Saturday, 30 September 2017

Out of season magic

For days now it’s been sunny and warm just to the north of us, but here on the coast, we’ve been trapped in coastal fog and mist. At last the murk has lost its battle with the sun, and I’m able to sit above Bacon Hole in humid sunshine. Save for a gentle draught up the cliff face, there’s not a breath of wind. The sea is almost flat calm, but even so, there’s a gentle crashing of surf on the rocks below, almost drowning out the song of a robin, and the scalding of wren deep in the gorse.

A distant splash of yellow in an otherwise green carpet of gorse covers the slope on the east side of Hunts Bay, and around my feet late rock roses, devil’s bit scabious, and a few thistles give more colour. A worn out speckled wood butterfly flies by and seems to stumble into the gorses and a few small heaths, and several whites are on the slope below. There are grasshoppers too, lots of them; the long hot summer seems to have suited them, and I haven’t seen so many for years. It’s mid afternoon, mist still hanging above the sea as Oxwich Bay come and goes in the haze. There’s no line between sea and sky, and a fishing boat at times seems suspended above the water in the fog.

At Hunts Bay, I retire to my favourite hidden ledge where Dylan Thomas and Vernon Watkins composed poems. With the tide on the rise I watch a scattering of gulls on the rocks, and a couple of herons searching the myriad of small pools gradually being gradually filled as the sea creeps in. Pwll Du Head is magnificent. Looking like a natural castle fashioned from the limestone, both rugged, yet gentle, it slowly begins to glow in the mellow light.

I watch for an hour, and as usual there’s not a soul about. I have it all to myself, but this is the magic of Gower out of season. Slowly the sun looses once more, and the mist creeps in over the cliff.

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