Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Temperatures were well below freezing on Saturday morning. Nevertheless, the frosty scene tempted me to take a stroll around the garden to take a closer look.

The euphorbia looked beautiful... just as if it had a dusting of icing sugar.

Fortunately the Trachycarpus is a hardy palm but even on a winter’s day its fan shaped leaves give the garden a tropical look.

The little Box hedge and lawn have a good frosting too.

Bird bath is frozen....

....and the sword like leaves of the phormium are speckled with ice crystals.

The day was crisp, the sky was clear and the sun shone. As I drove into town I looked across the valley. What a beautiful scene to behold on this January morning. I stopped the car to enjoy the sight for a few minutes. Fortunately I had my camera and so I was able to capture the moment.

There had been a fall of snow during the night which lingered, even on the lower slopes of the mountain.

Sheep quietly grazed on the frozen grass.... I thought of their cold tummies and how cold their feet must be. Then suddenly they spotted me standing by the fence.... probably hoping that I had something tasty for them to eat.....

The black faced one was the braver and headed the flock nearer and nearer to the fence.
They stood looking so expectantly and I was sorry I had no juicy clover leaves or grain to give them on this cold day.

We stood quietly and still, just looking at each other.... but I was getting cold, with a raw wind blowing down the valley..... I had to get into town with shopping to do.

After getting our grocery needs, I often go down to the sea front for a while. I knew that plans had recently been unveiled for the new sea defence project and that work had just commenced.... so I was keen to see what was happening.

Over the years, significant damage has been caused to the sea wall by severe storms that have battered the coast. The picture below shows just how badly the steps leading down to the beach have been eroded away.

This new sea defence project is designed to construct two groins made up of massive rocks ranging between 3 to 10 tonnes in size that go out to sea to form a breakwater, thus reducing the height of the tide and its force.

The rocks are being delivered to the beach by two means.... the smaller ones by road from a local quarry and the larger ones are carried over by ship from Saint Malo, France.

Work is being carried out in the evenings and during the night.

This work, costing an estimated £6.4 million, is long awaited and will reduce the risk of tidal flooding in the town.

A visitors information point has been set up overlooking the sea defence work. It is of great interest to local people and school children to witness this massive construction work taking place.

The ships bringing the rocks over from France are dependent on the tide to enable them to get as close to shore as possible.

This is just the beginning... it will be interesting to see it all evolve. Work is expected to be complete by March 2011.

As the waves gently lapped the shore on this sunny day, it is quite easy to forget its mighty force and the eroding damage it causes.


Beth said...

This is a beautiful post, Marion. I love the views across the valley and the sheep. You really do tell a story, and you do a wonderful job both with your words and your photographs. Thanks for transporting me to Wales for a brief visit!


Mountain Mama said...

I love how you told about your visit with the sheep. It made me feel as if I were right there feeling the cold wind blowing through my hair. And the pictures of the sea are wonderful too. I didn't know they used boulders like that. Very interesting, and from France!

Barbara said...

The frosty "sugar" pictures from your garden are lovely. I always feel pity when it is so cold outside and I see the sheep on the meadows....These huge stones are impressive but I wonder how long they will remain on the same place as we all know about the "power" of the sea and the "moving" sand.
Greetings from a thawing garden,

Betsy said...

The garden pictures, so pretty.
I was thinking that maybe the Trachycarpus palm would grow here for me. I do so much like palms, but never thought of any growing here in the area I am in, where it gets freezing temps and some pretty hot summers.
I could hear the ocean as you were telling about how the waves gently lapped the shore. Maybe one day I will be able to see this beautiful place.

Barbara said...

Some beautiful snow pictures here, especially of the mountains but my favourite at the moment I think is the BLUE sky. Have had very few of them here. Snowing again today but too wet to settle thankfully.

Betty said...

Dear Friend Marion,

For a few minutes I was right there with you riding down that winding road oohing and awwing at the beautiful surroundings...did we go near Bird Rock? I see that in the beautiful water color painting you gifted us with every time I go up the steps into the kitchen.

The black face sheep looks so familiar. Our flock of sheep were of that breed.

As I look at the shells, rocks, that you brought us, I can imagine being there and picking up shells on the beach.

Thank you for my visit...much love to you and John....Betty

kate smudges said...

Your comments & pictures of the sea defence work remind me of when the lake in our city was dug deeper for the Canadian summer games. The digging lasted through one winter and was a huge attraction. You live in a beautiful part of the world where winters are mild.

Sara said...

That sea wall work is fascinating. I'm intrigued by how those ships operate to dump the rocks ashore when the tide is right.

Your ice-frosted garden is very pretty...but I know you are looking forward to some warmer weather soon.