14 September 2016

Ainsdale

We were supposed to be on our way to Southport but at Ainsdale-on-Sea we followed a signpost that led us down on to the beach. 

Here, on the Lancashire coast, the sea goes out for miles and the beach is endless. The sand is not soft and  golden - a place for bare feet to sink into. No, here the beach is so hard-packed that vehicles can drive upon it. Some visitors see it as a natural race track and it would be a great place to learn to drive because there are no walls or trees, kerbs or road signs to run into. Mind you, it would be wise to watch out for the incoming tide.

Above you can see a red Land Rover pulling a fellow along. He is sitting in an old canoe. They seemed to be having a splendid time. It is not a sport I have ever encountered before and have no idea what it is called. Dry Canoeing? Beach Slalom? Bumpety-Bump? Anyway, it is clearly something Lankies enjoy. Perhaps Lancastrian Graham, The Laird of Eagleton, participated in this daredevil motor sport during his salad days. Hence the knee replacement.
It was about half an hour before sunset so we decided to wait. Above, a dog walker has parked his estate car by a sign that advises beach drivers not to proceed further along the sands. The next place you reach is Formby where an amazing discovery was made by retired schoolteacher Gordon Roberts back in the late nineteen eighties.

In hard mudflats exposed by the outgoing tide, he noticed some odd footprints. How had they got there? There were animal footprints and human footprints too. It turns out that these footprints were made approximately 7500 years ago and they are still being exposed. Sadly Gordon Roberts died on August 23rd of this year but you can read all about the Formby Footprints here.
A big white van appeared on the beach and two women got out. They opened the back of it and released a pack of excited dogs, ready for their evening walk.

You never know for sure how a sunset will turn out even minutes before the golden orb disappears in the west. Will it be fiery red or subtle - as it painted by a watercolourist? I took about twenty photos at the water's edge and this was one of the best:-

41 comments:

  1. A great sunset photo. I've no idea what that extreme sport might be. Perhaps it's for people who can't be bothered with the long trek to the sea!

    The Formby Footprints was a new one on me. I only knew it for its red squirrels and Antony Gormley sculpture.

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    1. I thought you knew everything Ian! On Monday, a guided footprint tour was organised by The National Trust but all places had been snapped up. I would have loved to see them. They are forever changing as the sea washes away the different layers.

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  2. Ancient footprints, amazing! Today on windy days there sure will be some beach sailors there, hopefully not in that footprint area. Again a wonderful sunset photo!

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    1. Thank you Kaki. Not quite a sun-kissed South Pacific beach!

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    2. YP, esp. for you and probably for a short time only, "my South Pacific view" in my profile header photo ;-)

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    3. I went over to your profile page Kaki. Do you run a blog?

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  3. I went in search of Gordon Roberts before I moved onto you next paragraph...and then I read further along to your next paragraph to discover you'd posted a link. I jumped the gun. What an interesting, intriguing story; one I'd not heard of before now. Thank you.

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    1. Yes, Lee. I did the exact same thing. I guess we are both impatient women, eh?

      Interesting story, indeed.

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    2. If you two were pupils in my Blogging Studies class you would both be disciplined for jumping the gun.

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    3. Curiosity has not yet killed this cat, Yorkie.

      You should be praising Ms Thyme and me for our eagerness to learn, not disciplining us. Anyway, we're beyond disciplining! So there!! ;)

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    4. You are never too old for a spanking Lee. So there!

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  4. I'm not a lover of those flat Lancastrian beaches but that photo is absolutely stunning.

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    1. Thanks Sue. Of course our Yorkshire beaches are much better but being on the east coast we only get sunrises - not sunsets over the sea.

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  5. Lovely sunset.
    I've read that when the tide turns there it comes in very quickly, faster than you can run ? It was up near Morecome Bay I think ?

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    1. That's right Helen. Morecambe Bay is very dangerous.

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    2. It does indeed Helsie and many people have lost their lives as a result.

