Monday, October 15, 2012
Yesterday was blustery!
Short sharp showers and strong wind make a good combination to define that word.
We ventured out for our walk dressed up to the nines in warm, wind and waterproof clothing.
We still seem to be heading for the coast at the moment, the last two week-ends were cliff tops and though we didn't do them this week we stuck to the coast walking around the pretty little seaside resort of Bridlington.
It's past its season now but there were a few people out for a Sunday afternoon walk along the beach and seafront.
Ever opportunistic the icecream vendors plied their wares and the amusements bright lights beckoned.
We wandered around town first just window shopping and watching other people warming up in the bright little cafes, sitting in the warm window seats watching the passers by, with hands snug round their mugs and steam wafting into their faces.
DH visited the bookies, he'd been given a tip.
A man's domain if ever there was one, I felt like an intruder but at least it was warm and wind free in there even if his horse is still running!!
A winless and windless respite before we headed down to the seafront through the narrow streets for a walk along the promenade...I was going to say a stroll along the promenade but that would be a bit of an understatement as we were rather blown along it...lol...
We had intended to beachcomb but the tide was almost in, just a thin sliver of uncovered shingely sand left undisturbed by the silvery water creeping ever higher.
It was studded with a myriad of pebbles, countless colours washed clean with every sweep of the sea, and seabirds hanging after a last feed before roosting.
Mostly waders with a few juvenile Herring Gulls thrown in.
The cute little Sanderlings were in such a hurry as usual, scurrying amongst the other birds at breakneck speed. Their little legs seem a blur as they scurry past. It's ironic really as they must be feeding as they go but you can never seem to catch them at it....and as for a photograph, well, you can forget that, they're just too quick plus they're sand coloured and hard to spot!
Turnstones meandered along reminding me of those little old men you see strolling with their hands behind their backs, they had their choice of large or small pebbles to turn over or to probe around with their long beaks whilst the juvenile Herring Gulls in their brown and white mottled feathers wandered around at the waters edge occasionally getting a soaking as a wave rolled in and they weren't quick enough to flight.
A Great Black Backed Gull was there too, raucously crying and flapping his great wings, making his presence felt as he thuggishly maneuvered himself between the much smaller birds so that they felt they had to move on. He has a vicious looking yellow beak with a large red dot on the end.
Oyster catchers probed with their bright red beaks, they have matching red legs and a haunting scry like a baby crying!
The waves were spectacular, even the smaller ones just pounding in to shore were around twenty foot high, foaming white crests and brown streaked underbellies thick with churned up sand they galloped onto shore like the proverbial white horses, rearing up and crashing down, staying only a moment as the tide pulled the water back to sea.
It was so deceiving for as you looked south towards the harbour they pounded up the high stone walls reaching heights of around sixty feet or more, the walls are over forty feet high!
Sending icy cold spray crashing and cascading over the paths and funfair rides on the harbour top. It glinted in the afternoon sun forming large puddles and dripping off the roofs.
A fine white spray hung in the air clinging to us like mist and the wind shrieked and battered at our clothing.
But looking north, back towards the cliff area it seemed calmer and though the waves were still riding high at around twenty feet they seemed almost friendly as they swooshed and hissed their way up the beach in a mass of foamy bubbles, sending the birds running out of it's reach and then back again to forage around the pebbles as the water receded with little slurping sucking sounds, making vee shaped patterns with it's pull.
There were other intrepid photographers out braving the spray for a shot of a lifetime. And people crowded along the rails to see the power of the waves as they soared high into the air but everyone was sensible...there was not one idiot about to see if they could beat the waves, which was good to see as things can easily end in tradgedy.
We headed back in to town, stopping off for a quick sit down away from the wind in a seafront shelter. A welcome respite from the elements it was welcoming and almost warm. Festooned with lovely brightly coloured pictures painted by local school children and printed onto perspex to make attractive signs. They were sunk into the wall and edged with bricks to look like pictures in frames, very effective.
Walking back we made a detour hoping to go through the Trinity Cut, a small narrow sandy walkway down to the beach which was once the way down for the Victorian horse drawn lifeboats, now the donkeys and fishermen use it in the summer months. No chance of going down it today though so I took a picture through the beautiful wrought iron railings which run along the side.
Trinity Church spire to it's left looked spectacular with the sun behind it, almost menacing with the dark clouds and golden edgings. Like an advert for a horror film.
The spire is a welcome local landmark for fishermen, the first thing they see as they return to harbour after being out at sea plying their trade.
