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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some new Gower pics - 2

After visiting Port Eynon on Monday, I hopped on a bus to Rhossili. The day was still nice and sunny, but Rhossili was a fair bit colder than Port Eynon, thanks to a stiff breeze.

Again, the light was not conducive to photography - not with my limited skills, anyway. But the beauty of the place still shows through.

I could see a lot of birds on the beach below, and got a little too close to the edge of a cliff for comfort, when I snapped this shot. When I realised my peril, I quickly stepped back - straight into a pile of sheep poop.

The enlarged version of this next shot shows the Old Rectory, the white house nestling beneath Rhossili Down, clearly reflected in the wet sand. I also like the subtle pink and blue colours visible on the distant horizon.

This next shot shows the old Coastguard hut, which overlooks the sound between this spot and the island of Worm's Head. It is now manned by volunteers working for the maritime charity, Coastwatch. They keep an eye for people in trouble. At low tide, the water retreats from the sound, exposing a narrow, rocky causeway, which can be crossed in order to access the island. Sadly, many people become stranded here, by not keeping an eye on the tide, and a few have lost their lives trying to swim back to shore, unaware of how treacherous the swirling currents can be at this location. I snapped this just as the Coastwatch guys came out with their binoculars, to do one of their checks.

After standing near the Coastwatch hut for a few minutes to enjoy the view of Worm's Head, I turned back towards the village, to get the bus home. This is when my walk turned decidedly hairy - in more ways than one. I spotted a young woman approaching, with a border collie which was off its leash. This was in contravention of local by-laws, as it's currently lambing season. I trudged along, minding my own business, when the dog suddenly began to hurtle towards me from a distance of about fifty metres.

I immediately froze, turned my head away from the dog, and feigned disinterest. I find this usually deters aggressive dogs. But this dog kept coming, barking and growling. The silly girl made no effort to call it back as it ran up to me and began circling, snapping at me. I hate hurting animals, but I was prepared to boot the damn thing over the cliff if it had hurt me. Horrid, I know, but so is being mauled by an out-of-control dog. It was only when the thing almost took a chunk out of me, that she finally called it back. She then had the nerve to smile at me as if to say 'isn't my dog a sweetheart?' The glare I gave her soon wiped the smile off her face.

I know a number of people who have been attacked by border collies. In the right hands, they make excellent, well-behaved pets, with a wonderful temperament. I often have a friendly border collie tagging along with me when I walk along Port Eynon beach, and despite not being a doggy person, I look forward to her company, and feel decidedly disappointed when she's not there. She's a working dog who sometimes likes to escape to the beach. The main issue is that they're energetic dogs who need a firm hand and lots of exercise, if they're not being kept as working dogs. This particular dog was definitely not in the right hands. If anyone out there knows a plump young woman from the local area, in her late teens to early twenties, with long, dark hair, who owns a border collie called Sky - for goodness sake, tell her to keep the damn thing on a leash in future. If not, it WILL bite someone, one day, if it hasn't already done so.

It's irresponsible owners like her who have caused me to be so wary of dogs. I loved dogs as a kid, but thanks to an incident with an uncontrolled Doberman, that love has since turned to fear. I had been slowly getting over my phobia, even managing to sit in a car for fifteen minutes, with no-one else for company except a Staffordshire bull terrier. However, I fear I may now be back to square one after that silly girl's failure to control her dog.

Anyway, rant over - sorry for blathering on. Hope you enjoyed the pics!


Anonymous said...

That ruined your afternoon - the girl should be ashamed of herself.The Gower border collie was usually friendly - or indifferent. They always had partially blue eyes which could make them look balmy.
Hope the horror passes off.

LadyBanana said...

Stunning photos there..

I'm a bit wary of dogs, no particular reason, just find them a bit overwhelming sometimes!

Michelle Johnson said...

These pics are breathtaking. I am glad to hear that you escaped all harm. I would say after almost falling off the cliff earlier that you weren't wanting to deal with an out of control dog. I think that girl should be more aware of Sky's behavior. Have a nice night.