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    3. Oops. I forgot that I'd opened this page a while ago before YP had done his responses.

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  6. A nice sky! I'd be wary of driving on those beaches. Walking on Crosby Beach (farther south, I know, but similar) I wound up in soft sand and messed up my shoes. It would be much worse to mess up a CAR!

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    1. I guess cars will occasionally break down on Ainsdale Beach and turn into little boats! But my car is Korean and I have every faith in it.

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  7. I don't believe that any watercolor could do your photograph justice, Mr. Pudding. Beautiful sunset on the sea.

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  8. Interesting post, Adrian, capped-off by a beautiful photo. Here where I live in Oregon, USA, there are numerous places where there is no beach, just jagged lava that is pounded by large waves of cold water. It’s very beautiful with lots of tidal pools, but also austere and forbidding to one who came, as I did, from a place where the sea—the Gulf of Mexico, actually—is calm and warm with white sandy beaches.

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    1. Coasts have many different faces don't they Snowbrush?

      P.S. Please don't call be Adrian. My name is Neil.

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    2. I actually do know that, Adrian simply being on my mind because he's the absentee blogger whom you referred to on Robert's blog. I too have known bloggers who simply simply disappeared from the blogosphere like an airplane off radar. I hate never knowing what happened to them. If they're dead or in a coma, it speaks poorly of their character to not at least let people know they're alive and conscious.

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    3. Perhaps his computer broke. Maybe a wave of depression caught up with him. But like you I also hate it when familiar bloggers go "off radar". Thanks for calling by Snowbrush.

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    4. Adrian is nor responding to emails and he's not answering his cell-phone. I think it's cavalry time.

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  9. Never heard of the Formby Footprints but I did as stint as acting head in a primary school in the Ainsdale area once.

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    1. When you say "acting head" which part were you playing? Miss Trunchbull?

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  10. Beautiful sunset YP. Interesting that the sand is hard and easy to walk on. When I think of the coast over that side I always think of Grange over Sands, where it is dangerous to go onto the 'beach' because a lot of it is quicksand.

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    1. There are some people who should take their holidays at Grange 0ver Sands and take a long hike on the beach. I would send the following people there - Boris Johnson, Simon Cowell, Katie Price, Ant and Dec and those damned meerkats.

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  11. Sounds like a great place to be. There are certainly different activities at this beach. Pulling a canoe sounds like a couple of partiers.

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    1. When the Land Rover turned the canoeists tended to fly off. It must have been like landing on concrete.

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  12. I love sunsets (as you know), and your photo is really beautiful.
    As for cars on a beach - well, my attitude towards cars is that they serve a useful purpose but should only be used when really necessary and then stay on the roads where they belong, not on a beach. And when people want to walk their dogs, they should indeed WALK them and not drive them.
    Rant over. Sorry.

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    1. If I had seen you on the beach I would have put my foot down on the accelerator. You would have been screaming as you ran, trying to dodge Clint the Hyundai with its maniac driver.

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  13. As a youngster I found those beaches good for long walks and Formby (where my brother lived for a while and where I had lots of friends) was wonderful for walks in the hinterland with all the red squirrels. Now next to my house I have more land to walk on that I could ever have dreamed of and yet I've quite got out of the habit. I must remedy that. But as a youngster I never dreamed that I would one day be given the moniker Laird of Eagleton.

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    1. Being The Laird of Eagleton brings responsibilities as well as the honour of bearing the title. You are responsible for clearing flotsam and jetsam from the Eagleton's coastline, rounding up any stray animals and collecting the annual tithe of five groats from each of your neighbours.

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    2. Unfortunately these days there are no sheep in Eagleton and I've never seen stray hens but I'll bear it in mind. As for collecting goats there's precious few of those hereabouts nowadays. By the way you misspelt it.

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    3. I beg to differ. "It" is an easy word to spell - just two letters - i followed by t. Even I can get that right.

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  14. I wonder what time zone your blog is on. I made the last comment at 0625 or am not pm.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.