I’m posting this photo, taken one December morning on the North Wales island of Anglesey (Ynys Mon) to remind myself that winter in the British Isles can sometimes be blissful. In fact we have experienced perfect winter weather days on this island on several occasions – cold certainly, but utterly still and dazzlingly bright with hardly a cloud in the sky, only the calls of seabirds and waders echoing over the water.
Ynys Mon is of course an island brimming with spirits. It was the last stand of the Celtic Druids against the Romans (see Island of Old Ghosts); there are the cells and wells of early Christian hermits, and many a prehistoric chambered tomb dating from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. There are also all manner of mythical connotations too. In the centre of this shot you can see the Great Orme across the Menai Strait at Llandudno. It was named by the Vikings, the word orme deriving from the old Norse for a sea serpent. In this view you can well see why they came up with it.
All in all, then, I thought this view added up to a suitable contribution for Ali’s new meme: Soulful Sunday. Please visit her blog The Mindful Gardener – a must-go-to spot for anyone who loves gardens or gardening or marmalade flapjacks. There are also some glorious pictures of the Kent countryside in yesterday’s snow
The Mindful Gardener: Soulful Sunday
Solstice – the longest night – a time for drawing in; earth quietness; immanence; a conjuring of new possibility.
This photo was taken a few Decembers ago – the view from the island of Anglesey looking across the Menai Strait to Snowdonia on mainland Wales, terrain of antique tales of shape-shifting princes and magicians, their black deeds and bloody conflicts.
Thursday’s Special ~ darkness and light
It’s hard to believe that I took this photo nearly a year ago – a late December day on the shore of Menai Strait on Anglesey. There’s a view of the Great Orme across the water. Everywhere so still. Not a cloud in the sky. And sunshine warm enough to sit in.
I don’t know who the man on the bench is. He was reading a book quite surrounded by this view. There’s something of an optical illusion about it – the dark cap above the seat back (echoing the nearby black rocks in the water), his foot below the seat, yet the corporeal lack of him in between head and toe, where the sunlight seems to pass unimpeded through the bench slats. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice…
copyright 2017 Tish Farrell
Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Weather
You can’t beat the Welsh island of Anglesey for good cloud effects – and especially over the Menai Strait and mainland mountains. These are all winter views.
Please visit Paula for more of her August’s pick-a-word prompts.
Thursday’s Special: Pick A Word
I’ve chosen a very literal interpretation of Paula’s theme at Black & White Sunday. First of all I thought you could not get any ‘lower-lying’ than at sea level, at least not without immersion in said sea. And then I thought of Marram grass being laid low in the gale, and how I was attracted by its bowing texture.
And then I thought of the sand beneath our feet:
These photos were taken last Christmas on a beach walk to Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey, North Wales. You can see more about the island HERE.
Black & White Sunday: low-lying
This buoy at Penmon Point, on the Menai Strait in Anglesey tells shipping to be vigilant – the channel between the main island and Puffin Island is too shallow for passage. The lighthouse says so too in a big notice on its topmost white stripe (out of shot):
This month Paula’s pick a word at Lost in Translation includes: branching, vigilant, pomp, hooked and continual. So I’m laying claim to them all – distantly branching wind turbines off the Great Orme, the need to be vigilant in these waters, the hooked profile of the bay, and the continual ebb and flow of the tide. And as for pomp, well I think the lighthouse has plenty of it.
But for a truly outstanding interpretation of these prompts, please visit Paula, and enjoy her Venetian gallery.
It’s back to Llanddwyn Island on Anglesey for my response to this week’s prompt from Paula. Darkness and light – the stuff of fiction writing, but also the source of many diversions from the work-in-progress to play with my camera’s monochrome setting. The hazy uplands in the background are the mountains of mainland Wales. The island in question is in reality a long thin promontory heading out to sea from Newborough Beach, and has, since Dark Ages times, been associated with St Dwynwen, Welsh patron saint of lovers. You can read more HERE and HERE.
And now for a more abstract rendition of darkness and light: an early morning view across Menai Strait, taken from the fields above Beaumaris. Here on Anglesey, the sun in winter regularly puts on these mystical lightshows – shining searchlights through banks of low cloud on to the water. This particular shot was taken with quite a lot of zoom and then cropped.
Another Christmas shot from Ynys Mon, North Wales: Penmon Point Beach with Trwyn Du Lighthouse, and sea bird haven, Puffin Island, beyond.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude
Here’s another view of, and from Llanddwyn Island, taken on our recent trip to Anglesey. It was snapped on high zoom in high wind and thus has pixilation tendencies, much like the snapper, some might say. So I edited it to exaggerate the silhouette effect. I anyway like the stance of this unknown man on the cliff top. He is so well rooted against the gale; so absorbed by the seascape.
I’ve written more about the island’s story at To the Isle of Dwynwen, Welsh Saint of Lovers.
Now please visit Paula at Lost in Translation. Her rendition of this week’s ‘on top’ theme is stunning.
What a blessed scene. We could scarcely believe our eyes – a sea so still, so blue, and sky to match; the Great Orme slumbering on the horizon, and all this happening just last week on the Menai Strait, North Wales.
I love winter beaches whatever the weather, but this vista seemed to awaken a whole new plane of perception. I could see why the Celtic Druids made Ynys Mon their stronghold. You never do know what the light will do next. It is transporting.
The little boy and his dad seem caught up in the magic too. So it’s a good thing that the Great Orme is slumbering; for this Viking name for the limestone headland means sea serpent, and we don’t need him abroad disturbing the tranquillity.
It’s an odd thing, though, about that particular promontory. The weather along the Strait may be foul, but more often than not, there’s a beam of sunlight slanting down on the Great Orme. Perhaps it is all part of an enchantment that keeps the mighty serpent dormant. Sleep on, Great Worm. Dream and dream between sky and sea.
Thursday’s Special This week Paula has given us five words to fire up our New Year imaginations. I’m using two of them here – the sea permeated with sky colours, and the limpid waters of Menai Strait. Follow the link to find out more and to see Paula’s fine photos.