Author Archives: Selina

About Selina

I love the outdoors. Getting out with my best friend and partner Tim we have spent many holidays and almost all of our free time exploring the countryside in the UK. Together we are passionate about walking, photography, cycling. We feel lucky to live in a lovely part of the country - The Norfolk Broads. Famous for big skies, beaches and waterways. Our special holidays will always be in the truly beautiful Lake District. I would always recommend simply getting outside as much as possible. With the right clothing you can enjoy it all year round. Don't forget to take a picnic!

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

 

 

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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.

 

 

Photo Challenge Line-Up

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

Photo Challenge Close

 

Sailing away on a very warm day

Sunday 25th August 2019

It was almost 30 degrees and we had to leave our simmering garden for somewhere cooler.

Instead of heading to the beach (our nearest being about a mile away) to join the masses we went to our closest river, The Thurne, and took a slow stroll along it.   Here we found a gentle breeze.

Yes its been a warm couple of days and we really shouldn’t complain about that but it’s what happens in this country isn’t it?  We’ve always got the weather to talk about.

In full flow of the school summer holidays the population of Norfolk swells as the holiday makers come to enjoy beaches, waterways and open countryside.  It was certainly busy busy on the river bank at Potter Heigham.

Hire boats and privately owned boats of all shapes and sizes with assorted passengers are a fairly normal sight on the waterways in this part of the world but it was the bigger sailing yachts and their crews (just beyond the red sailed boat) that really caught my eye.

On board were several groups of teenagers who were probably doing something they had never done before – experiencing a bygone era when telephones were a luxury.  These wonderful wooden boats were from Hunters Yard, Ludham which is about 2 miles from this spot.  I’ve had a quick look at their website and they promote youth sailing which I think is fantastic.

Here they are a little closer before raising the sails.

A few set off from their moorings, heading in the same direction as us.  I couldn’t help but take a few photos as we travelled along.

The Thurne heads north to a large broad called Hickling.  The first of the large sailing yacht with the youngesters onboard, legs over the edge in the water, headed that way and we watched them disappear while sitting on the bank near the footpath.

Another came along shortly afterwards but the teacher (skipper) wasn’t sure whether to go straight on or left.  A frantic radio message finally had a reply that he needed which was just before I was about to shout out ‘left’. They circled and headed away…

How strange that he didn’t know the route.  Was he a teacher or a hired skipper I wondered.

The last to come past us before we left this spot was a small sail boat with a couple on board.  They appeared in the first photo.  They sailed straight on – to a quieter waterway with an air of experience.

Their boat was called ‘Serene’.

When comparing these boats which is best and which would you prefer, the large yachts or the smaller boat?

Size Matters

 

A roadside display

Roadside verge.

After almost a week of rain it’s a wonder these flowers are still standing.

This verge is on a quiet country lane and I think the seeds must have been scattered by the owner of a house opposite as they only appeared in one spot and only opposite the house.

I think there does seem to be a growing realisation that wild flowers are important as they are appearing in towns and cities  bit more often now.  A growing trend that’s such a good thing for our insects and wildlife.

Photo Challenge Display