Yesterday I was restless and yearning for light, so I headed off to the coast. The sea usually soothes me, but instead of being drawn to the waves, it was the rocks who were calling. They were full of interesting shapes and tales, of unfinished deeds. Most were still waiting for her to come back and finish the job.
The whole process of rock to sand was spread out in front of me. The wind, the frost and the sea between them were splitting and grinding the earths stone body. From immovable rock to dusty sand in the blink of a century or two. Within this cycle of change what a dazzling array of colours and shapes were thrown out onto the beach in a flagrant attempt to show off. And it worked, I was captivated, and the oceans song fell on deaf ears.
These liquid rocks claimed they had recently spilled onto the shore, but their green blanket of growth, whispered of millennia.
These sandstone cubes spoke of being crumbled in huge and powerful fingers, part of a new and exciting recipe she had been trying. But she had got distracted and forgotten about them, and they felt abandoned.
Parts of the exposed rock beds had been waiting so long, that the sea had soothed them to sleep with lullabies, and mother nature had tucked them in under a soft green rug.
A set of stone tram-lines rolled into the ocean, part of a big plan which had long been abandoned, plagued by disputes and engineering errors.
Some rocks had forgotten the plan, and had happily adapted, producing stunning and dramatic perches for seabirds. Licked by the tides cycles and with breathtaking views across the Firth, it’s no wonder they were content with their place on the earth. I sat for a while and looked across the restless waves, feeling the firm and satisfied rocks beneath me, and letting a contented stillness fill me.
But the dogs were not so relaxed, and they called impatiently from the weathered rugged cliff above. The exposed swirls and layers smoothly wove a tale of the unseen motion of earth hidden beneath our feet. This rock face was in no hurry and gave up only tiny fragments of sand to the insistent wind. She hoped her looks would survive the passage of time.
I took one last look back, hearing the voice of a holey rock. Hundreds of smooth passages led into her mysterious depths, and a chalice of seawater lay at her feet. I promised I’d come back soon to hear her story.
All along the top of the cliff path the gorse had come into bloom, filling the air with a hint of coconuts, and boldly proclaiming that Spring was here. The rocks were hidden by mother natures soil and plant blanket, but if you listen carefully you can hear the rocks whispering far below. They have stories of patience and endurance to tell those with the ears to hear.
Great blog and love your dogs ~ they are so fabulous looking!
Thanks 🙂 sometimes when they’ve really enjoyed themselves, and have got really down and dirty, they look such a mess that I’m almost tempted to pretend I don’t recognise them!
You are an amazing ambassador of Scotland. I am really enjoying your blog. 🙂
Thank you, so glad you like the blog 🙂
With the vivid greeen of that – kelp? – against the sandstone, it seems like an alien planet compared with our beach.
Not kelp…wrong colour ….sea lettuce and sea grass. Where are your beaches, and what colours do they display? This landscape always transports me, and alien I love 🙂
The pond at the bottom of my garden has this beach attached to it – also featured in the post following:
What a lovely beach you have 🙂 Nice garden extension. I see now why you think this beach is alien, but in fact the rocks in these photos give way to long sweeps of golden sand just round the corner from where I took these shots!
Not fair – then you have it both ways! Part of the alien look, though, is the light which seems quite different. I noticed that, intensified, at the top of Skye when we visited once.
You’re right about the light…it’s special along the East Lothian coast…and special in a different way on Skye and the west coast. It changes and shifts constantly, with time of day and year. I’m loving the feeling now of lengthening days…even if the snow is still falling 🙂
I enjoy your writing – and so lucky to live within easy reach of the sea.
Great photos. OMG – love those dogs!!!
Thank you, and the dogs just make life better on every level 🙂
I love detail and texture so I really liked your photos. They are really engaging, they pull you in to them.
Beautiful pictures of a beautiful corner of earth that you make me want to visit every time I look at your shots. Thank you
Thanks, and I’m sure you would have a great visit here. Be sure to look me up if do come 🙂
Thanks. How kind
Hi, beautiful photos and again nice tales to go with them. You inspired me to further upload a number of cliff photos, this time from Cornwall, if you’re interested. Old slides digitalized, but perhaps you’ll like them: http://speterphotoblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/an-old-walk-along-the-south-coast-of-cornwal-and-lands-end/
Thanks so much…always happy to provide inspiration 🙂
I love the sea cliff photos you have posted on this link….what amazing craggy rock formations…Britain really is beautiful 🙂
Yes, sure it is beautiful. Thanks for your comment about my photos. I’m going to add some more about places in the North as well. Besides, I’ve been adding to another of my sites, the one about Chinese calligraphy, paintings, buildings to include my nature photos taken around China. Those are the really beautiful ones, though I have missed quite a few places. Oh well, such a huge country. But if you have time and zest, be my guest there too from the link on this photo site. Cheers and further joy in your wanderings!
making me covet again…:P wish i could have tagged along.
