Thursday, 10 May 2012

A coloured shoreline near Covesea

Having landed on the shore near Covesea (just east of the Sculptor's Cave) I took a stroll along the pebble beach.  It's a favourite spot of mine because of the wonderful colours in the pebbles. 

Much of the shore seems to be made up of pebbles which have been washed down from the Cairngorms by the rivers which empty into the Moray Firth nearby, the Spey and the Findhorn.  A seemingly uniform pale grey when dry, the pebbles are transformed when wet into a range of red, grey, white and blue.

The spring flowers add to the colourul scene; the yellow Celandines have been out for some time and are now being joined by Red Campion (Silene dioica) which is just starting to flower.  Red Campion can form dense, invasive stands (particularly in my garden!) but is an attractive , long flowering plant.  The root contains Saponin which can be used as a soap substitute and is extracted by simmering the roots in water.

At the east end of the shore there is a detached two-legged stack and a large cave system.  Both are formed of sandstone which is easily sculpted by the sea.  Presumably the stack was once part of the cave system until erosion separated it.  The north shore of the Moray Firth near Helmsdale can just be seen through the legs of the stack.

Close up, the sandstone has its own attractive cream and golden shades.  Nearby Clashach Cove is famed for fossilised dinosaur footprints which were revealed during quarrying of similar sandstones.

The spring tide was now just at its highest point.  I returned to the boat and collected a couple of particularly nicely coloured pebbles before launching and continuing my paddle westwards


  1. Beautiful pictures Ian, I just love the Moray coastline, I've had many cycling holidays there - but no kayaking, you have put me in the mood for a visit with the boat!

  2. Hi Bill, thanks for the kind words; you really should paddle this stretch if you can - it's a very rewarding stretch of the coast and from a boat it looks superb

    Kind Regards

  3. loved it..
    smooth pebbles have charm of their own..
    the arched view of the sea is pretty..

  4. Thank you Seema, the pebbles are so fascinating :o)