We had a rare opportunity to spend a couple of hours on a North West Mayo Beach yesterday. If you travel past Ballina along the winding coastal road you soon come upon the Village of Killala, a wonderful place, steeped in history with a round tower and a quay that merits a visit in itself. But yesterday we drove on past the village and reached the beautiful Ross Strand. A large proportion of the beach is sandy but we headed left from the car park into the spectacular rock pool landscape. We are no experts on rock compositions and geological facts but it does not detract from the enjoyment and sheer wonder that can be felt in a place like this.
What we assume to be ancient lava from a long dead volcano cooled and cracked has made up spectacular sections of the beach.
In one section the rock is all the shades of a sunset, and for a moment we felt transported to some far away desert.
As we moved on along the beach we discovered a mermaids purse, and felt excited by the prospect that a small shark might be circling the waters close by, having originated from this egg.
The colours of the seaweed, lichen and other plants are bright and beautiful, contrasting with the rocks in an ever changing pattern.
Everywhere we looked these natural patterns emerged before our eyes and we came across something extra ordinary, a line of stone in a different texture that must have formed in an earlier crack in the rock bed. Over time the line had been pushed about and fragments of it followed the whole width of the beach. We saw a couple of similar cracks further on as well. We would love to know more about this peculiar phenomenon.
In the rock pools we found a beautiful world of its own and we particularly liked the round hollow we named Neptune’s cooking pot.
A sea snail had created something very unexpected and our thoughts were pulled back in time to the time of the Celts and left us wondering if something like this would have inspired their intricate Celtic knot art work. It is for sure amongst the most beautiful natural patterns we have seen for some time.
An old dragon was buried under the beach, only a couple of sections of rough textured skin could be seen.
On the way back towards the car park we came across a band of what we believe to be wild Brent Geese, bathing in the rock pools and washing their feathers. It was a delight to move closer slowly, and capture some of their beauty and camera.
Before leaving on the last section of sandy beach the receding tide had created a tree like pattern in the sand. We marvelled at the simple beauty of this before heading back home, our hearts filled with the song of the sea and our minds set on soon returning to this enchanted landscape again. We hope you get a chance to see it someday with your own eyes.