Monday 30 March 2009

Sea swans

30th March09, High Newton, 4pm

A bevy of swans on the sea - I've not seen this before here but they're happy on salt or fresh water

This wall is being repaired a few yards at a time. I've never seen anyone but it grows in length every now and again! It's a great job so all credit to, presumably, The National Trust who look after this part of the coast.

common relations

Starfish and urchins are related; both are echinoderms. They share 5-way symmetry. It's obvious in the 5 legs of the starfish but the pattern on a sea urchin's skeleton is also a 5 pointed star.

30th March09, Embleton Bay, 8am

Common Starfish, Common Limpet and common Green Sea Urchins

Sunday 29 March 2009

clocks change

The clocks changed which meant an hour less in bed but so much more light in the evenings.

The weather has been beautiful today and finally the wind dropped. So we headed inland for a change to the ever-popular Breamish Valley in the Cheviots.

29th March09, Breamish Valley, 3pm

Saturday 28 March 2009

Still the wind blows

It seems to have been blowing a gale for several days and getting bored with it. Combined with a big high tide, we had to take to the slopes of the dunes to get along the beach today.

28th March09, High Newton, 3pm

Friday 27 March 2009


Bright Sun in the SE made me squint, Blasting sand from the NE made me blink, Fortunately, there was no one around to bump into as I wandered around with my eyes shut half the time.

27th March09, Low Newton

Thursday 26 March 2009

equinox wind

The wind supposedly gets strong around the spring (and autumn) equinox. This year has certainly appeared that way. Sunny and warm except for the NW wind.

Still, the wind leaves amazing patterns on the beach and, combined with the shadows from the low sun, it was all very bonny.

26th March09, High Newton, 4pm

Wednesday 25 March 2009

scrap of history

Howick coast path is completely dry underfoot for the first time since last summer and is once again a joy to walk along.

25th March09, Howick coast, 8am

Previously I've mentioned the limestone N of the fault. These are the sandstones S of the fault.

This cliff is inscribed with the face of Jesus with a rather enigmatic expression. Not exactly Mona Lisa but interesting to wonder what he's thinking. A bit shocked at the cheeky graffiti perhaps...

The lump on the edge of the shore has always intrigued me as I couldn't make out what it was. It being a low tide this morning we went to investigate. It seems to me it's a steam boiler from a wrecked ship. Not just scrap, but a scrap of history.

Monday 23 March 2009

sandblasted again

The beach was being battered by a fierce wind but we found a bit of shelter eventually.

23rd March09, High Newton, 3pm

I spotted one stripy snail shell and suddenly they were everywhere. This looked like a wee family group (except they're all empty shells so nothing very heart-warming here!)

Friday 20 March 2009

More trees but different ones

The beach was freezing although it was sunny so we headed inland. It was lovely and warm and the light was wonderful through the trees. It was nice to meet Isis the talking lurcher and her family.

20thMarch09, Hepburn Woods, 3pm

Misty Woods

A bit misty near the coast today and it made the old woods very atmospheric.

20th Mar09, around Christon Bank, 8am

Thursday 19 March 2009

signs of spring

It was 8C but felt much colder - a right chill in the air. Nonetheless, the plants are full ahead for spring...

19th March09, Low Newton, 4pm

Goat Willow or Pussy Willow - really healthy looking catkins bristling with pollen. Soon they'll turn grey and furry.

Hawthorn - these are leaf buds rather than flower buds (which won't be out 'til May)

Cowslip Primula veris

Gorse - in yesterday's sun the coconut aroma was more apparent than today. Some gorse bushes (such as this one) have been in flower all winter. Just round the corner the bushes are bare of flowers.

A young spikelet of Marram grass or possibly Couch grass..

Wednesday 18 March 2009

nice day really

It was a beautiful day today - my black and white images maybe don't show the blue sky but you can see the sun! Trooper didn't go near the sea while I plodged briefly - Brrrr!

18th March09, Alnmouth, 4pm