Weekly Photo Challenge: Changing Seasons


In North Wales we are lucky to be blessed with a beautiful coastline with wide sandy beaches which stretch for miles. Prestatyn Beach Panorama

I love winter on the coast for several reasons. For one I get the beaches to myself. No tourists walking in front of your camera, or having their dog pee on my camera bag, which I’ve carefully placed on the beach so as not to get wet from breaking waves. Yep! It’s happened and not even an apology. Fortunately, it’s waterproof.

As we head into winter our coastline becomes more susceptible to winter storms which generate strong winds and high waves.These storms help to wash up some amazing things on our beaches. Only last week a mortar bomb was found. Less dangerously, I often find tree trunks twisted into grotesque shapes, bottles, (never found one with a message), tin cans, exotic shells, jelly fish and star fish. All of which are worth photographing

Along my stretch of the coast there are natural sand dunes which help to protect the low-lying land behind, but unfortunately we can’t always rely on nature to protect our inhabited areas.

Prestatyn Beach

Another reason I like winter on the coast is the light conditions can change really fast. One minute I can be photographing in a nice bright sunlit day and the next clouds can build up turning day into nearly night. Challenging photography.

Sea Defences

To help protect our coastline man has intervened and placed these rocks at interval along the beach to break up the waves. When the tide comes in these rocks are hidden by the sea. A marker is placed at the edge of the rocks on the seaward side to help small craft identify where the rocks start. As the tide comes in the rocks break up the waves and help calm the sea.

Sea Defences - Storm

Now here’s another reason I like winter. This part of the coastline hosts a number of visiting bird species who winter in our milder climate. At high tide, thousands of these birds are forced by the rising waters onto the salt marshes and closer to the shore making ideal photo opportunities. In the image below you can see Oyster Catchers, who live here all year round, skimming the waves.

Stormy Weather

So that’s it. I love winter, of all the seasons it’s my favourite, even though it gets cold. Frosty nights, clear skies, cold crisp days. Perfect.

Only problem is for every nice day in winter, because we live near the coast, we probably see twice as many where it rains, but I still love winter.

 

20 comments

    • When we moved here a couple of years ago I honestly believe it was teh best thing we ever did. I took early retirement froma hectic job and now I can relax. As well as the coast I have rolling hills ten minutes drive away and mountains just over twenty. Pkus we have the advantage of living in a very historical part of the country with lots of ancient buildings.

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  1. Mike, I absolutely share your love of winter – it seems to be the most dramatic of seasons, all of which you have caught in these spectacular shots! I took some beach shots recently and was stunned to see changing levels of sky blue brilliance with sandy, dusty smog and cloud. The silvery sense of calm in your second shot is so ethereal amongst the more rugged other shots!

    (What is your opinion on the wind farms?)

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    • Hi Patti. I don’t particularly like wind farms and I’m not entirely convinced that they really provide great benefits. But if we must have them I would rather prefer that they were off-shore rather than being put inland, where the seem to blight the landscape. Our stretch of coastline is going to have more. They’re roughly about 9 miles off-shore. From a photography point of view I quite like them because they break up what would be a rather dull and boring horizon.

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    • To get that photograph I attached a 500mm lens to my camera which i normally use for wild-life photography and stood on the rocks you can see in the second photograph. By now the waves were lapping at my feet and this was the only way I could get a close-up shot. The Oyster Catchers were an added bonus as they flew right across the frame as I was firing the shutter.

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