Storm Ciara

It is often very windy on the Cumbrian coast.  The day before Storm Ciara arrived the wind was already blowing strongly. With the onshore wind a storm surge of 2 metres (over 6 feet) was predicted. The sea defences above the lower promenade are about 4 feet high. There are gaps where the paths and the lifeboat ramp cross from higher up the foreshore. The debris left after the storm shows the highest point reached by the tide. The size of some of the pebbles thrown up by the sea is frightening – a less obvious reason to stand well back than the chance of being swept away.

In recent months the beck has carved out a path along the bottom of the cliffs. Storm Ciara filled it in, leaving the beck to find a new route to the sea, percolating through the shingle.

The winds have continued for days. By the time this post is published we will be being battered by Storm Dennis, following a few days behind Storm Ciara.

My sympathies are with those living inland, who have been affected by flooding and/or disruption  to water supplies or electricity outages. Surprisingly our power went off and was restored in the early hours of Saturday before the worst of the weather. We should not take the work of the engineers for granted. They work outside in some appalling weather conditions.

Waves

Having stayed indoors for a whole week suffering from a respiratory virus I was glad to get out in the sunshine. With my scarf wrapped round my face to protect my sinuses and my hood up to protect my ears against the biting wind, I was happy with the results of my photography.

The tide had been particularly high with the onshore wind. I managed to judge the combined effect of the shutter delay and the waves to obtain some contrasting snaps –  or perhaps I was just lucky!

If waves fascinate you I posted some photos of waves in May 2018.

An adventure around a reservoir

On a bright but rather windy day we decided to have a walk in an area we had visited once – more than ten years – before. We set off along a well-made track giving access to Forestry Commission land. Signs warned of work in progress and an area which was off limits. There were not many people about: one or two joggers, a couple with a dog and a worker in waders.

To cut a long story short we managed to walk all the way round the reservoir, but at times the path was almost impassable. The land is boggy (with Moss in the place name, that is to be expected) with standing water in places. Where the path had not been constructed with hard-standing, logs had been laid like rafts and in some places cross-sections of older trees places as stepping stones. Some were wobbly! We were perhaps acting our UK shoe-sizes rather than our ages, but we managed to navigate our way without mishap. The trouble was that the farther we went the less likely we were to turn back…

… At one point hubby announced that the path in front was impassable. We tried an alternative route, which eventually took us in the wrong direction. So we turned back. Hubby climbed a hill to see if he could see a better route. I consulted the map (which was probably too small a scale and too old to have all the paths on) and flagged down a passing jogger. Acting on information he provided we retraced our steps and continued round the reservoir.

In the car park the dog-walkers we had seen earlier advised us of the route they had taken, ‘because the path hasn’t been made yet’.

There was plenty of heather growing in the area, but we didn’t see a single wild flower in bloom.

Selected photos

Photos: top row From the dam towards the end of the walk, a single swan, approaching the reservoir on the track

Middle row: trees in the winter sunshine, the outflow from the reservoir, a view from the well-made track

Bottom row: From the far end of the reservoir, another view from the track, looking across the reservoir