Tag Archives: beach

Theme for the Week – Quirky Dorset Part 9

13 Apr

– – – Exploring The Countryside and Lanes of Dorset – – –

My ninth quirky thing about Dorset is in fact a natural phenomenon that occurs in various places and in various conditions throughout the world, and we have one such place right here in Dorset. This phenomenon is known as Beach Cusps.

Beach Cusps

Beach cusps occur in places along the coast and are patterns on the beach consisting of regularly shaped small ‘bays’ separated by horns of higher sand or shingle which point out to sea. They are most noticeable as the tide washes in and out with the surf separating into tongues as it washes up into the ‘bays’. This gives the appearance of cog wheel teeth. On the Dorset coast, Man o’ War Bay is a good place to spot them.

Man o' War Bay

Beach Cusps

The cause of Beach Cusps is something that has been debated for 50 years with no definite resolution. There are two main schools of thought. One suggests that they are caused by the action of two sets of waves coming together, the main waves coming into shore and secondary waves that are created and run across the shoreline. It is the meeting of these two opposing forces that creates the cusps. The second school of thought suggests that any beach has natural undulations and the effect of the waves on these exaggerates and evens out these undulations, making them more regular.

Man o' War Bay

Man o’ War Bay with St Oswald’s Bay Beyond

Whichever theory is right, the phenomenon tends to occur on steeper beaches of coarser material such as shingle and grit, and where the waves are reasonably sizeable. Usually the cusps are a few meters long as in these at Man o’ War Bay, but they can be much larger. And once they are there, they become self sustaining as the waves continue to drive the coarser material onto the horns and then erode the finer material of the ‘bays’ as they flow out again. I think the picture below gives a fairly clear illustration of this.

Man o' War Bay

Horns and Bays Clearly Defined at Man o’ War Bay

I find the effect of these Beach Cusps fascinating. It is not something that you see everywhere and even along this part of the Dorset coast they are not evident in many bays. It seems almost as if Man o’ War Bay has something unique about it which allows these to form. As you can see in the middle picture, even the next bay along, St Oswald’s Bay, doesn’t have them.

Now that’s quirky 🙂 !

Thanks for stopping by.

Until tomorrow,
Your friend The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

At the Seaside

27 Jul

Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know that I love to walk in the countryside with the grass under my feet and greenery all around, or in the mountains or coast where there are rocks, ruggedness and remoteness. There are times though when I love to walk the more ‘cultivated’ parts of our coast, the seaside, where there are characters and much to occupy my camera.

This is just a selection of alternative seaside shots and these are my attempt to capture something of a different view.

Most of these shots have been taken with the same lens, a very old Tamron SP 500mm Cat Lens. This manual focus, fixed aperture lens has the effect of separating the subject from the background because of its shallow depth of field and also throws some ‘marmite’ doughnut shaped highlights – ‘marmite’ because you either love them or hate them :)!

Focus on Blue

Focus on Blue

A simple shot of a row of beach huts.

Gormley

Gormley

I called this ‘Gormley’ because this paddler just reminded me of the Gormley statues that were placed at the seaside.

Ducks and Drakes

Ducks and Drakes

An action shot grabbed just as the stone was about to fly.

On a Lonely Shore

On a Lonely Shore

I felt this shot needed a romantic feel so processed it appropriately.

Through the Fence

Through the Fence

A different view, using the fence as an unusual frame.

On Board!

On Board!

Another action shot although the action didn’t last long as the surfer ended up in the water shortly after.

Forever

Forever

A beach wedding.

Watching

Watching

Just a watcher watching waves.

The Bench

The Bench

I tried a different approach by focussing on the bench and also by using some different processing.

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty

What caught my eye with this one was the lovely rust colour of the groyne top.

Wheee!

Wheee!

I would have normally got the kite in as well but it was way too high so I just focussed on the surfer silhouetted against the sea.

Rocks 'n' surf in the sun

Rocks ‘n’ Surf in the Sun

An abstract shot that illustrates well the doughnut shaped highlights. I was trying to create a very summer sunshine feel with this.

