Things we’ve see along the SWCP

Sometimes we do see some strange things when we are out and about.  It stops us in our tracks.   Here’s just a handful of unusual things spotted and photographed when walking along the South West Coast Path.

This is the first one taken in Dorset.  We kept our eyes peeled for those fast horses but didn’t spot any which was a shame in a way!

About a mile away from the hustle and bustle of Plymouth we spotted this very curious message. ‘Please wipe your feet’ .  What, why and how we asked ourselves.

This looked like it must have been a figurehead on an ancient sailing boat.  A wonderful wooden carving just off the footpath facing out to sea.  Symbolic maybe and I kept wondering how old it was and how it came to being where it was….fairly close to Brixham from memory.

This one just made me smile.  On the Isle of Portland where there is plenty of rock to play with.  It also made me think of Greek ruins….

Finally this sweet little house squeezed between two others.  Taken as we walked into Appledore, North Devon.

 

Photo Challenge Not the Norm!

 

Treasures and treasured memories

As a child I remember lovely summer holidays with my Dutch family who lived on the coast. All our days seemed to be spent on the beach, the sun shone warmly and we loved it.  The North Sea never seemed quite as cold as it does now!

Occasionally me and my brother and sister and cousins would go walking along the shore with my aunty and she would be on the look out for glass. Often she would pick up handfuls of freshly smashed pieces and dispose of them – saving our feet, and other beach goers, from very nasty injuries.

This was back in the 1970s and times have changed. Plastic has replaced glass in our lives – that’s another story and is now perhaps a much nastier issue.  When Tim and I walk the coastline I can’t help but pick up plastic or my particular pet hate – balloons, some with their colourful ties still attached. So many end up in the sea.

Shiny jagged glass these days is a much rarer sight.  What we usually find are small pieces that have been tumbled for a few years so that they are like smooth pebbles.  Jewels Infact.

We find so many that we fill old coffee jars and have ornaments that remind us of sand and sea and journeys.   Clear (white) and green are most common as can be seen in the jar below.

Blue glass is quite a rare find and we get quite excited when we find some.  They have pride of place in the lid of the jar.  The red one was such an amazing find. I think we found that one quite a long way from our local Norfolk beaches – it was on a small beach near Lyme Regis when we were searching for fossils.

I often wonder about the age of some of these and what bottle they came from.  Something that will always be a mystery.

Thanks to my Tante (aunty) I never walk along a beach without scanning the sand and thinking of her.  I am so pleased that I remember this time with her.

 

 

Weekly Prompts : Bottles

Oystercatchers – big and small

The Oystercatcher.

A distinctive black and white wading bird with a red bill and red ring around its eyes.  I took this photo quickly having heard its shrill ‘kleep’, ‘kleep’, call.

We were walking along Southwold Harbour and it had been wading around in the low tide mud – as waders like to do.  It flew to stand up on the wooden structures and took a good look at us. It’s a shame it was such a dull morning the photo looks a bit fuzzy.

Looking back down to the gloomy mud we spotted another adult bird and then, to our great surprise, two youngsters.  Our morning just got a whole lot lighter!

These stocky birds feed on creatures they find in or near the water digging in with their powerful beaks and breed near the coast all over the UK.

It was a pleasure to see them so close and with their youngsters.  We’ve only ever seen them through binoculars before.

Photo Challenge BIG and SMALL

 

 

Tea and cake and darkening skies

We sat in the cafe and watched the grains of sand falling through the egg timer.  Never before have I waited for my tea to brew in this way. Tea time ticking slowly past.  Perhaps all tea making should be like this?  As long as it includes a large slice of lemon drizzle cake I don’t see why not!

Just up the coast from us in the village of Winterton a couple have set up a cafe joined to a post office.  It’s a revamped post office but a new cafe – both within the same building.  They have made a super job of this and I can highly recommend a visit.

The link below gives much more detail and photos of the inside.

About Poppy’s Cafe

As usual I couldn’t resist taking a few photos myself.  I had minutes to spare and just for once wasn’t running to catch up with Tim which is what usually happens when I stop to take photos.

Table decoration – crocheted flowers were a lovely touch.

The prices seem very reasonable too which is always a bonus.   The comfy chairs by the fireplace will be lovely and cosy in the winter.