Here are a few pictures for you, they don't really convey the feeling of power the sea has but I hope you can see some of what I experienced and was so inadequately trying to describe.
wave power, crashing up to sixty foot and more high
wave power, the walls are over forty foot high!
wave coming in to shore, around twenty feet high!
incoming wave, all foam and bubbles as it crashes to shore
receding wave sucking patterns into the beach
Turnstones, they live up to their names when feeding on the shoreline
Great Black Backed Gull, a big bully!
like minded observer taking snaps
Looking back towards the cliffs the sea seems a lot calmer
railings at the Trinity Cut
Trinity Church spire, a seafarers landmark
fish picture in the shelter, so bright and colourful
beach ball picture
beach huts picture
Monday, October 08, 2012
Over the last week or so our vistas have begun to change.
Mother Nature has begun to paint from her Autumn colour palette.
Gone are the lush greens and cerulean blues which encompass summer.
Coming in are the beautiful rich reds, golden yellows and deep, deep purples of the new season.
She has a myriad of colours along the theme, all there for our delectation.
Ruby reds, garnets, scarlets, maroons.
Golden yellows, citrus hues.
Deep, deep purples, heliotropes, mauves.
Interpretations on a colour too numerous to mention, set to please our eye.
Here's a little ditty by me...lol...
Autumn's coming she's on her way
Changing colours every day.
The myriad greens are now replaced
In reds and golds with yellow laced.
She steals fleet winged across the land
Exploding colour, as she planned
To change the world to Autumn's sheen
A wondrous sight for us to glean.
To garner in for dark still days
To fill our minds with Nature's ways
When lying in contemplative thrall
In a blink of an eye we can recall
And bring the Autumn colours to mind
To delight upon the inward eye.
And a few pictures of the start of the Autumn palette:
Milk Thistle & Maritime Sunburst Lichen
Bramble & Fox Moth caterpillar
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Another bracing walk this week-end, DH seems to be in the mood for cliff top walks just lately...lol...not that I mind, they blow the cobwebs away!
This time we decided on a little bit further down the coast at Thornwick Bay near Flamborough.
Flamborough is a picturesque little fishing village with it's own bays, two of them, respectively called North and South Landing, and a lighthouse. They still fish for crabs and lobsters but the fishing industry is almost a byword now.
It's well known, has caravan and holiday homes and is a tourist attraction.
Just further down from one of the Flamborough bays are two small coves collectively known as Thornwick Bay...it's said the Yorkshire way with a silent 'w' thus sounding like Thornick Bay.
They were relatively unknown until some entrepreneur decided it too would be an ideal spot for a caravan park, consequently it is also becoming a tourist attraction.
We set off early as the weathermen had forecast rain for later in the day...it never materialised...but they were right about the strong, cold northerly wind. It was as bad as last week and on the cliff tops seemed even more wilder than when we set off.
The wind buffeted us from all directions almost pulling the car door out of my hands as I opened it and setting a newspaper to flight from where DH had left it on the back seat.
I was glad I'd decided on my windproof coat and walking boots though I couldn't find my fingerless gloves I like to wear in winter, they have a mitten flap over the end of them which opens so I can take photographs without removing the whole glove...I certainly stored them away for summer too well...lol...I still haven't found them yet!
We started off in a head wind leaving the cliff top car park at Flamborough's North Landing, following the cliff path as it meanders around all the little twists and turns of the coast.
The cliffs here are made of limestone and shine white in the sunshine, they don't get washed away like the mud cliffs further down though erosion does take place due to the wind and water but that takes years.
The cliffs are full of little gullies and small bays or coves, there are even caves which used to be used by smugglers in days gone by.
The grass was being blown almost horizontal but we pushed our way forward around the little bays and then back across a huge expanse of green fields where the wind wasn't quite as strong.
There are little valleys along it's length where you dip out of sight of the sea so that the huge expanse of sky and swiftly scudding clouds are all that you can see above the green sides of the valley.
Rooks were gathered together, these usually solitary birds form large flocks to forage and glean fields for food, poking and proddling with their huge black beaks for insects and worms. My father-in-law used to say they helped the farmer in two ways by getting rid of nuisance grubs and insects but also helping to turn the soil for them.
Then rising upwards over the valley rim the cliffs gradually reappear and we look down from the steep cliff sides to the rocky outlets which divide the little bays and gullies.
