Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tide, Mudflats, and Quicksand

Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France

There are places where the tide pulls so far out one finds it hard to believe it will ever return. All that lays revealed may only be mud, yet that mud proves its allure every day.

Still the tide inevitably returns,often swiftly. It's so easy to be stranded out there. And that is even if one is not trapped in the insidiously numerous pockets of quicksand.

I have put together a slide show of  about 65 stills that were shot over about 12 hours.  Frames 25-30 were shot seconds apart to show the speed of the advance. Because wave action is miles away,  the advance is steady and relentless as it surrounds and cuts off higher mud.

It and a few explanatory notes (plus another man's art show I added late) are below the break.

  1. The early shots were around 8 in the morning as the tide was completing its march out. I'm surmising that the satellite photo below is a close match to then.
  2. I don't recall what I did with most of the low tide shots. I still have some that are blurry (results of the unsuccessful attempt to use the telephoto feature without a tripod).
  3. There were quite a number of tourist groups that went out with guides onto the flats. The two groups shown (specs on the photos) are an example.
  4. We were touring the abbey in the hours waiting for the tide to return. It began showing up around 4 PM. 
  5. The sands around Tombelaine, the small isle in the background, is completely dry at low tide as can be seen directly in one photo, and inferred from one or two others. I wish now I had more cameras and time to direct them to show how quickly Tombelaine became an isle again. It's the spec a third from the top, center of the photo below.
Mont St Michel, site of one of the world's widest tidal shifts.

And for those who like this sort of art, you may wish to click over to view this other slide show that contains many fine art shots and photochops of this spellbinding locale.

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