A rendezvous with Dawn

Getting out of bed was a real challenge this morning. It was cold. Perhaps the first frost of 2024. I was warm cuddled up to Mrs Jones. It was 6.30 am and it was dark, I was aching all over having played football with the nephew on Saturday and its just highlighted I am so unfit. My motivation was almost zero. 
But then I started to think about what I could be missing out on. In my minds eye I always imagine the scene I am going to photograph and its always got that "Hollywood Showbiz" effect - an incredible mind blowing sunrise!. Its going to be amazing and if I don't get up I am going to miss out big time.

So thats what gets me up - even if in the end what I am imagining does not quite come to pass.

I was out of the door by 7am and scraping the ice of the windscreen. Then I was off. A quick pit stop at Greggs for a bacon butty and a coffee and then I went to my destination for the morning. I was going to have a rendezvous with "dawn" on the Goldcliff Sea Wall.

When I arrived at the wall, I had to trudge through thick mud until I got into position to fly my drone. The eastern horizon was looking very dark and cloudy.

There was hardly a breath of wind but it was quite fresh. It was low tide and the waters of the Severn Estuary had receded exposing mud banks and a gravelly spit near Golcliff Point where a couple of fisherman had set up. One of them had a head lamp and it shone out like a beacon cutting through the pre-dawn darkness.

Any expectations of a perfect sunrise were firmly put to the back of my mind. The cloud was thick and quite dark but that band of orange was teasing something atmospheric may happen.

My first flight of the drone was in the near-dark as I call it. The distant lights of the city of Newport could be seen and various factories across the other side of the Severn Estuary.

I flew the drone out quite close to the old remnants of the Putcher Basket posts that run out from the seawall into the mud. They are real landmarks of this area and they were used back into times of antiquity to catch Salmon.

The tide was way out and on the exposed sandbanks I could hear the calls of Redshanks, Oystercatchers and Curlews. A Grey Heron was stalking the mud behind the Putcher Basket posts.

I flew out over the cold waters and looked back towards Goldcliff Lagoons and the fishermen who were standing on the spit.

Before I knew it sunrise was approaching so I quickly landed the drone , replaced the battery and got it airborn again for the coming dawn.

The sun was battling with the clouds and losing . The mud was glowing orange from the suns rays which were bouncing around behind the wall of clouds. Eventually just for the briefest of moments the sun broke through and a beam of orange fire leapt out across the estuary. It looked really cool and made for a nice landscape photograph.

I love a sunrise at Goldcliff , its one of my favourite places in the world to be and I never regret getting up early for it.


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