We were woken by gale-force winds this morning. Strong rain lashed the house while wind whipped the trees, howling and roaring as if to compete with the resounding roar of the ocean. The whole landscape vibrated as each surge of the sea threw itself mercilessly at the shore. The ancient rocks under our house trembled with their peers at the water’s edge, the breathless roaring and pounding of the sea had set them singing of the tempest. I was not thinking of photography at the time, but rather preparing for loss of power, as it seemed certain a tree would bring the lines down somewhere between us and power station. Even though we have big solar panels making our own power, we sell it to the grid, and buy power back from them. Miraculously the power stayed on. Later there was a lull, so we donned appropriate clothing and headed for the beach.
We did not realise then but we had branches down on some big gums. The path to the beach was littered with smaller twigs and branches. The lagoon was open to the sea, tea-tree coloured water carving its way through the beach sand, rushing to meet the waves, staining the whole of bay with black silt! I was fascinated by the brown waves for a while … not something we see every day.
High tide and a huge swell had inundated the beach overnight. Seaweed was tossed up onto the grass, and waves had been pulling at sand usually held down by beach grasses. A merry troupe of galahs found the freshly salted grass seeds appealing, ignoring us as we wandered past. Many creatures had been washed ashore in the swell … including a Weedy Seadragon … hundreds of bluebottles … various jellyfish … and seaweeds swathed in foam whipped up by the wild waves.
Happily we were able to walk along most of the beach and home again, crossing the raging lagoon, all without rain. It began again when we got back, but the wildness had gone. We were lucky with little damage, and by the time I went to town the fallen trees that blocked the road had been cut up and removed. Thank you to whoever cleared the way!