|After sunset, Findhorn Bay|
Days of storm and snow followed by rain and thaw. The clouds low and dark, the wind bitter and strong. December in the Scottish Highlands is usually challenging and fierce and so it is this year. Escaping the savage weather for a while we headed away from the hills to the coast, to the flat sands and vast skies of Findhorn. Here the wind was less severe and less chilling. The coldness was in the grey waters rather than in the air.
|A vast sense of space|
Across the stony beach the sea rippled and surged but without the crashing waves of winter storms. Ragged clouds streaked across the sky above. Oystercatchers whistled past and darted over the sands. A long rising and falling melancholy call rose above the sound of the sea. Out on a sand bank the dark shapes of seals were lying at the water’s edge. Across the mouth of the River Findhorn more lay on the beach below Culbin Forest. Their almost-human haunting cries followed us as we wandered round the sand spit to the vast tidal basin of Findhorn Bay.
A lone eider duck floated on the ebbing waters. Wild cries overhead marked the passage of a large flock of geese. The low sun sank behind the dark pines of Culbin Forest and the sky was soon streaked with pink clouds that were reflected in the shimmering water. The first lights were appearing in Findorn village as we left the bay.
|Shimmering light, Findhorn Bay|