Thursday 29 April 2010

unfurling spring

28th April10, Newton Links, 4pm

Spring tide and not much beach to play with. It's been a busy week without much time to have a longer walk.

29th April10, around Christon Bank, 8am

The recent sunny weather and a day of rain yesterday means the trees are starting to unfurl their leaves. The tree on the right is a horse chestnut which is always early to leaf and the young leaves are a beautiful luminous, lime green.

This is a beech tree just starting to come into leaf. Some beeches still have their autumn leaves, especially those in hedges; I wonder why that is.

Lichen - a sign of clean, pollution free air. This is a part of the world you can breathe deeply and safely.

Monday 26 April 2010

uncoiling spring

24th April10, Christon Bank, 8am

The ferns are uncoiling in the brighter parts of the woods. The nettles are sprouting too and soon the paths we've enjoyed all winter will be overgrown and impassable.

24th April10, Howick Coast, 4pm

25th April10, Howick Coast, 4pm

A few folk around on the path as it's a sunny weekend. These young lovers had found a fine spot to sit.

26th April10, Low Newton, 8am

I didn't even get in the car before I spotted my first picture across the road.

A different angle of The Square at Low Newton.

I photograph out to sea and into the sun most mornings so I'd decided to look inland today. Some of the 40 odd "bungalows"; holiday homes in amongst the dunes.

Trooper's warm enough to go in the sea and as a bonus we found his old ball washed ashore yesterday. He would have played here all day.

It's always a slow trot home however much fun we've had on the beach... and I have to carry the ball.

Friday 23 April 2010


Just to prove to myself that I don't only take pictures on days with blue skies...

23rd April10, Newton Links, 8am

A pleasantly understated dawn on a cloudy morning.

The recent winds have left ridges in the sand which are always of interest. These meandering paths were made by birds in search for a morsel.

Thursday 22 April 2010

busy busy world

21st April10, Low Newton Pond, 8pm

A very relaxing few minutes sat watching the ducks from the hide at Newton Pond. All was peaceful but busy: A roe deer grazed in the field, a fox wandered past pausing only for a long stretch before heading off for an evening's hunting, a grey heron found his dinner at the pond edge, the black-headed gulls squabbled over their night roosts and the mallards puddled in the golden twilight waters. Shame the binoculars were back in the car and my wee camera doesn't have a long lens...

22nd April10, Howick Bay, 8am

The sandstone hereabouts has some good fossils. This, I think, is a fossilised tree fern type plant.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

two points

21st April10, Howick Coast, 8am

From this angle Cullernose Point has a mini-twin. Lovely blue skies but cold wind persists. We were sheltered down here at the curiously named Swine Den so we sat and I soaked up the sun through many layers of winter clothing while Trooper's fur warmed up nicely.

21st April10, around Christon Bank, 3pm

Flowering currant in the sun is a beautiful plant but the smell is nose-wrinklingly sharp.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

the moors revisited

20th April10, Debdon Woods (nr Rothbury), 9am

Back inland for some unfinished business. When we were here at the weekend I saw some paths heading off our track and I felt the need to explore...

Monday 19 April 2010

bright and shiny

18th April10, Rothbury, 2pm

A fine walk inland across the moors and through the woods. We stopped by this bonny pond to let Trooper have a cool off and a drink.

19th April10, Low Newton, 8am

A bright and shiny new morning. The sun was dazzling on the sea and the sky was reflected in the wet sand. The wetness of the sand is not left over from high tide, rather it's fresh water that seeps under the dunes from the marshy area behind. It's one of the things that makes this coast so photogenic. There is boulder clay just under the sand here which is a preserved, ancient ground level from a time when the North Sea was much smaller and a long way from here. Just after the last ice age (ca 8,000 years ago) the land would have stretched East for miles from here. Possibly you could have walked to Belgium.

Saturday 17 April 2010

spectacular sunrise?

Because of the ash in the atmosphere to the East of the UK, there was talk that there would be a spectacular sunrise. Unfortunately I only awoke at 5:45 so by the time I got to the beach I'd missed the pre-dawn and sunrise itself. It's clearly a fine dawn but I've seen it this nice before without the aid of ash. Still a joy to be there.

17th April10, Embleton Bay, 6am

warm rock

16th April10, Howick Coast, 6pm

The warm tones of evening light makes other things at the same end of the spectrum come alive. The yellow gorse seems to glow and the sandstone cliffs look like they'd be warm to the touch.

(They're not. It was about 14 C, not as warm as it looks!)

Friday 16 April 2010

Ash Thursday

15th April10, Newton Links, 4pm

"Ash Thursday" is a witty name given to the day that all flights were grounded in UK due to an ash cloud passing (invisibly) over Britain. A volcano named Eyjafjallajoekull erupted and, due to the high pressure system sitting over us, the winds have blown the ash cloud our way. I have heard no newsreaders even try to pronounce it!

Meanwhile, the met office forecast showed a sheet of cloud south of us and clear skies North. Couldn't have been more accurate and here's the edge of the cloud.

16th April10, Football Hole, 8am

The ash cloud remains but is notable for its invisibility. As all planes are grounded, the sky is free from vapour trails. This is a shot vertically above my head.

...and North towards Beadnell

It's starting to get warm enough for Trooper to enjoy a soak to cool off.


One man and his dog.

Thursday 15 April 2010

holy island again

14th April10, Holy Island, 8pm

The tides are favourable to cross the causeway for sunset right now and, as Su had missed out on the trip earlier in the week, we went back. Trooper was in a better mood but seemed determined to fall off the cliffs on "The Heugh". The East coast lends itself to sunrises as it faces the right way so it was a rare treat to sit and watch the sun setting right down to a low horizon.

Such a beautiful spot. Such a unique, spiritual atmosphere. Best appreciated before the main tourist season, we are very lucky to be where we are.

2 bays in 2 days

13th April10, Newton Links, 4pm

High tide and Beadnell Bay was filled with breakers being pushed ashore by a brisk and chilly NE wind. We were trapped, treading a tortuous path between the livestock in amongst the dunes and the rising waves. Soon the ragwort will start to grow and the sheep and cattle will be moved away before they poison themselves. I won't miss them as their absence will mean the return of freedom to roam and Trooper can be given his independence off the lead.

14th April10, Howick Coast, 4pm

Trooper limped along unhappy with my choice of route. No sand to run on here; he is such a grump when he's in a mood. Such moods are of course infectious and after a mile or so of having to stop and wait for the world's slowest dog to trundle along I gave up and we both stomped back. Shame, as it was a lovely day.

Monday 12 April 2010

Holy Island

12th April10, Holy Island, 6pm

As a social event of the North Northumberland Tourism Association, we were taken on a bird watching walk around The Holy Island by Martin Kitching of Northern Experience Wildlife Tours. It was a stunning evening, great company and very educational. Shame I couldn't go to the pub at the end of the walk.

The classic view of Lindisfarne Castle being discussed by some members of the group.

Two similar views cropped differently as the sun set while I drove home over the causeway.