The West Wind, and Other Things.

A collection of mid-winter monochromes to close out the year.

“O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing…”

– Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ode to the West Wind)


It seemed appropriate; Cornwall and its landscape is in part defined by the westerly gales of winter, and while the trees are bare and the land awash with mud, being Cornwall, the first blooms of spring really are just around the corner; for all its bleakness the final verse of Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind offers hope with “The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Characteristic of west-facing coasts, and at their leafless best at this time of year are the stunted hawthorns, sculpted by the raging westerlies of autumn and winter.

Inspiration is often lacking during the depths of winter when the countryside is painted with gloom and the sky a featureless wash of mizzle. In an attempt to find some fresh motivation to simply be out and about in the gales it seemed a good idea to concentrate only on black and white while mooching around over the holiday period, and with the year rapidly running out there’s just time to squeeze out one final post for 2021 together with a “happy new year” greeting. I genuinely hope it’s a good one for you; and with a bit of luck some opportunity for fresh adventures will present themselves.

“The Selfie”… I’m pretty certain whatever is going on here has nothing to do with dance, or opera, and everything to do with social media…
Christmas Day walks. This is Hemmick beach.
My primary school teacher would bring the class here on nature walks through the valley; there was once a pair of WW2 bomb craters on the hillside a little farther back up the valley – the aircraft got lost and dumped its payload here, presumably intending to bomb Plymouth. As a child they were well defined but over the years of weathering and soil-creep they have slowly filled in and these days are identifiable only by a couple of large clumps of bushes growing out of the faint depressions. I can’t help but look for them every time I pass by.
Christmas Day walks. Bunch of reprobates, otherwise known as “my family”. I’m lucky, they’re great fun to spend time with.
Christmas morning Mevagissey Lighthouse Quay. The heavens opened.
Off for a hike..
Another of those hawthorns – looking west towards the Lizard Peninsula in the fading light.
New growth.
I’m eternally fascinated by these wave-sculpted hollows in the sand. The water is often deep and crystal clear, and to gaze into them is a form of meditation.. I find..
Mounts Bay. Needing to visit Marazion I took an extra hour for a wander along the beach. It’s always interesting between Christmas and New Year as bored visitors dressed more for the high street than a mizzly winter beach shuffle around amongst the piles of weed, accompanied by clouds of the intensely aromatic vapours rising from lashings of aftershave and perfume.
Out for a wall-top stroll.

8 thoughts on “The West Wind, and Other Things.

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