Weekly Photo Challenge – Foreshadow

Lighthouse at Seven Sisters

This week’s theme: Foreshadow

Confused at first as to what this week’s theme was alluding to, but it seems very fitting when applied to the warning of an encroaching storm in the distance. So I had a little rummage around in my photo library and happened across a few snaps that I took while I was walking along the South Downs Way, a national trail and very ancient ridge that straddles three counties along the south of England, beginning in the little tourist town of Eastbourne, and finishing in Hampshire almost 100 miles away. The official trail itself is 100 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester, or the other way around if you like to ease yourself into such things. An arduous trail for the most part, packed with hard, jagged flint, and crumbling chalk that reflects the sun like snow. It’s hard underfoot, but it is an unmistakably beautiful landscape to traverse on foot with nothing but a pack on your back and a big stick to keep the tourists at bay πŸ˜‰

I did it the first time around back in 2009, completing the walk in 8 days. I was due to do it again this summer, but health and other plans got in the way. I remember when I did it the first time, it was the beginning of August and it was probably one of the Β wettest summers we have had in this part of the country for a great many years. The images presented here show the heavy stormy clouds that became my companions for much of the way. They certainly foreshadowed the kind of experience I was to have in the days to come along my trail.

Thick fog in the top image shrouds the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, a natural undulation of the landscape that makes for a very hard climb and equally tough decent, particularly as there are actually eight of these solid chalk hills. I refer to them more affectionately as the Seven Sisters and Their Mum. When you’ve traversed the first seven the last truly is a mother of climb!

You can see the sheet of rain moving inland from the channel…

Field South Downs Way

You can see the brightness of the summer sun in the foreground, but in the direction I was walking behind the Pycombe windmill the clouds were mounting again, being whipped up by strong winds coming off the sea…
Windmill at Pycombe

The imposing ridge of Devil’s Dyke is breathtaking, and a place to come on a summer’s day, drink a pint of Guinness at the pub at the top and admire the truly spectacular view of the Weald below. It’s a very steep drop and on a windy stormy day like the one the day I took the photo,Β you need to have your wits about you lest you fly off the edge! It’s one of my favourite haunts along the South Downs, which incidentally I can see in the distance from my bedroom window…

Devil's Dyke


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