On the coast the weather can change quickly, and after a long day of annoying drizzle, there’s a promise of a fine evening. With the rain out of the way, clouds pass quickly overhead, and the sky is blue once more. Although it’s been hidden all day, there’s heat left from the sun, bringing the cliffs to life. Bumblebees and hoverflies on are the wing, stonechats snap up invisible insects from the air, and the first rabbits appear on the grassy slope below, nibbling nervously before darting for cover under the gorse. A few common blue butterflies take to the air, but don’t fly far in the already cooling evening. Flowers, closed during the rain, open up, and a short distance below where I’m sitting, the limestone is decorated with a blaze of yellow rockrose. Bugles and thrift add blue and pink, and tiny pure white daisies are fully open once more. As if let out to play, jackdaws and choughs cavort by the water’s edge, their glossy feathers reflecting iridescent in the sunlight.
Everything is washed clean and I can see for miles over the flat-calm sea. I watch the comings and goings of gulls, and cormorants heading for their roost on the cliffs by Bacon Hole. As dusk approaches, a low mist rolls in and my vision over the water fades; the passing gulls are only heard, and the horn on the lighthouse pipes up to the east. From the top of the cliff I’m above the mist and I can still see Lundy Island a good 40 miles to the west, but the rest of the Devon coast has gone. Every day is different by the sea.