In A Winter’s Light ~ Ynys Mon


Winter light over the sea can make for some mysterious monochrome images. The first photo was taken early one morning, above the small town Beaumaris on the island of Anglesey (Ynys Mon). In the foreground is Menai Strait; beyond it the mountains of Snowdonia in mainland Wales.

For several years Anglesey has been a favourite place for family Christmases. There have been times of hair-raising gales, but also days of brilliant sun and unexpected warmth. This searchlight-sun effect over the Strait is a particular local phenomenon, and you quickly understand why the Celtic Druids, and later the early Welsh Christian saints were so drawn to the place. Landscape as transcendental meditation.

You can hardly see the Strait in the next photo (below the tree silhouettes), and it was anyway just going dark. But even so there’s a luminous glow on the field slopes of the far shore – a reflection off the water? And then there are the snow slopes making their own light. I like seeing how much of an image can be gained from the least amount of light. At the time I was using my little Kodak EasyShare ‘point and shoot’ camera. It was interesting what it could come up with.



The morning we visited Plas Newydd it was broodingly gloomy – as if the sky gods had forgotten to switch the lights on.




But some sunnier days on the beach at Newborough:




2020 Photo Challenge #46 This week’s assignment from Jude: make sure you have contrasts in your image(s). Clear whites and strong blacks will add impact and create attention.

47 thoughts on “In A Winter’s Light ~ Ynys Mon

  1. Wonderful shots Tish. Winter scenes seem to suit black and white so much better than colour, maybe because there is so little colour. It’s all about the light. And you have made the best of what little light there was. Hope you get back to Wales soon.

  2. Very nice shot Tish. I’d never heard of Anglesey. Thought it might be a Channel island, though I should know them, but no. Welsh… So many things to see in the UK. (Will I get a visa on my Frog passport after Brexit?) 🧐

    1. North Wales is not to be missed by the intrepid explorer to the UK. And one with a French passport might discern some common origins for some Welsh and French words (from Latin or Norman French origins), though the spelling and pronunciation might confuse. E.g. Eglwys/eglise

      As for Brexit: it’s hard to know what the devil is going on. And apart from that, we are now a police state ruled by decree.

      1. Eglwys? Fascinating. Works with Breton too. We had a boat in West Africa my parents called Avel mor. Wind of the sea. Then I had a Welsh fencing master whom I asked if the words were the same. Mor is sea indeed, but ‘avel’ means ‘apple”.
        My most heartfelt feelings about the decree rule… Seems to be the new norm of our soon-to-be extinct democracies, alas!

      2. Wind of the sea – what a marvellous name. It seems there were a lot of Celtic connections between Brittany and the UK’s Celtic peripheries, Cornwall and Wales.

      3. There is. It is actually called Brittany (old name Armorique) because it was invaded the “real “Betons” from Wales, Cornwall et al. around the 6th century. I think hte Saxons and Vikings were pushing from the Northeast.

      4. I like knowing about these connections across time and space. I was once in Carnac for the Festival des menhirs and was struck how many of the participants in the parade of trucks sporting life size papier mache monoliths and Breton costumed lasses had, what to me were, good Welsh surnames, especially Thomas.

      5. Is that right? Thomas is not unusual in France. Though if it’s a surname it means his/her ancestor was abandoned on church stairs on Saint-Thomas day. Abandoned kids were given as a surname the name of the saint of the day. If your last name is François, it means your “traceable” ancestor was found on Saint-Francis…

      6. It was. Until mid 20th century. My mother told me the story behind those names. But then, better to be left on the stairs of a church, the priests and nuns took care of you. Of course when I meet someone in France with a surname like that I keep mum…
        Kwaheri sassa memsahib.

      7. It was certainly very intriguing, the evening events beginning with a church service followed by a candle lit parade out to the Carnac stones. There was then a display of fireworks over the avenue which then, incidentally or not, set the overgrown grassy avenues around the stones on fire, thus requiring swift action by the attendant fire service, whose actions received a much more enthusiastic response than did the fireworks. I was in the midst of my prehistory degree course at the time so found the day’s multiple cultural responses to stones very fascinating.

      8. Hmmm. You learnt prehistory? Always fascinated me. Lots of books on the subject on my shelves. I wanted to study anthropology. (Went to business school ingtead) 😉

      9. I did an anthropology masters degree after the prehistory course – all very academic of course. I learned far more much later simply living in Kenya and talking to folks. You will, for more reasons than me, thus have lots of true wisdom tucked away in the memory cells.

      10. I envy you.
        The only anthropology course I ever took was on Maya culture in Yucatan. A summer course from the U. I was in in the US.
        A remarkable experience. I tried to get the credits applied to my MBA. My advisor laughed… 🤭
        Wisdom? One tries. And fails… 😉 But why more than you? Your vision of Africa must have been helped greatly by your training? (Amongst other things?) Wewe na Memsahib mkubwa!👏🏻

      1. Well that’s the thing about sound Cheshire folks born in a well salted county where people say what they mean, we know when we’re being fed a load of horse feathers.

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