Resting

Resting

Two young runners take a break whilst people walk by on the promenade.

Waiting!

Waiting

A young bather watches the waves. I felt this had an air of threat about it with the young girl picked out by the late afternoon sun against the darkness of the waves.

Journey to the Unknown

Journey to the Unknown

A tall ship rounds Old Harry Rocks having just left Poole Harbour.

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

A young cyclist gets a helping hand as they cycle into a stiff wind.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed this little trip to the beach.

Until next time,
Your friend The Dorset Rambler

I HAVE NOW SET UP A FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE DORSET RAMBLER AND THERE IS A LINK ABOVE. THIS IS TO BRING TOGETHER MY THREE PASSIONS OF DORSET, WALKING/THE OUTDOORS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THESE OR YOU ENJOY MY BLOG, PLEASE DO ‘LIKE’ MY FACEBOOK PAGE.

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

Daily Picture

24 Sep

This was a shot I took on a recent walk along the sea front. There were lots of children running around and playing but this little girl was just stood watching the sea and the waves. It was late afternoon and warm light from the low sun was striking the girl making her stand out from the darker sea.

Waiting!

Waiting!

The contrast between the frail child’s body and the powerful sea just struck me and it seemed like she was just waiting for the sea to swallow her up. I processed the picture to try to bring out this feeling of threat and the inevitable frailty of human life in its physical form. Fortunately of course, the physical life is not all there is…….!

A couple of days after I took this picture, the body of a 3 year old boy was washed up on a Hungarian beach as the family tried unsuccessfully to sail across to Europe. This sad event that was reported world wide just seemed to make this picture more poignant so I thought I would share it on my blog.

On a technical note, it was taken using a 500mm lens that has the effect of compressing the perspective which adds to the feeling that I was trying to convey.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which is http://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

Daily Picture

27 Aug

As you probably know, it takes quite a long time to prepare a full blog entry with photographs and I walk an awful lot so have limited time to spend at my computer. This means that there is often quite a long gap between posts. I thought therefore that I would occasionally post a ‘Daily Picture’ in between my full walk blog posts – this is the first of those and I hope you like it.

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

This picture which I called ‘Helping Hand’ was taken yesterday on a gentle walk along the sea front. These two cycled past me and the little girl, who I think is probably the granddaughter of the man in the picture, was struggling against a stiff head wind so he put his hand on her shoulder to give her a helping hand. I found it quite a moving scene because it made me think about my own grandson and the privilege we have as grandparents, along with the parents, to have an input into the lives of our grandchildren, helping them to grow into fine adults. This responsibility and privilege is something that I really treasure and I thought I would share this picture with you.

On a technical note, the picture was taken with a modern digital camera but the lens I used is a 40 year old manual focus 500mm Cat lens. This pre-dates autofocus and is a difficult lens to focus manually – in fact its a difficult lens to just hand hold – but it has a lovely shallow depth of field and separates out the subject beautifully from the background. When they passed me, I had to quickly grab my camera and run into a position where I could capture the shot. There was very little time because they were disappearing into the distance so I was really pleased with the way the shot came out. Incidentally, the light colour on the road is sand being blown along the road by the wind.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

Your friend The Dorset Rambler.

Comments and feedback on this blog are welcome. If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which is http://www.yarrowphotography.com.

If you would like to join me on my walks, my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/adorsetrambler.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

The WOW Factor

17 Dec

A couple of months ago I made a conscious decision to walk every day, even if it was just for a few miles.  Prior to that, I walked several days a week but on the other days, work and other commitments tended to eat away at the available time and I missed out.  With retirement came more freedom to shape my own day, despite somehow becoming even busier with grandparent ‘duties’ etc 🙂 – in fact sometimes I wonder how I had the time to work 🙂 !

