Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sandstone Stack

Sandstone Stack, originally uploaded by e s c h e r.

Well it is still bloomin' windy and there is still no chance for leaves so what to do instead? Head to the beach and build a delicate rock balance and dare it to defy the wind?

The forecast was set to deteriorate by lunchtime so I headed to the coast. The wind was very strong there and my optimism dwindled. I had in mind something like the stack I built at Robin Hood's Bay. That one withstood the wind perhaps this one will?

The tide was due in by lunch so I set to work collecting flat stones and pebbles. I set the camera up first in the vain hope that I might get a picture and started on the construction.

The first effort had a horrendous wobble three-quarter built, the lower few layers were rolling on their pebbles and it soon fell. I tried again and dismantled the next two tries in order to concentrate on stopping it wobbling so much although it was impossible to eliminate entirely.

Always expecting it to topple I added each new layer one at a time until I finally got it done. I thought it might need another layer (I still do looking back at the pictures) but sometimes you can't push it any further. The proverbial last straw.

Now, a bit panicky, as it swayed quite a lot to and fro, I waited for the sun to come out. It needed to be front lit or else the contrast was too strong. As it seems to be with recent luck it there was blue sky either side of where the sun was with a strip of grey cloud right through the middle. It didn't look like there would be any decent light anytime soon.

But despite the nerve jangling wobbling it stayed upright and within half an hour I got all the pictures I wanted. Quite perplexed how it was still standing I thought I would try and capture a time lapse of the incoming tide. I set everything up and sat back and waited.

I looked at my watch - it was 11.30 and the tide would be fully in in 3/4 of an hour. The wind was really cold but I thought I could handle the shivering until the tide arrived. I am not so sure about the sculpture.

What seemed like an age had passed and the tide was still not in. I looked at my watch again and it said 11.30! What? I must have read it as 11.30 when it was 10.30!

Glutton for punishment that I am I couldn't stop the time lapse capture as the sculpture still stood. Sat in my 9 coats and 4 hats I practiced my powers of telekinesis. "Fall over! Fall over! Fall over! That way I can go and get warm!"

It wasn't working.

Still the tide marched in and still the stones wobbled and rocked. Didn't seem like anything could topple it.

As the hypothermia took hold I whispered to myself "just hold on, don't fall asleep, someone will rescue me soon." I took my emergency chocolate bar from my pocket and split it into quarters. "I will have to ration it" I thought "it might be a long time before anyone finds me."

"I am so very cold mummy."

And then it happened. A series of quite violent wobbles lead to its final demise. It sacrificed itself so that I might live.

PS. the lit up look of this photo was done with a reflector not in photoshop.

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