Thursday, 10 August 2017

Seven Slades

It takes time and effort to get to Seven Slades, there’s a beach here, but only when the tide’s out. I’ve had to walk down the lane from Pyle Corner, and then west along the cliff path towards Pwll Du Bay, in places scrambling over feet-worn slippery rocks. Even at the height of summer the beach is rarely used, and most visitors to Gower would probably find it by accident walking along the coastal footpath, but even then, the way down to the beach is not easy to find.

I’m on untouched golden sand, with not a soul about, and it’s hard to imagine a more idyllic spot. Offshore on the hazy blue sea, yachts head west. Some are sailing the short distance from the marina to anchor in Pwll Du Bay for the day, others further out, and with spinnakers aloft, are more serious, heading to west Gower, and perhaps beyond.

I’m always intrigued by the way the same birds turn up in the same places. Pied wagtails invariably use this little beach, and today a family party races after flies, as do rock pipits, which will have nested in the splash zone above the beach.

Back on the footpath there are good numbers of butterflies. The small blue is not a common butterfly, but there’s usually a colony here, and in the warm late morning, a couple flit among the stones by the path, landing on birds foot trefoil. There are also brown argus, common blues and a single bedraggled dingy skipper. Meadow browns are numerous, but a stunningly beautiful red admiral takes my breath away. 

Engulfed by nature, I sit in a favourite hollow on the soft summer turf above the breakers, lean back against the rocks and look out to sea. I should have noted the wonderful plants along the way, but I’ve simply come to enjoy the place, and rejoice once more that I live in such a wonderful part of the world.

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