Catching the Light ~ Menai Strait In Winter

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This week Amy at Lens-Artists has set us a fine task – the pursuit of natural light. It’s one of the aspects of photography that fascinates me most; especially when it’s in short supply. Anyway, I instantly thought of the strange light effects that happen across the Menai Strait between the North Wales coast and the island of Anglesey, caught here during various December sojourns on the island. All the views are looking towards the Welsh mainland and Snowdonia.

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Lens-Artists: Natural Light

Strait Views On A Winter’s Day

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Look to the horizon, out beyond the oyster catchers and the black-backed gull, and you will see a line of ghostly windmills caught mid-arabesque against the sky. This is the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the North Wales mainland, caught on a December morning last year. We often spend Christmas on the island, though not this year for obvious reasons. And we have often had December days like this – perfect sunshine stillness and warm enough to abandon the winter coat. No wonder the windmills look frozen in space. Not a breath of air to stir them. Only the calls of gulls and waders.

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Our Eyes Open Lisa’s bird weekly challenge is birds near/on water or snow

Low-Light Kiteboarding ~ A Different Kind Of ‘Photo Challenge’

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The last Sunday of 2019 and a piercing wind is blowing on Anglesey’s Newborough Beach – the sort that knifes through all clothing defences and finds every millimetre of exposed flesh. Brrrr. By lunchtime it is growing dark too, or perhaps day never quite dawned properly. It’s anyway a big change after the entrancing blue of Christmas Day. But we are not put off: Newborough Beach is a favourite winter walk so we trundle through the high dunes to the shore, as ever joining a mass of promenading families and dogs, and face the elements. The wind takes our breath away.

But down above the tide-line there is much activity – lines laid out and out across the sand as paragliding wings are prepared by dive-suited individuals. Much clicking on of harnesses, clapping on of helmets and multi-coloured kite-fluttering. And then they are off, skimming the bay at astonishing speeds, now and then shooting high above the surf – aerial ski-jumping. It is exhilarating to behold – or it is when one can focus through eyes filled with wind-tears. But then that’s one of the things we love about this beach – you just  never know what you will see there.

On the other hand I’m rather wondering at the reactions of legendary St. Dwynwen, she whose religious retreat this place was in early Saxon times. Or maybe her spirit is out there embracing it, flying with the wings – engaging in extreme sports, closer to the heavens.

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January Light #6

Bathed In Sunlight On Menai Strait

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Christmas Day on Anglesey. For once I didn’t mind when he who builds sheds and binds broken books walked straight into my prospective shot. (It’s a common occurrence). Two moments earlier I was wondering if a shot of the backlit rocks would work. Then out stepped Graham. So I caught him instead. He doesn’t know!

January Squares #4

Six Word Saturday

To The Lighthouse: Penmon Point

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On Christmas Day we went to Penmon Point in Anglesey, North Wales – fair weather and good winter light on the lighthouse.

 

Happy New Year Everyone

 

January Light  #1 This month Becky says ‘let there be light’, however we choose to conjure it so long as it’s squared. Please pay her a visit. Better still, join in. We cannot have too much light in 2020: lots of issues requiring full-beam illumination.

Twr Mawr Lighthouse On Llanddwyn Island

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Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey is only an island at high tide. Mostly it is a narrow spit reaching out across Llanddwyn Bay to the mountains of the Welsh mainland. It is named after the early 5th century Christian mystic, Dwynwen who, unhappy in love, is said to have retreated to the island, living out her days there alone. Later she became known as the Welsh patron saint of lovers, and in medieval times pilgrims would flock to the island in hopes of divining the faithfulness of their own loves at Dwynwen’s well. In fact so much revenue was raised from the pilgrims’ quest for true love that in the 16th century a substantial chapel was built on what was believed to be Dwynwen’s own place of sanctuary. You see the chapel ruins if you go there today.

The lighthouse was built in 1845 to guide shipping entering the Menai Strait from the south. Now it serves mostly as a very striking landmark, viewed here on a blustery Christmas morning a few years ago.

Lens-Artists ~ Seascapes