Night out at Beauport

On Wednesday I decided to spend the night out. It was full moon, and I’d been thinking for some time how much I’d like to sleep at Beauport. I chose the wooded copse on the climb down to Grosse Tête, and wobbled off on my bike at sunset, rucksack on my back and camera bag swinging over the top bar. It was warm, with a gentle south east wind. I made my way down to the rocks, and started taking photos on the platform overlooking Fiquet. I have become obsessed by the shapes and patterns and colours of the eroded granite in particular spots, and the way the fall of the light creates differing sculptural forms at different times.
Still some light in the western sky, but moonlight has taken over as the main source of light – note the moon shadow in the foreground. The bright spot of light is Venus…
At some point the glow of the western sky faded enough for a moon shadow to appear, and I set off across the slippery boulders of Fiquet (recently vacated by the high tide) to my favourite formation of smoothed, bony ribs of granite. The moonlight caught them beautifully.
Nearby was another collection of granite forms that had never previously caught my attention, but in the soft, slanting moonlight they had an unexpectedly sensuous beauty.
Heading back to my sleeping spot the moon was now high in the sky, and shining brightly off the sea.
Full moon
Underneath the Holm oaks I bedded down, as the moonlight shone through the dendritic patterns of the canopy.
I found a reasonably level spot with thick leaf litter and snuggled into an old sleeping bag that I used to use when I was a kid. Around me there were strange little rustlings – probably just little gusts of breeze disturbing the dry leaves, but perhaps the odd rodent ferreting around. It took me an age to get to sleep, but I didn’t much mind. Nights like this are to be treasured.
After restless sleep I woke at quarter to five and rose quickly. Climbing up onto the cliff top, I wanted to make sure I caught the light of dawn. I wasn’t disappointed.
First glimmer of colour
High clouds reflected the sun before it rose above the horizon, and put on a beautiful show, the quality of the light changing quickly. For a few minutes the whole landscape was bathed in a soft, purple glow.
Purple glow across the bay
Birdsong serenaded the dawn. And then within a couple of minutes the colour faded to be replaced by the shadowless light that precedes sunrise. I headed back down to Grosse Tête.
Taken half an hour after the purple glow of dawn – the soft, shadowless light before the sun rises
Along the cliff face I photographed stained sections of granite, captivated again by the sculptural forms.
Around at Fiquet with the tide very high I decided on a swim. No swimming trunks with me, so I skinny dipped briefly in the chill water, floating above the rocks I had photographed during the night, and using my tee shirt to dry off.
Perfect spot for a swim…
By now the sun was up, and the magic of early morning gone. I headed back to collect my stuff, taking one last photo of the high tide around the rocks of Grosse Tête, feeling suddenly very tired.
Daisies at the top of the cliff

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