Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Hello Sailor Part 2

Lovely afternoon light and the first day this week that the temperature's been above freezing. Still a bit of snow on the beach though.

23rd Dec09, Newton Links, 2pm

The latest in my "hello sailor" series of objects cast overboard by nautical types...

christmas tree

A fantastic day's walking on Simonside above Rothbury.

22nd Dec09, Simonside, 10am

It was -5 deg C at the car park and the road was a bit snowy.

On the ridge, one of the conifers has been decorated as a Christmas tree. Congratulations to whoever is responsible - what a Great Thing to do.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Midwinter solstice

Greeting to anyone who celebrates this ancient event rather than Christmas. From today, there will be more light (except for readers S. of the equator).

21st Dec09, Alnmouth, 8am

Ages since I've been here and we headed North from Alnmouth a bit further than previously explored. As usual at this time of year we started in the gloom, witnessed a fantastic sunrise and then headed home as the light flattened and the wind rose.

Oyster Catchers (known as "Scolders" in Orkney, which is a much more poetic name)

This is a cracking, quiet beach at the N end of Alnmouth Bay.

A giant stone mushroom.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Big Foot

A good fall of snow yesterday covered all the trees and they looked magical. It all happened just as the evening fell so I couldn't get any photos of the beautiful scene. Next morning, and the trees are bare of snow but it's still beautiful.

20th Dec09, Christon Bank, 8am

20th Dec09, Howick Estate, 1pm

Such a nice day, bright, crisp, cold and calm. The roads were a bit slippy which is why it was quiet out and about.

This is a magnificent Scot's Pine in the Howick grounds.

The colour is from the branches of the tree, not foliage.

Huge bird prints in the snow. We think it's a Grey Heron out for a walk. Fully 6 inches from back to front.

Trooper arrived to help in the search...

Saturday, 19 December 2009

come on in the water's lovely

18th Dec09, Howick Coast, 3pm

Spectacular Big Sea with a stong North Easterly behind it. Beside the bathing house at Howick there is a door that leads down to the sea - presumably for bathing purposes. The sea didn't look very inviting framed through the door.

19th Dec09, Embleton Bay, 8am

One of these mornings when I knew it was going to be a nice sunrise. There was a couple of inches of snow on the car but nothing at the beach. These colours are nature at her best.

Friday, 18 December 2009

notable day

A notable day on 2 accounts. First the East wind finally brought snow. We got but a flurry but them down South got a bucketload.

Second, This was Terry Wogan's last breakfast show and the end of a fine British institution. I listened through the static on the beach.

18th Dec09, Embleton Bay, 8am

A dusting of snow for the boots to deal with...

Lovely clouds that changed every few minutes as the sun rose behind them.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

think positive

The winter weather has arrived so me and Trooper are walking around with heads bowed in the gloom.

15th Dec09, Christon Bank,

This caravan appeared trapped by the gorse. What fun it must have had in it's young days...

16th Dec09, Newton Links, 3pm

Grim skies above grim seas.

17th Dec09, At Home, 3pm

Even colder today and cold enough for snow. Suddenly, with positive thinking, a bit of colour arrives back to our world.

Monday, 14 December 2009

hole in the ground

13th Dec09, Newton Links, 8am

The field is still flooded which is bad news for the crop and the farmer but it's much appreciated by the wildfowl. This flight of mute swans was coming in to land...

14th Dec09, Little Mill Quarry, 8am

Someone suggested this walk to me. Too many sheep for Trooper and not enough running around for his taste but it appealed to the explorer in me and I enjoy industrial archaeology as much as the ancient variety. This is one of many quarries around here, some old and some current, that exploit the hard whinstone that outcrops frequently throughout Northumberland. A fine grained igneous rock formed by volcanic activity underground which has been exposed by weathering of the sandstone over the millenia. Most famously, a large chunk of Hadrian's Wall is built on the whin sill.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

the romantic view

11th Dec09, Low Newton, 8am

Another fine morning. All was frozen, even the wind seemed to be stilled by the icy temperatures. Stillness and birdcalls; Silence with staccato interruptions filling my ears. It was enough to make me leave off the headphones today to fully appreciate the atmosphere.

12th Dec09, Embleton Bay, 3pm

Lots of couples out and about today. It's a cliche but a winter beach is a fine place for a romantic stroll with your loved one. Today, as it's the weekend, I had Su with me so I can confirm this is true.

...and my other loved one, of course...

Thursday, 10 December 2009


10th Dec09, Embleton Bay, 8am

Gorgeous morning on Embleton Bay with the Castle looking glorious against the dawn.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

faster than a speeding dog...

8th Dec09, Newton Links, 5pm

A cold but not unpleasant evening. As it was getting dark, the slow shutter speed gives Trooper the illusion of speed...

9th Dec09, Howick Coast, 8am

A beautiful near-midwinter sunrise this morning. I could have stayed out for ages this morning and Trooper, as usual, would have too. Sadly the computer beckoned...

(Hello to the Birthday Girl and Friends - Have a great week, lovely to chat.)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The Long Nanny

Strange name for a nice wee river.

6th Dec09, The Long Nanny, 3pm

Something had roused the gulls en masse from their roosting spot at the mouth of the river. Common gulls and blackheaded gulls as far as I could see.


It's sad to see a seal pup on the beach - there have been a couple of dead ones in the last few weeks. This wee guy was still in there fighting and hopefully would have headed off on the next high tide. They are such curious, trusting creatures that everyone on the beach was wanting to help somehow.

The photo's a bit rubbish as I didn't want to get too close and it was still nearly dark even after my luxurious lie in until Trooper insisted on getting up at 9am!

6th Dec09, Low Newton, 9:30 am

Note: Being a gentleman, I kept my camera in my pocket and my binoculars in my jacket when the students ran topless into the sea and gambolled playfully in the waves this morning. They didn't stay in for long! Ah, to be young...

Saturday, 5 December 2009


You know Christmas is here when Mike and Margaret get the decorations up at The Blink Bonny, our village pub. I think they look great.

5th Dec09, Christon Bank, 4:30pm