18 Feb 2010

Escape to Gullane, part two (The Bleached Rocks)

The bleached rocks of Gullane Beach can’t be said to loom or even intrigue from a distance. It is only when you get up close that the textures and layers of these great droopy monsters begin to overwhelm.

I am a panicky climber, prone to long pauses in which my mind attempts to tell my foot to move while my body pays no attention. So it was with slow, lumbering movements that I made my way at high tide to where the bulbous mass of stones made me think of melting elephant bones.

This is geology being a bit of a show off. There is something about all these frozen undulations that should be ugly, but isn’t. The texture of the stone is rough like pumice, while the colourful lower layers are brittle and easily chipped.
It doesn’t matter that I know countless people have seen these rocks before me, it still feels like a discovery, and I spend a long time scuttling around in their shadows, leaning in and out with my camera, filling the lens with curves and lines, dark and light. I want to see them on a bright blue sky morning, and again in the late afternoon when there is a storm gathering out on the water.

For photography lovers, there is no shortage of inspiration in this one small place. Every angle reveals something different. The sky and sea play their parts, always changing the light and making you think that the thing you have already looked at three times is new again.

With so many other beautiful beaches in East Lothian, these stones help Gullane Beach to stand out. I can’t wait to go again.

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