The tide was on the turn so rocks and sandy areas were exposed, it tempted the intrepid to brave the steep steps carved into the cliff side to reach the scaurs...flat expanses of rock around the shoreline...so they could walk beside the sea. It's a lot of steps as you have to come back up more steps after the first cove, then go down another set into the second cove before ascending more steps which bring you out about a mile from where the first steps went down...tiring!
We didn't go down as I've got a wonky knee which doesn't do steps very well unless I have a handrail. I'm not too bad going down as DH goes in front of me and I hold on to his shoulder but coming up again I've no chance...it makes for interesting detours on some walks!
There were a few tourists out, they drive down to the cliff edge, park up and peer over before getting back in and driving off again, usually after they've checked out the lovely little welcoming cafe on the cliff edge. It's run by a local lady who decided to cash in on the tourists...it's all home made cakes, pastries and hot meals which looked absolutely delicious.
We'd already eaten so settled for a steaming mug of milky hot chocolate but sat outside in a partially sheltered corner to drink it. The steam rose and wafted in the wind but it tastes much better outside than in.
There are three holiday homes on top of the cliff, bungaloes set almost on the edge where the land juts out into the sea at it's farthest point. They used to be the old coastguard cottages but are rented out now as a new coastguard station was built further down the coast.
It looks a lovely tranquil spot for a quiet and relaxing holiday but I bet you can still hear the wind howling around the eaves on a day like this.
We crossed a farmers field, still lush and green and covered with grazing sheep each wearing a fetching pink tag in one ear and a yellow one in the other...very fashionable!
Passing behind the rustling reed beds of an old dew pond we hoped to see reed buntings but there were only chaffinches and goldfinches feeding on the seeds of the wildly waving heads. Very wary birds they rose up in one big charm as we approached, zooming off at what seemed like the speed of light...we never saw them again!
Back at the car we divested ourselves of our outer clothing, turned on the cd player and singing along to my favourite Garth Brookes, headed down the coast to Filey for fish and chips...but that's another story!
Thornwick Bay, the larger cove complete with holiday homes
rocky outcrop separating the two small bays, the three intrepid people down there were a man and woman of around sixty and a young girl of about eight.
lands end...just sea from now on!
Thornick Bay, the smaller cove
steep steps down the cliff side to the small cove
caves, reputed to have been used by smugglers
fashionable sheep with one pink and one yellow ear tag
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
We're supposed to be catching the tail end of hurricane Nadia, the weather's certainly changed and not for the better so maybe it's right!
Sunday was dry with some sunny periods and a very strong wind which sometimes became filled with blustery raindrops, the sort of rain which drives itself into your face and stings...still we decided to head for the coast...lol...DH's idea but one I was happy to go along with.
I'm not a girly girl, never have been. I don't mind muck and mud or getting wet in fact, I enjoy it!
The idea was to walk part of the coastal path between two villages.
The east coast of England is notorious for erosion with paths, roads, caravans, houses and even whole villages falling prey to the rough North Sea. They used to reckon on losing thirty metres a year but that's increased now, it's so unpredictable! Some places which are now in danger were once miles from the sea.
The weird weather of very dry, then very wet this year hasn't helped any and big tracts of land will suddenly slide down and disappear over the cliff edge.
Since we were last there part of the road and path had disappeared down onto the beach to be replaced by a wooden fence with danger signs, concrete road blocks and big red stop signs.
Some of that new fencing had already disappeared in places and the beach was strewn with soil and the remains of a bungalow that had half slid over the edge, large lumps of masonry clinging to the cliff face, the rest of it teetering at a lopsided angle, it's bright blue but tattered curtains flapping in the wind with cupboards and windows, bent out of shape, threatening to fall with every gust of wind.
It must be so heartbreaking for the owners to see.
Golden dry grasses, bright yellow ragwort and pretty white camomile grew in abundance across the edge of the cliff all blowing and dancing in the strong wind.
A couple and their dogs braved the elements to walk along the beach though I suspect it might have been more sheltered down below the cliff than it was on it. They stayed well down towards the sea and away from the heavy cliff sides.
The walk was, well! shall we say...bracing!
It was what my dad always called a 'lazy' wind, too lazy to go around you so it came straight through!
The sea looked magnificent with it's churning white horses galloping up onto the beach, pausing a moment, and dashing back out again.
The foam was a frothy white plus varied shades of brown with churned up sand and seabirds seemed to hang on the wind as they tried to make headway through the strong breeze, their haunting scrieing filled the air, all at once seeming close by, then far away as the wind buffeted their cries around our heads and away out to sea.
