Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142: The Lure of the Sea

“I think there is nothing so admirable as sunsets,” she (Madame Bovary) resumed; “but especially by the side of the sea.” “Oh, I adore the sea!” said Monsieur Leon. “And then, does it not seem to you,” continued Madame Bovary, “that the mind travels more freely on this limitless expanse, the contemplation of which elevates the soul, gives ideas of the infinite, the ideal?”~ Gustave Flaubert. Madame Bovary

I was re-reading the wonderful classic Madame Bovary at the same time that we re-visited Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts this past week. How convenient that Ann-Christine has given us the “You Pick It” theme so I can highlight both of them!

As many of you may already know, I’ve been lured this year by the New England beaches, which have been oases of serenity during the pandemic. Crane’s Beach was one of our favorites when we lived in Massachusetts decades ago, but we wondered if it had changed. In fact, it turned out to be better than we remembered.

Long boardwalks connect the parking lot to the beach to preserve the nesting areas for the piping plover, an endangered bird. When we reached the top of the dunes, we were astounded at the beauty of the shoreline. The beach averages 350,000 visitors a year. Without the summer crowds, we could appreciate how expansive it is–with more than 1,200 acres of beachfront, dunes, and maritime forest.

The boardwalk at Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

She asked herself as she walked along, “What am I going to say? How shall I begin?” And as she went on she recognised the thickets, the trees, the sea-rushes on the hill, the chateau yonder. All the sensations of her first tenderness came back to her, and her poor aching heart opened out amorously. A warm wind blew in her face; the melting snow fell drop by drop from the buds to the grass.~ Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Despite the cool temperatures in the high 40’s (degrees F), people were enjoying the sunshine. This couple, bundled up in their coats, optimistically “sunbathed” for a while. In the distance you can see the Crane Estate, a 59-room mansion built in 1928.

Optimistic. Sunbathing in March. Crane Beach.

“The weather was fine. It was one of those March days, clear and sharp, when the sun shines in a perfectly white sky.”

Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

Some people were walking their dogs and jogging like this beautiful woman whose russet hair color matched her dog’s! (By the way, does anyone know what breed the dog is? A standard poodle, maybe?)

Running the dog at the beach.

“All sorts of joyous sounds filled the air; the jolting of a cart rolling afar off in the ruts, the crowing of a cock, repeated again and again, or the gambling of a foal running away under the apple-trees: The pure sky was fretted with rosy clouds…” Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

A few equestrians decided to join us. This friendly pair of women paused to chat with us before they continued their trot along the shoreline.

Out for a ride.

“Besides, the fine days will soon be here again.”~ Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

This last image gives you a sense of how large the beach is. Here are the same riders at the far end of the beach.

Galloping in the Distance, Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Crane Beach was a breath of fresh air that was invigorating and relaxing. This is such a spectacular spot that we’re already thinking about our next visit in a few weeks as the weather warms up.

I’m looking forward to your “picks” this week! We hope you join the fun. In your post, include a link to Ann-Christine’s beautiful post and include the Lens-Artists tag so we can find your post in the Reader.

Last week, your “geometry” posts were an absolute delight. I loved the variety of your geometric “finds” in architecture, in nature, in your household objects, in petroglyphs…to name a few. They were a real treat and opened my eyes to the impact of geometry in our everyday world.

Next week, Amy will be leading us for LAPC #143, so be sure to visit her site next Saturday at noon. In the meantime, have a wonderful creative week and please stay safe.

83 replies »

  1. Ah the beauty of the beach – especially one with very few people. There aren’t many benefits to the pandemic Patti, but surely for those few able to visit them, nearly-empty beaches is one! Beautiful images, loved the horses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. I’m so happy you liked this one. It was a gorgeous day at the beach. As you say, what a delight with so few people! The horses were great! I hope it’s sunny and warmer in your part of the country!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my. The ocean is calling my name. I am so missing this. Growing up on Long Island, N.Y. I knew that I loved to hear the crashing of the waves. I now live on the west coast and am about 2 hours to the closest beach. Looking forward to getting there soon now that I am vaccinated! Thanks for sharing the east coast!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Patti, What a lovely post. I want to be there. the weather looks perfect for a stroll with a comfortable jacket. It’s so nice to be able to be outside in a place you love. I guess everyone else had gone to the beach in Miami. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t mind being on the beach when it’s cold or even foggy and the less people, the better. πŸ™‚ I’d love to ride a horse on the beach sometimes but that’s probably not going to happen so I’ll just enjoy doing so in the mountains. Thanks for letting me listen to the ocean for a few moments. Here’s something from many, many years ago that I just loved then and still do: The Sebastian Strings and Rod McKuen reading his poem “My Friend the Sea.” The images are old but the music and poem are still wonderful.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Frank. Yes, the beaches have been true oases from the craziness. We hadn’t even considered them when the pandemic first started. They’ve been a wonderful delight. I hope you have an oasis, too!


