Sunday, 4 October 2009

Stormy weekend

Again I went a few days to Terschelling, this time to do ‘seascape’ photography. The weather gods were very cooperative. On Friday October 2-nd dark clouds full of heavy rain showers filled the sky (in autumn they develop easily above the relatively warm water of the North Sea); the waves left nice foam traces on the sand. The next day things get really rough. The first autumn storm, SW 8, caused a real blizzard with sand-rays. I looked for a foreground object on the beach to create a surrealistic scene. A beer container washed ashore perfectly matched my requirements (beachcombers probably drunk the content, sorry for that :-). But the climax was Sunday morning. The wind even deepened a little further and turned clockwise, resulting in NW 8-9. When I arrived with my bike in early morning at the coast, I could not believe my eyes. The whole beach was gone; it was completely overtaken by a turbulent sea, with tidal waves sometimes surpassing the size of houses. Large groups of stilts, notably Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica/Rosse Grutto), Knot (Calidris canutus/Kanoet), Dunlin (Calidris alpina/Bonte Strandloper), and Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola/Zilverplevier) rushed against the strong wind in front of the high tidal waves, searching for a safe place to stay. The “Boschplaat”, a high-tide (HVP in Dutch) nature reserve, actually the last 10 km of land of eastern Terschelling, was flooded. Also a few migrating Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua/Grote Jagers) passed by at close range. Impressive!
With the above pictures I want to convey my emotional experience; you have to imagine yourself the salt taste in your month, the roaring of the wind in your ears, and the lashing sand rays on your skin.

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