend, and then, after jumping the stream, you climb back up, before once again dropping down over jagged rocks, on to a beach of storm-tossed pebbles. There are pebbles of pink, green, grey, amber and yellow and pebbles mottled or veined with white. This is a landscape created by volcanic action, and by receding ice at the end of the last ice age when boulder clay was left behind.
The cove can be walked in under two minutes, but never yet have I managed to do it, as there is just too much to distract my attention. At low tide rock pools are visible, and these have to be searched for anemones, winkles, delicate lacy seaweed, and the occasional fish or crab. The pebbles that line the beach have to be examined carefully for tiny baby mollusks or periwinkles: I would hate crush anything. The jagged mini-cliffs have to be scoured in search of the wild flowers and lichens that cling on precariously to existence in such a harsh salt-lashed environment. Shells have to be examined, whether they be on living creatures, or just the remnants of a life gone by. And of course there are the seals to look out for: sometimes they sleep in the kelp that grows in the shallow waters.
An hour passes with only the distant sound of a tractor, or a boats engine. Skylarks sing from the fields and seagulls and wading birds are my companions. And all is well with the world.