I still do my full day walks several days a week throughout Dorset but on the other days I have been able to focus on local walks which has led me to explore the various pockets of countryside that exist within easy reach of home.  These include small nature reserves, woodland, heath, river banks etc, oases in the urban sprawl that makes up our town.  As part of this, I set myself a challenge to look for the WOW factor on my doorstep, to notice the small details that we so often miss when walking.  These ‘WOW’s’ are there in abundance although when it comes to photographing them, it can be a real challenge!

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WOW – Amazing, tiny fungi on a newly sawn tree

If you walk the Grand Canyon, Niagara, Machu Pichu, the Everest foothills, or even my local Durdle Door (below), there is a strong chance that that ‘WOW’ is going to escape your lips without even thinking about it simply because of the grandeur of the scene before you.  One author put is this way, ‘Beauty is cheap if you point a camera at a grand phenomenon of nature’.  But what about the local, perhaps smaller, phenomenons of nature that are equally ‘wow’ albeit maybe with a small W – these are all around us.  The challenge is to notice them and capture them in the camera.

Awaiting the sunrise
WOW – Durdle Door

Just yesterday I went for a local walk with my son, Paul.  We followed a narrow ribbon of woodland that wound through various housing developments, it was urban and yet at times it felt like we were in the depths of the countryside.  The views were amazing and there was a myriad historic features, the site of an old mill, the remains of an old steam railway, relics of a long gone pottery works, majestic pines, a lovely clear mirror-like stream that I didn’t know existed, views across the harbour, and much more.  It was both fascinating and rewarding, and of course all the more special for sharing it with my son, my favourite walking companion.

The picture below was taken on a gentle stroll along the local promenade – hardly a wild wilderness but when this scene presented itself, I could not help but say ‘WOW’ to myself.  The view across the bay was magnificent but with that awesome stormy sky, the eerie amber light on the horizon and the sudden, and short lived, burst sunlight on the water, it just came alive.

Sunlight on Sea
WOW – Awesome light across the bay

Be it a walk along the coast or a walk across just a small patch of heathland, there are always wonderful sights if we are alert and aware of our surroundings.  Even the tiniest of leaves in the woodland with the last vestiges of the sun streaming through them makes me say “WOW’!

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WOW – Amazing texture and colours of nature

You can tell that I am passionate about the ‘ordinary’ although in fact there is no ordinary because the whole of nature is extraordinary.  My quest in my walks and my photography is to show the seemingly ordinary for the extraordinary that it is, and that is less about photography and more about seeing what is there.

You may have seen in the press that the most expensive photograph ever sold, taken in Antelope Canyon, Arizona, changed hands at $6.5M recently.  I wonder what made it worth that much.  That canyon is undoubtedly beautiful and there are thousands of pictures on the web to show all its beauty – but $6.5M???  The reality in my book is that you don’t need to spend a fortune jetting around the world in search of outstanding beauty, just look on your doorstep, its there if you will see it!

City Silhouettes
WOW – There are magnificent sights even in town!

Photography, and indeed, what we see as beauty, is of course a very personal thing – ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ as the well known saying goes, so what makes me say ‘WOW’ may not be the same thing that stirs others.  But the fact is, there is beauty and interest all around us just where we are so take the time to walk your local walks and search out that ‘WOW’ factor, whatever that means to you.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,

Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which ishttp://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

Rain, Rain, Rain…….and more Rain!!

13 Feb

It’s amazing how much rain seems to fall out of the UK skies at the moment!  Most of you will know from the news that there is massive flooding throughout the south coast, including the whole of Dorset.  The picture below is typical of Dorset footpaths at the moment – impassable!

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Impassable

A combination of this and also a hospital visit for a minor op has somewhat curtailed my activities over the last month or so……but not entirely :)!  There is always somewhere to walk and I have a few places that usually manage to stay dry enough and one of these is the Dorset sea front where the prom kind of stays dry.  It is often covered in thick sand from the storms and/or sea spray from the howling winds and high tides, but at least there is no MUD :)!!

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High tide breeches the sea wall!

