Several hefty cloud formations moved across Sussex earlier this week. These were patchy however and blue skies appeared in between the showers. The sun shining on these great formations of cloud created interesting skyscapes. The one moving out over the Channel from Hastings had been delivering wintery showers. These were taken along Pett Level.
These clouds looked very dramatic. They had delivered wintry showers to Hastings during the day, so perhaps the cold and the wind and the heat from the sun affected how they formed. I think though that with a little imagination, you could imagine these photos depict a meteor striking the sea.
Both images can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
I didn’t have time to get down to the harbour arm to witness Storm Imogen smashing against it. Instead I briefly stopped down by Azure and took some photos down there. The tide was going out, which was fortunate as it was clear that the sea had been throwing shingle and other debris up onto the promenade at high tide.
The seagulls were on the shingle, keeping low to avoid the worst of the wind. They were reluctant to fly, but some noisy walking encouraged them to take off. I could only manage to take one photo at a time before the spray from the sea started to collect on my lens. So I had to bother the gulls several times before I had a shot I was happy with.
I’ve always like the contrast between the rigid and unyielding lines of Sidney Little’s concrete promenade and the sea. The straight lines and uniformity are at odds with the waves and the spray. Storm Imogen brought the two elements much closer together than usual.
These photos can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
Here are a couple of photos showing reflections of the clouds over St Leonard beach one calm evening. These were taken on the same dayÂ as the lugworming photos but have a differentÂ feel about them.
Both of these photos can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
A walk on the beach is always nice but on certain days it can be magical. When this photo was taken the tide was at its lowest and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Usually there is theÂ constant noise of the waves breaking on the shingle. The noise of the waves and shingle is one of dominant sensory inputs when you are on the beaches of Hastings and St Leonards. It is only because the sound is constant that no one that lives by the sea particularly notices it.
It was quiet on this day though.Â It’s strange how the absence of noise can make a familiar place seem different. You could hear the distant sound of traffic on the road and the occasional cry of a seagull. These sounds seemed muted though. The quiet emphasised the beauty of the sceneÂ with the clear reflections in the wet sand and still rock pools. The feeling of space. That’s why living by the sea is great.
The photo can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.
Camber Sands is a unique part of the East Sussex coastline. Whereas the majority of the beaches that stretch from Brighton to Dover have cliffs or shingle coastlines, Camber has lovely flat sandy beaches. Most other places around here only see sand at very low tide. Camber is a small area though, just 3km long.
As one of the few sandy beaches in this part of the country it attracts up to 25,000 people a day during the peak summer season.The sands are created by the constant erosion of the pebbles through the work of the sea and tides. These are deposited at Camber. When the tide goes out, as far as 1km here, the sun dries out the sand and the wind blows the loose grains inland. These grains gradually build up around grass, vegetation and other obstacles forming the dunes that rise above the beach. This process has been happening for centuries and continues to do so. Camber Sands are slowly growing.
Of course this is a special area for wildlife and biodiversity so is a site of Special Scientific Interest. It also interests film makers and has been used for several films including the 2014 Monuments Men.
These three photos of St Leonards beach were all taken within ten minutes of each other. I could see that Marine Court was reflecting in the wet sand as I walked under the Pier.Â It’s sometimes hard to choose the shot I think works best. Of course, normally I shot several photos of the same scene from various angles and one of them normally stands out over the others. With these it is harder to choose I think. Each has its own merits so this blog post is a chance to show all three.
On this evening there was rainbow colours present in the triangular shaped cloud just to the left of Marine Court. This iridescent effect is caused by either ice crystals or water droplets refracting the sun rays. I tried to capture the colours but the camera sensor just picked up whiteness. OurÂ eyes are so much superior to camera technology in what they can detect. On the other hand,Â sometimes the memory is worse.
Each of these photos of St Leonards Beach can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
Hastings Pier, was dubbed the Peerless PierÂ by the Earl of Granville when it opened in 1872. He was right. Even without the superstructure it looks great. Repairs to it are ongoing with it expected to be open in 2016. By the time it is finished an estimated 72k meters of new timber will be laid plus 500 deck beams and 350 girders replaced. You can keep up to date with the progress being made on the official website.
Low tide is a great opportunity to photograph the pier at its best. The wet sand provides great reflections. If you are lucky an obliging seagull will help to add to the scene.
These photos of the peerless pier can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
When the tide goes out in Hastings, the receding water reveals flat sands. Opposite the castle and extending for several hundred meters along are sandstone rocks. These provideÂ great rock pools, where children and adults can enjoy searching for sea creatures. The seagullsÂ like them too, as they provide easy access to fresh seafood, rather than their usual diet of discarded human food waste. These rocks are what I’ve always known as the Castle Rocks.
In earlyÂ 1287, the south east coast of England was hit by a significant storm and flood. This, and two other similar events that followed within a yearÂ had a profound effect on the fortunes of many towns on the south east and east coast of England.Â Back then, in Hastings, the sea washed up against the cliffs. The large shingle beach we have today didn’t exist. As a result of the storm,Â part of the cliff thatÂ Castle standsÂ upon collapsed into the sea, taking with it the keep and outer wall of the castle. The debris partially blocked the old harbour, which in the following decades began to silt up.
The rocks you see in these pictures are probably the remnants of that collapse. I say probably because I can’t find any info to tell me otherwise so I’m relying on what I was told as a child. Makes sense though. These photos of Hastings Castle Rocks can be viewed full size on Flickr by clicking on them.
Long term readers of this blog may find this image of a seaside bench in St Leonards-on-SeaÂ familiar. That’s because I have taken a photo of the same benchÂ before. You can see it here. I took this view mainly to act as the foreground to the sun rays shining down behind. I’d taken a couple of photos of just the sea and the clouds, but the images lacked a focal point and didn’t work.
Perhaps this is the beginning of a series of bench images. Next time I might try to get someone sitting on itÂ as well.
The image can be viewed larger size on my Flickr page by clicking on it.
This seascape was photographed on the beach below the Mary Stanford Lifeboat house, on the same cold morning that I took photos for that very post. That was over two years ago.
It had sat unseen on my hard drive since it was transferred over from the camera memory card. My hard drive is getting full now, so I’m going through all the photographs on there and deleting the ones I’ve never used. There are lots and lots of them. This is one of thoseÂ saved I from the recycle bin.
You can view this seascape full size on my Flickr page by clicking on the image.