The path was easy to follow when it was there but if it seemed too near to the cliff edge we fell back walking through the thick lush green grass and wild flowers of what used to be a farmers field though in reality it was now reduced to less than half a field in size.
Our return journey was through the fields, thick with flowers and grass, around the little medieaval church, passing through the caravan camp and back to where we parked the car. We thought the wind might be behind us on the way back but it was blowing every which way so there was no respite.
Once in the car the warmth hit us, so much so my glasses steamed up!
The silence was golden as the wind seemed to drop away. It still spattered the windows with rain and caught the car making it jostle but it was good to be back inside.
Our faces tingled with a warm glow and we rubbed cold hands together before wrapping them around a mug of drinking chocolate, piping hot and steaming as we poured it from the flask...it has never tasted so good as when you drink it like this, trying not to burn your lips yet wanting the hot liquid so much...I can almost taste it now...yummy!
It was a good and very enjoyable walk. Not too long as I'm still building my lengths up but so nice to be out in the fresh air.
Some of the pictures won't load here, it says the file's too big, as usual, but here are a few it deigned to load.
view down the beach
coastal erosion: large rocks are placed along the shore in an effort to reduce the wave power
danger sign, ragwort, grasses and camomile
grasses and flowers on the cliff edge with a breakwater in the distance
Thursday, September 13, 2012
I had a ride out with my good friend Judy yesterday.
We decided to have lunch in a small and friendly restaurant on the outskirts of the little medieaval market town of Beverley and then make our way down towards Hessle and the Humber.
It was meant to be more of a ride than a walk (she's recovering from an arthroscopy op. on her knee) but if the weather wasn't too bad we'd decided to walk along the foreshore on the banks of the river Humber which is nice and flat but with magnificent views.
It wasn't a bright sunny day, in fact quite overcast and with rain forecast when we set off but happily it didn't materialise and the sun made a welcome appearance just as we arrived at the Hessle foreshore.
Hessle is a small coastal village which fronts the river Humber.
Its foreshore has a long thin rocky beach, nothing to write home about as it's actually the shore to the mighty river Humber, a tidal river which serves the port of Kingston-upon-Hull, more commonly known as Hull, but it is a lovely walk with wonderful views across to Lincolnshire and their coastal ports.
There's a lovely heritage park there, it spreads out under the Humber Bridge and extends both ways for a considrable distance on the Yorkshire side of the river.
It's huge and has lots of different areas to explore with woodland walks, mountain biking trails, ponds, streams, picnic, playparks and birdwatching areas. It's a great place to walk and spend the day and we've been there a lot with grand children and husbands but we decided that this visit we'd only go to the foreshore where the park ends as it meets the sea.
We found a space to park the car right next to the river, not a lot of visitors drive this far down as they follow the signs to the Humber Bridge Park but that car park is a good fifteen minutes walk away (and costs too!) with lots of steps down through the woods so we always see if there's a space nearer in a small parking area which the locals know about, you can get into the heritage park this way too if you want, and on this occasion we were lucky.
We began to walk down towards the Humber Bridge, the suspension bridge which crosses the boundry between the counties of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
It was warm but quite blustery and the wind pulled gently at our hair and set our clothing to disarray as we strolled along the top of the grassy bank.
Seabirds scried as they hung on the wind, their feathers seeming to flap on their outstretched wings.
And a little orange tug boat chugged it's way slowly up river towards the harbour mouth.
The warm and welcome sun cast glistering silvery glints in a wide fan across the calm expanse of water as she peeked between the grey clouds which scudded along leaving patches of blue in their wake.
She gleamed on the vast structure of the bridge so it seemed to be made out of silver in the ethereal setting it created.
We sat on a well placed bench and marvelled at the wondrous sight.
Behind us the tall sail less structure of the old jet black tarred whitening mill stood sentinel against the forested backdrop, it's millstones piled in the grass as if tossed aside by a giant hand.
And the old 'seafarers' chair at the entrance to the park seemed to beckon us as if to say 'come sit a while'. The lovely double seated chair is constructed from pieces of old ship's timber and driftwood cast upon the shore by the tide.
The fresh air reddened our cheeks as we turned for home, not a long walk but a bracing one with lots of visual stimulation as well as physical...I for one slept very well last night!!
sunshine glints across the Humber
the bridge seems to be made of silver
the old whitening mill and grind stones
the 'seafarer' chair
millstones with a wood ship in the centre of the river and the distant shore of Lincolnshire
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