In fact it is quite civilised and makes a change from the countryside as there are no hills to climb, food and drinks on tap all along the route, and dry seats to sit on in the various cafes etc that stay open in winter :)!  And you can walk for miles!  It’s not necessarily a walk that makes for an interesting blog entry but I thought I would put up a series of pictures taken on my various wanders over recent weeks………a sort of pictorial blog!

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I hope you enjoyed this brief visit to the sea front with me………and I am really hoping that normal service will be resumed in the very near future.  Now where did I leave my umbrella!

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,

Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which is http://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

Of empirically English seaside sights and sounds!

28 May

This was a walk with a difference for me :)!  As you will know, I normally prefer to walk in the countryside or cliff tops, somewhere wild and free and away from civilisation.  However, just occasionally for a change I like to walk along the sea front.

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There is no mud to struggle through, there are no hills, just flat easy walking along the promenade…….and there is a lot of promenade in the Bournemouth area!  Nearly 10 miles of it in fact, stretching all the way from Sandbanks to Hengistbury Head and in this walk I covered all of it both ways :)!  That’s not to say there are no hazards.  If you walk at the waters edge, there are groynes to climb over and waves to dodge, not to mention the occasional Frisbee!

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If you walk on the promenade itself, there are cyclists to avoid, skateboarders, skaters, the occasional vehicle, and of course numerous dogs of all shapes and sizes – what is strange is that whatever shape and size the dog is, there is always that dreaded extendable dog lead.  And invariably the owner is one side of the promenade and the dog is the other so that you either have to high jump over the lead or shimmy underneath, the owners seemingly oblivious to the problems they are creating!

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It is a wonderful walk though, full of those typically English sights and sounds, beach huts of all colours, two piers, acres of sand, the crying of the seagulls overhead, the beautifully restful sound of the surf washing across the shore, the sound of children playing, bright colours everywhere, and the gentle breeze caressing your face.

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Naturally it was a walk punctuated with regular stops for photographs because there is so much to capture, so much to notice.  With the amazing blue sky, how could I resist!

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There are not only seaside sights here, there is also a lot of architecture too, ranging from Regency to modern as parts of this coast has been modernised and improved.

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And all the way, the dancing waves followed me…….

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……and the beach huts numbers just continued non stop!  Its amazing how many there are…….and amazing how much some of them cost!

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One of the problems along this beach is that the tide constantly erodes the beach, transporting the sand in an easterly direction.  So at the time I did this walk, the JCB’s and trucks were reversing the trend by transporting the sand in a westerly direction back to where it had come from, lest the beach disappear completely.

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I think one of the wonders of God’s creation is the constancy of the tide and waves as they roll onto the beach all day and all night like some giant perpetual motion machine.  It is awesome just to stand there and watch as one wave follows another and another and another……

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I mentioned that there are numerous photo opportunities along the sea front, well quite often these involve people :)!  If you keep your eyes open and are aware of what is going on around you, it is quite surprising how often a good shot will pop up.  The picture below made me think of the three wise monkeys ;)!

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And of course, new opportunities present themselves as the sun goes down and the shadows lengthen.

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And I always think there is something fascinating about the underside of the pier – I guess it is because it is normally viewed from above or from one side.

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With the lengthening shadows, the evening sun brings some gorgeous golden light, hence the term ‘The Golden Hour’.  It is that time of day when the light takes on a special quality.

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On this occasion, the sunset didn’t quite match the day’s promise as it did what it often seems to do, it fizzled out with very little colour.  But it was still nice, and in any event, that time of night is always great as most people have gone home and you are left alone with the washing tide and your thoughts.

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It was a great end to a great day and it was with reluctance that I left the beach.  Nearly 20 miles of sea front, populated with many people and pets, busy and bustling even in winter, totally different to my usual walks but nevertheless, a really enjoyable day.  And I didn’t have to carry sandwiches or drinks………it was fish and chips for lunch, ice creams, and cups of tea whenever I wanted.  Very civilised :)!

Be blessed!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which is http://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.