“Evening Light Carnewas Cove …
Bedruthan Steps on Mid-Summer’s Day”
(Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, England)
on Saunders Waterford, 140#,
cold pressed Watercolour Paper
3⅛” x 7⅜”
Carnewas Cove is the next cove to the south of Pendarves Cove, the cove you descend into down the narrow stairway in the crack in the cliffs. It is accessible only at extreme low tides, or through a cave to the left of the bottom of the stairway. This cave would be just to the left of the view in the painting of Pendarves Cove in the last post. Much of the time you would have to wade through pools to get through the cave, but occasionally the sand washed into the cave, at certain times of the year, is just the right amount to allow a dry-shod perambulation through. This Mid-summer's Day was just such an occasion. Once through, the view is better, with the Sea filling the cove, rather than the expanse of sand that would be there when low tide might allow you to proceed around the sea-stack in the Pendarves Cove painting.
The distant coastline, with the white houses and ending with the headland and island, I cannot recall now exactly where and how far down the, coast towards St. Ives, we are looking. I would need to refer to my maps of Cornwall, which are not to hand. It could be that we are looking at Godrevey Island, forty miles or more, as the raven flies, in which case St. Ives, and the heights behind it, would be off the right of the painting. They were all in view during the 1999 Summer eclipse of the Sun; sadly, what was not in view was the Sun itself!. A first class day, it had started out to be, and I had chosen my observation spot on top of a broze age tumulus, a half mile north of Bedruthan Steps. Then a couple of hours before totality, a band of cloud appeared down the middle of the sky, obscuring the Sun during the eclipse. Both St. Ives, way to the southwest, and Boscastle area, to the north-northeast, were out of the cloud shadow, but both were just out of the line of totality as well; and this was proved as when totality occurred, and we were in darkness, they were both in wan sunlight. The eclipse was still interesting, but not what it should have been, had we been able to see the Sun. It was not until 2017 when I was able to see an eclipse from the Wind River Range in Wyoming. But I digress. Up on the clifftops hereabouts, St. Ives may be easily seen on a clear enough day, but down here at the water's edge, not so much. So that distant headland and Island may not be as far as Godrevey Island ... wish I had my maps.
This Watercolour of Carnewas Cove falls within the strictures of “the Miniature,” being under 25 square inches. But it was not intended as such, and it was never framed within those strictures, being originally placed within an 8” x 12” frame.
Time only for a couple of observations:
After a couple weeks of temperatures in the 90s, the grasses here have lost most of their green blades even within the clumps, except for those that are mostly in the shade. Their seed heads are being nibbled at by the ground squirrels and chipmunks. The transition from green to yellow ochre was interrupted by a couple of good heavy showers, one day last week. Thunder and lightning and an hour long shower from 1:30 - 2:30 PM, and another shower in the evening. They kept the dust, and the flies, down for a couple of days afterwards. The afternoon thunderstorm was a slow moving affair. You could hear a rumbling in the distance for a couple of hours before it arrived. It also did not look like it would actually come over my camp, as the clouds did not look at all threatening, and there was still a lot of blue sky around, even after the rain began. It kept that day from getting into the 90s, but the next two were mid-90s. My SUV is in the shade most of the day, and even on the hottest days there have been breezes, so generally it has been bearable. One or two days has had humidity enough to sap your energy. The past two days have benn in the mid-80s, and it is amazing what a few degrees can make ... 85° can feel absolutely cool, after 95° days!
Obviously I'm talking Fahrenheit degrees here, Folks. I reserve Centigrade and Kelvin degrees for scientific discourse, and rightly so. Fahrenheit degrees, I feel, are much more human. You older British will remember Fahrenheit degrees. But the rest of the World, really has no experience with the human scale of the Fahrenheit degree. There is 1.8 Fahrenheit degrees to 1 Centigrade degree, so there is a subtlety to the Fahrenheit scale lost in the Centigrade scale; temperatures jump too fast in Centigrade. For example: 10°C is 50°F, and when you jump 10°C to 20°C it is already 68°F, whereas if you jump 10°F to 60 °F, it is a less jarring increase in temperature ... a more subtle temperature rise ... and psychologically (dare I say it? Why, yes I do!), a more human increase ... 35 degrees does not sound hot at all, but 95 degrees ... well, that sounds like a sweltering day ... and, of course, it is. “It's below zero outside.” is damn cold, if your Fahrenheit degrees man as I am, but if you go by Centigrade degrees, below zero is not particularly cold, especially if it's a dry cold. Give me Fahrenheit degrees for everyday living, all day every day, but for Scientific Discussion I'll take Centigrade or Kelvin degrees. Perhaps now that the British have ruined their lives with Brexit (and mine, since my pension is British, and the £ fell like a stone, with Brexit ... most ex-pats), perhaps they'll go back to Fahrenheit degrees ... hell, I would.