Country diary: hypnotised by the sound of the distant surf

Country diary: hypnotised by the sound of the distant surf

Ynyslas, Ceredigion: The sandscape here changes daily, while the large-scale features around it move at a glacial pace

It feels as if this could be the last day of summer, as warmth and sunlight ebb away with the shortening days. Standing on the shoreline at low water, wavelets marked by a line of sunlit foam curl gently around my feet, before easing away again with an audible hiss. Beyond the reach of the waves, the wet sand, pockmarked with smooth pebbles, carries the marks where both water and wind have recently eroded the surface, leaving curious lines of interference where competing forces interact.

This dynamic landscape is in a constant state of flux as sand particles drift across the beach, yet the large-scale features still retain their form over long periods of time. A storm bank of cobbles marks both the highest tides and the boundary between beach and dunes. These sombre grey stones, partly rounded in the meltwaters around the fringe of a dying glacier, point to the broader run of topographic change.

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