Here’s how it looks from the outside.  For local readers and possible visitors who are wondering where it is.. The cobble and brick front is the cafe, the whitewash brick is the post office.  It’s just along from the fish & chip shop which is also a favourite of ours.

Unfortunately I left the camera on macro mode so it’s slightly blurry.

Turning around – this is the view of The Loke.  Nice soft focus with the macro still left on!

So, I mentioned dark clouds in the title of this post.  Once out of the cafe we headed for the beach.  It’s a two minute walk from here.

The Dune Cafe with car park and old Fishermans huts are all threatened by stormy seas as is most of our sandy coastline.  Fairly recently large rectangular blocks have been placed at the foot of the dune just below the cafe.  I’m not sure whether this will help.  Let’s hope so.

The photo below shows one of the Fishermans huts oh so close to the cliff edge.  The car park is just in front of it.

Five minutes later we looked back.  We were stood in sunshine but it looked a bit stormy south of Winterton – towards Scraty and Caister and Great Yarmouth.

By the way, you can just see some people stood at the edge of the sea in the photo below.  They had been flying a drone and it crashed into the sea.  Bye bye drone…..

 

We did this walk last weekend.  We had two heavy showers.  Today it hasn’t stopped raining and flooding has happened across the county….not so lovely out.

 

First line of defence

Two days of walking on our local beaches here in Norfolk has really made us worry about the state of our sea defences.

Our coast is made up of sand with dunes which leaves large stretches vulnerable and at risk of erosion – and the erosion seems to be happening more and more often and at quite a speed.  Cliffs crumble away and can be dangerous, often collapsing without warning.

Yesterday we walked from a small village called Walcott to another village called Happisburgh – out along the beach and back along the cliff. The two and a half mile stretch of beach is something we’ve never done.

This is what most of it looks like.  There’s quite a high cliff just here.

There are lots of groynes.  Some running into the sea and others (as above) running in lines parallel with the sea.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, after a few years the metal bolts start to become loose, the wood rots and bits break away.

Here is Happisburgh church just peeking over the cliff (see photo below).  It’s getting closer and closer to the edge.   Great chunks of land and homes have fallen into the sea.  The static caravan park between the church and the edge of the cliff has closed and the site has almost been cleared.

This all sounds a bit grim, which is unlike me, but it’s how it is.  The photo below shows an old pillbox – once a cliff top lookout during wartime now resting on the beach quite a way from the current cliff edge.

On a positive note the view from the path on the way back is still a nice view – with the church in the distance.  And the farmer is still watering the crops.  We had to do a strategic run to avoid the spray!

We will continue to walk the coastal path here and monitor any changes.

Today we did a longer walk along the beach from Waxham to Eccles on sea. Sea Palling beach is between the two and is well protected by man made reefs put in place in 1995.  As a result the small village is protected and visitors flock here to enjoy the wonderful sandy beach.

Seals love this place too.  However they are usually born during the winter so this youngster, in the photo below, was a surprise to us.

The line of reefs can be seen in the photo.  As you can see, the beach has some rocky groynes which will hopefully last a little bit longer than the wooden/metal structures.

A few miles on and we reached the lifeboat ramp at Eccles and our turn around point.

There are several newer looking groynes here in amongst some rusting old defences.

I think it would be far better if more reefs were built.   I know it means bringing in lots of rock but this seems to be working as our first line of defence.

 

 

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Getting close to cattle on footpaths

Just saying Good Morning

Once upon a time one of the biggest fears Tim and I had when out and about walking was meeting cattle.  We would scramble across stiles and edge our way around fields.

So many stories of walkers being chased or worse, trampled, when crossing fields played on our minds.

However, over the many years of walking, we have only once been really scared.  That was up in the Lake District when we had no where to go and a herd was heading along the same path as us.  We escaped up a steep rocky bank and they passed by.  Mooing loudly as they went!

Be careful if you have a dog and be respectful if they have young and you shouldn’t really have any problems.

Here are a few photos which show how brave we have managed to get.

Cattle – always curious. We admired this one more than most.

Some have lovely fluffy hair styles

Regular milking stock

Best of all are the Highland cattle.  Surprisingly at home in Norfolk and Cornwall.

Quite fearsome but just like teddy bears

Up close but friendly

Quite at home on the coast

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