You would be very welcome to tag along anytime 🙂
don’t be surprised if i take you up on that! 🙂
Nice light … soft … lends itself well to the scene and subject matter. Another excellent series. D
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them. The light on the Coast of East Lothian is very beautiful. The land sort of sticks out into the North Sea, and is somehow brighter because of this
Good things can always cause most people resonate!
Such lovely descriptions of this beach scene. And beautiful shots! (Your dogs looks adorable too…)
Thank you Lady Fi, so glad you enjoyed the photos. I’m so glad I visited when I did as by the next day winter was back with her cold grey light and biting snow filled wind 🙂
The Seaweed Rug is such a beautiful shot! The first one looks like a baked bread (not the green part) 🙂
It is amazing to see this rug of vivid green stretched out over the rocks. And I did think of baked bread when I first saw that golden rock, but then the buttock image took root!
Oh, the colours! And I love your descriptions. It’s nice to see those beautiful yellow gorse flowers in their natural habitat – here on our bush block in Australia we have funding for people to come and spray it as a weed 🙂
Hi Julie, that’s so funny to hear it is such a weed in Australia. My Granny used to say a weed was just a flower growing in the wrong place 🙂 it must like dry soil I guess as we tend to find it along the coast?
Well, I think that dry areas in Scotland must equate to wet areas in South Australia 🙂 Here it hugs the winter creek lines. Love your Granny’s comment. We are also one of the few places where lavender grows as a weed – but what a beautiful weed to have!!
Interesting and what great colours you already have! The light is fantastic too.
The light on this coastline is very special, and its constantly shifting and changing, so this is where I head when I’m yearning for light 🙂 isn’t it amazing where we can find colour…but today the snow swirled in again cloaking us in white once more!
You do live in a very liminal place. I agree with the comment that it looks like a fairyland. Your photos transported me and affected me on some non verbal level. Thank you.
You are very welcome Suzanne. Don’t you just love when we’re swept away into the non-verbal symbolic realms 🙂
Absolutely. How lovely that you have such a place close to your home.
Wonderful post, thank you! You are really telling a story here. Or many stories, actually. I’d better go back and read it once again…
So glad that you enjoyed the stories from the rocks. They calmed and inspired me all at once …..clever rocks 🙂
What an amazing, primeval landscape as well as a magical transitional place between ocean and land. Where in Scotland is this place?
This liminal transitional space between the sea and the earth is just 20 minutes from my house. It’s Gullane beach in East Lothian…..and this whole coastline is dotted with beautiful and unusual beaches. The light is special along this southern coast of the Firth of Forth, and its gets more sunshine than we do just a few miles away inland 🙂
I am sorry, I know this is a post about magic rocks (they certainly look magic through your pictures and your words), but I cannot help continuing to feel that you live in some sort of fairytale land. One day I am going to visit this magic land. For now I will continue to experience through your eyes. 🙂
Well it is the birth place of the Harry Potter books, and magic tales creep and curl through the cracks and spaces in the land….so glad you enjoy visiting 🙂
Love the buttocks! Stunning coastal landscape, beautifully expressed response as usual and some images that would have fitted neatly into your green theme.
Yeah, but I hadn’t taken the pictures when I did the green post 🙂 To be honest I have so many green themed shots….It’s my favourite colour as well as my last name! …..and Scotland is very green…might be the rain which helps 🙂
Such beautiful soft colors – I just love reading about a place so totally different from my home, and you write beautifully. Thanks.
Thanks, the colours change so much depending on the time of day and year…it’s one of the things I love so much about Scotland. So glad you enjoyed your visit 🙂
Lovely images and a beautiful imagination…
Waiting upon the verdant slippery carpet for a rumbling carriage to grind up and stop.
Oh I love that…who will step out? And will she slip!
-chuckle- …You imagine greeting an arrival, I imagine stepping aboard.
Departees are there to make sure the arrivals disembark safely and perhaps find a seat still warm with a lingering scent of passing mystery…
Oh we could write a whole story from this…you travelling into the mysterious ocean…me catching slippery new arrivals 🙂
I’m intrigued by the similar legends of Selkies and the Inuit legend of Sedna. Entities living or having origins on land and sea, but with different perspectives.
Oh I know the Selkie tales well from childhood…but not Sedna….to me the ocean and its mythical creatures are symbolic of our unconscious and the underworld…or the Celtic otherworld 🙂 Will go and look up Sedna 🙂
My connection with the Sedna tale goes back to my twenties when I first began carving fossil walrus teeth and reading a contemporary rendering (novel) of the legend. It spooked me then, and still does today, especially now that I am living on the ocean… the Sea is a powerful entity and requires a lot of respect. I’ve learned to be very humble and make my offerings regularly… and let the selkies be… 🙂