After weeks of wet, cloudy days, interspersed with days of wind and rain, today is cold, clear and still. The road to the sand dunes at Ynys Las was flooded and the 'slacks' between the road and the dunes, where orchids flower in Summer, were covered in ice-sheeted water. Inland on the mountains there had been snow, but not here on the coast. The dunes were all but deserted - just someone walking a dog and a couple of bird watchers apart from us.
The tide was far out but the sand on the beach was still wet and our feet made deep impressions in its ribbed surface as we walked. Over the sea the sky was iron-grey with thin cloud through which the sun filtered a silver light that glittered on the surface of the sea where its rays descended.
Inland the cloud was even thinner and areas of blue, varying from pale 'sky' blue to a much more intense darker blue in some patches over the distant mountains. This is an open landscape of sea, sand, salt marsh and bog.The valley of the river Dyfi opens to a wide estuary winding to the south and the west of two mountain ranges. The view up the valley shows a landscape already crowding in. But from here, today, the nearer hills stand in sharp outline in the clear air, while the more distant mountains are gleaming white with snow.
On these dunes, where so often the wind whips up the sand and the sound of the rushing sea fills the air,I experience a rare moment of quiet. Nothing moves. Not one particle of the chill air.