And so summer 2021 comes to an end, with September tomorrow. This was one of our last beach days this year – a glorious day in sunshine with the north west County Mayo coast at its very best.
I enjoy traveling within my own country but am often reluctant to travel further – but sometimes you don’t have to go far to see stunning scenery. Two days ago we headed for the west coast to Doolough near Gweesalia, here in County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland.
“If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached to it” – Jimmy Buffett.
I had to “borrow” this wonderful quote from PA Moed, as it is very true for me.
To the right you can see the Mullet Peninsula, to the left Achill Island.
The beach is a great one for shell collecting.
And at over 2km long you can also get a very decent walk. I know there are many beautiful places out there to see and many of you have shown me some of them in your own blogs. But for my travels, I am, so far, content with this.
On the west coast of Ireland, Atlantic waves have over millennia shaped our coastline creating rocky shores, beaches and towering cliffs.
Ross Beach is one of our favoutite beaches at any time of year. With Easter falling early this year, we have had opportunity to take a few day trips. Heading to the beach is always a bit of an adventure. This time we were surprised to find that the storms over the winter have shifted sand away from the beach. This has resulted in the loss of some dunes, but also the exposure of a more pebbles and stones in one area.
There was time for some beach-combing and even castle building.
The horses and their riders were also enjoying the freedom of a long beach. Like us, the horses had a paddle, they did not seem to notice that the water was FREEZING!
A couple of days before New Year we headed for Ross Beach on the North West Mayo coast. This is one of our favourite beaches, particularly during the summer. But this was a frosty morning and there was actually frost on the sand, not something I’d seen before.
The tide was going out and had left some interesting things behind it. There was no sign of injury to this flatfish so I am not sure what resulted in its demise. Irish waters have 22 species of flatfish though there are 600 species worldwide.
These sea potato remains (known as a ‘test’), are a common find on this beach but there were probably about twenty. Recent storms may have been a cause. Alive, these little creatures are usually buried up to 15cm deep in sand or muddy sediments. They are also covered with yellow/brown spines. Sea potatoes are related to sea urchins.
There was also a lot of kelp washed up, which again is something that is found after the sea bottom has been disturbed by big waves. Despite the blue sky, the wind was cold so we were all glad to get back to the car.