Perhaps, you’ve heard that Australia is currently experiencing a dire heatwave. Indeed, it’s been coloured-in bright red on the weather maps, and threatening temperatures of over 40 degrees and everything but hell fire and brimstone. Well, that’s if you believe the weather reports. However, where we live the reality has been much closer to 30 degrees, and dare I say, an English Summer.
While there are those sun-seeking Australians who head straight for the beach when the temperatures soar, these days I prefer more of a hibernation approach and only hit the beach around sunset. Moreover, although I considered getting into my swimmers and going for a swim, I opted for a “photographic walk” instead. In case you’ve never been on one of these, a photographic walk is taken peering through the lens and is a rather stop-start experience. Nothing that’s going to raise your heart-rate. Rather the aim of this exercise is to stimulate your creative juices. It works wonders for me and I always see in a much more focused and intense way exploring the world through my camera lens, than my own eyes. Moreover, I don’t like getting wet. I know that might sound rather hypocritical after teasing my dog for not getting his paws wet. However, at least I’ll dip my toe in and once I’m wet, I love it.
Besides, I also wanted to explore the beach and all it’s nuances through the lens. Our local beach has copped a beating over the last five years. Or, is it more of a case that that our coastline is a rugged wilderness at the mercy of storms, tides and shifting sands and any semblance of smooth calm is nothing more than a postcard illusion? After all, the ocean isn’t a swimming pool, is it! It can’t be contained.
That’s part of the ocean’s rugged beauty. That every day, even every minute, it’s different…an ephemeral force of nature. The people on the beach are also ever-changing. Ocean Beach with its Surf Lifesaving Club, is usually a swimming beach with fishing usually based around the point at Ettalong. However, the fishers were out in force when I was there yesterday.
Indeed, they weren’t the only ones. I’m sure it won’t come as any great surprise that we get overrun during Summer by this supposedly great force known as “tourism”, but could be better termed “an invasion”. This also justifies a hibernation approach, and the benefits of sunbaking inside at home with a good book and the air-conditioning on. Indeed, you could call it enlightened self-preservation.
Yet, I still had this unmet urge to carpe diem seize the day and actually make it to the beach on such a beautiful day. How boring to simply stay at home and let it float by without having lived it. Been a part of it.
As soon as I hit the beach, my mojo returned and as my toes sunk into the sand, my eyes were darting left and right scouring the sand and waves for something different, striking or eye-catching. Some days, that something hits me right in the face such as finding a group of Tibetan monks going surfing. We’ve also found the wreckage of a small boat and rows of trees yanked out of the dunes by the roots by a callous storm. There’s always something, even the fleeting watermarks in the sand.
However, my first impression was that there was nothing special and the beach was looking pretty ordinary, especially as the waves were flat. However, I found my eye drawn into the watermarks along the sand, which seem to tell a story of goodness knows what or where. Something beyond my human understanding.
Once you attune your eyes to appreciate grains of sand, your awareness of your surroundings becomes much more sensitive and acute. Even the common sea gull appeared extraordinary. Had character. Or, perhaps it was the extraordinary golden light which wove its magic? Certainly, this magic had certainly captivated the clouds. They were absolutely magnificent. It was a perfect sky.
How have you been spending the Christmas break? I’d love to hear from you. 2018 is about to pass through the hour glass and I guess I’d better start thinking about some resolutions for the New Year before 2019 also washes out into the ocean.
Lovely photos, Rowena. I particularly like the clouds and the sea birds.
Now those photos from your walk are amazing. Your creative juices were definitely flowing!
That is a whole lot of golden sky! Love it. A day at the beach is always recuperative and refreshes one’s perspective. But…where were the doggos?
The doggoes aren’t allowed off leash down that end of the beach and a three to one ratio too much on my own. However, I think they’ll get their turn tomorrow.
Happy New Year to you all!
Thanks, Colline. Creativity going very well lately. Hopefully a good sign for the New Year.
Thanks, Dan. Sometimes the clouds can be very kind and are seemingly just waiting for you to turn up with your camera and putting on a wonderful show. You generally don’t get the sunset over the ocean here on the East coast. However, our beach faces South so we can get some stunning photos of sunsets over the water looking West, especially when there are bush fires. I just had to run those directions by Geoff as I can’t find my way out of a paper bag.
Do you have any plans for NYE tonight? We’re staying home and watching the Sydney fireworks on TV. We’re having home-made pizza, chocolate mousse and pavlova for dessert.
I have a rather cringeworthy NYE tradition of watching Saturday Night Fever on TV which has been running for something like 30 years. I’m not sure I’ll bother this year. I’m not even sure I like it but I do love the Village People and it brings back memories of roller skating to the Milkshake.
I keep forgetting the seasonal shift for you. We don’t like the beach much, but if we had to choose a time to go, it would be during the winter.
The first year after our daughter was born, my wife and I had food poisoning on New Year’s Eve. Ever since then, we have had an nice cheese fondue. We have that early, and then continue working on the wine. I will watch the Twilight Zone Marathon on SyFy.
Saturday Night Fever would remind me of Disco and my ex-wife – can’t go there.
Happy New Year’s, Rowena. Looking forward to some moderation in the weather everywhere and all things political. Cheers.
loved this photo set Rowena, especially the 2nd to last “Sky Aflame” shot. Wow.
Happy New Year to you and yours, Ro!