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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

The Breath of the Moon

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas FEBRUARY. 02, 2021

[185-365] 2nd. February 2021- This morning was a High Tide combined with a lot of excess water draining from all directions off the local landscape. The local soil is very red, so the run off is also very red, and when it reaches the creek as it all eventually does, the creek ends up red.

The stream running into the creek is at full capacity and where it enters the creek it meets resistance from the incoming tide. The tide if high enough reaches above the arch of the bridge. A little way up the stream near our house there is a low concrete wall, but there is a small drain hole in it level with the road so that any excess water on the road can drain back into the stream.

In certain conditions when the tide covers the arch of the bridge and the flow is great enough in the stream, it raises the level of the stream to the point where it comes back through the drain hole onto the road. You can stand in wonderment as a very slow motion flow of water comes through the hole onto the road creating a shallow puddle up to twenty feet wide appearing as if by magic. Just as slowly it then drains back through the hole as the water level falls.

But here is the fascinating thing, this happens repeatedly almost like lungs breathing, steady and slow, a large puddle appears and then disappears. I've dubbed it the breathing of the tide. After a few minutes of this happening it disappears one last time.

This repeated rise and fall is the waves of the tidal bore in miniature, not discernible in the creek, but visible here at the point where the tide meets it's end. It is quite a privilege to witness it, and to think that it is the massive forces of revolving planets and the moon bringing that water to that point.

Walking up the lane there are two distinct types of water running in rivulets down the road. At some points water appears from the hedges bright red as it runs directly off the land. At other points water appears in the same way but with more force, crystal clear like the bottled stuff, splashing cold through sparkling clean potholes in the road that look as fresh as mountain pools. This is just what it looks like, clear spring water filtered by the slates and shales not far below the red soils. I am guessing the filter process takes about a week or more. The red water will appear overnight after heavy rain but the crystal water takes longer to appear.

Because we have had a lot of intermittent rain in the last two weeks we currently have both types of water, one catching up with the other. The diligent but unhurried, crystal spring water forced by gravity through innumerable pores down in the darkness, eager for daylight and the brash, impatient, boisterous red run off, eager to reach the sea in a race.

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