  5. What a beautiful beach Patti and so wonderful to discover it’s even better than you remembered it! πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A beach with all the necessities for me to love it! Grand, free, and few people but with their animals! Just lovely. You inspired me to maybe go for a trip to the sea soon – when it stops snowing…Today is a terrible day here with snow storm and cold. A walk on the beach was a real treat! And the dog? They match each other well, the woman and her dog – but the breed I guess is a standard… Mix. But it turned out well it seems.
    I also loved your well fitted quotes from that lovely novel. Maybe I should re read it too…You are, as always, very inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, A-C. I’m delighted you like this wonderful place and yes–with animals, too. So, you had one last blast of winter? We had a brief blast too on Friday, but it seems like we’re now into spring. I hope you are, too. And yes, the novel is as good as I remembered it from dozens of years ago. It is hard to believe it was written so long ago. The theme is so modern and the writing was revolutionary for its time. Enjoy the week, AC. I hope spring returns!


  7. Beaches? There are long, sweeping, gorgeous beaches in New England?

    Haha – yep, now I remember!

    My family lived for several years in Connecticut, and we sailed every weekend out of New London – where the “beaches” were just exposed bedrock and wave-tossed stones. Or muck… lots and lots of muck.

    However, we did visit the Cape Cod region and the surrounding areas a couple of times and marveled at the *real* beaches in those places. So nice compared to where we were at the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean about the rocky coast. Parts of CT and ME are so rocky and the strip of sand is so narrow, I wouldn’t call them a true “beach.” Yes, the Cape has some lovely beaches. I want to explore more of them…but probably not in the summer! Too crowded. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Mitch!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a lovely beach. Although I only live a short drive from lovely beaches I have yet to visit this year, last week would have been good, but the sun brings out so many people even though tourists are not supposed to be here. Soon, I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Not so much the beach that is crowded as it is 3 miles long, but the car parks. Until they open the fields which only happens once the weather is drier. I like to time it when it is low tide too, so that limits the timing, but I will get there as soon as this bitter northerly wind disappears!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! The beach looks so big and desolate. Its been a while since I’ve seen empty stretches and that just felt so serene . Also the photo of the equestrians was fantastic, Patti. Really cool post!


    • Hi, Cee. I hope you get to the coast soon so you can enjoy the sea! It is a wonderful place to be…near the ocean. I hope you have a very good week inland!!


  10. Such a fabulous post, Patti. Thank you for taking us along. The first image is my favorite, like a beautiful painting.
    I enjoyed reading these quotes. “…the fine days will soon be here again”, love it!


    • Hi, Amy. We are all hoping that the fine days are coming, aren’t we??? I hope all’s well with you and that you are enjoying springtime on your walks!


    • Oh, that’s right, Jo. When you see the post on your computer, you’ll get a sense of how big the beach is. I’m glad you stopped by and spent some time with me at the beach!! I hope all’s well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love a day at the beach… in Mexico where I don’t have to wear a coat in January. >grin<
    Seriously, I would enjoy spending some time walking the beach where you were. Nice way to get away from it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, IJ. We were surprised that so much was going on even though the beach was almost deserted. It’s a huge place. We never realized how large it is because we never came off season before. I hope all’s well with you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, IJ. The virus is still spreading rapidly here. We feel very fortunate to have gotten the vaccine when we did. Now, the virus is hitting the younger generations in their 20’s and 30’s. So sad. I hope you are doing OK, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The same story here. And to add to it, the state ran out of vaccines. I hope it is temporary. Our second shot comes up in two or three weeks. Sad that youngsters are neglecting simple precautions. We are negative, and have never recalled being happier at negative news.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Little by little. Problems with Astrazeneca are making vaccination difficult. Until May 9 the state of national alarm is declared, we will see what happens later, the contagions are still high, although it seems that they slow down.

        Liked by 1 person

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