I can’t quite believe that we’re half way June and racing towards the longest day of the year. All winter, from the day when the clocks change back an hour in October, I’m counting down to longer days and evening walks. After the winter equinox, I watch the sunset times shift on the Tide Pro app, every day giving an extra minute or so of light in the afternoon. I didn’t think about this as a child. I never really thought about these seasonal shifts through my twenties or even in my thirties. It was just all part of life. Yet somehow, I’m now fixated by daylight. In winter, by the lack of it, and as we approach midsummer (too fast), by the fact that these minutes of light are about to start slipping away from us again.
So we are making the most of these evening walks. Walks like this one from two weekends back, when we started at Yellowcraig and headed west towards Eyebroughy and beyond.
I’ve shared this walk here quite a few times now, but, as I’ve said before, it always feels different to me depending on the tides and the light. We only discovered Eyebroughy beach – that’s Eyebroughy island below – last year and yet it’s now become one of our favourite spots. This is a fascinating small stretch of shoreline for its rock formations and pebbles, and there’s something about this particular view of Fidra that I love. Indeed, I’ve taken so many photos of this small rocky island recently that I started a series on Instagram called #TheFidraSeries, so look out for a lot more of Fidra appearing here too.
This little collection of pieces above looks like nothing, right? But it caught my eye amongst the rocks at the far end of the beach, where we’ll always pause and perch on a log (the log Harris is standing on below) to enjoy the view. These pieces might have been washed up together, but it felt as if someone had placed them there, so I took a closer look. See the piece that looks like a smooth stone, behind the piece of wood that looks a little like a comb? Well, that ‘stone’ is also a piece of wood and it’s beautiful; its surface surprisingly smooth, almost as if someone has shaped it. I brought it home and it’s now sitting on a shelf. I don’t have much interest in decorative objects, but I can’t resist pebbles, shells, pine cones, feathers, and now, interesting pieces of driftwood.
Talking of collections, I’m keen to learn how to press seaweed. Look at this feathery piece above – this beach was scattered with this seaweed, and it left me wondering (not for the first time) about pressing small pieces of seaweed gathered on our walks and framing them. Some research is required for this…
We kept walking from Eyebroughy on along the shoreline, staying with the paths along the dunes past the rocky sections and dipping down onto the small sandy beaches in between. This walk was just over 8km, so not too long – although that’s a good length of walk for the lads as the sand is tiring. It always feels longer though and by the end of it, with tired legs all round, it feels like your eyes have been filled and refreshed. And, as the sun is setting, the light over the Forth is just extraordinary.
This photo above is a small brick lookout post that sits along the path between Yellowcraig and Eyebroughy. I assume that this is a relic from WW2 as there are sea defences all along the east coast, from concrete lookouts dug into the ground along the shoreline to the many concrete blocks that snake along sections of coastline that were once vulnerable. We pass this spot on every walk here and I’m never usually inclined to photograph this, but I couldn’t resist the stripe of light.
And then there was this: looking north-east, the gentle glow of the last light and soft pink and lilac hues in the sky, the rocks picking up the orange glow, while looking west, the sky was blazing.
Yellowcraig to Eyebroughy and beyond, June 2022.