Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Bright and breezy

This morning the weather looked good even though the stormy winds were still strong, a good day for a long overdue trip to the seaside . . .

We drove down the Colne valley to Brightlingsea on the Colne Estuary and after a warming pot of tea and substantial biscuit in a lovely cafe near the harbour we set on on a bracing walk . . .


We walked along a promenade lined with cheerful coloured beach huts, we remembered seeing these from our walks on Mersea Island on the far side of the wide estuary. This morning the tide was in and the wind whipped up waves that sent spray over walkers and dogs that got too near to the edge of the pathway.


The waves were crashing around Bateman's Tower, a WWII lookout post for spotting enemy aircraft heading towards London from across the North Sea.


Our route continued along the top of a high bank that protects the low lying fields and farmland from flooding. To our right and spread out below us was the expanse of reeds and grassland habitats of Brightlingsea Marsh nature reserve, the colours suddenly became vivid as sunshine broke through gaps in the the lines of clouds.


To our left were the huge blocks of stone making up the sea defences and the choppy water of the Colne Estuary. Between the water of the land are fragments of salt-marsh, you can see the spray from the waves hitting the muddy channels that cut through the low hummocks of vegetation.


We had hoped to see some wildlife but the wild winds meant they were probably tucked into the reedbeds and low scrubby bushes. However we did spot a small flock of birds which landed on the marshes, zooming in with my camera I managed to see they were Brent Geese and also some Curlew.


I don't think I've seen a Brent Goose before. They're surprisingly small, we spotted two Brent Geese in a field behind the sea wall, a rook landed next to them and was almost the same size!


Walking against the wind was hard work and trying to look at birds through binoculars was impossible as you couldn't hold them steady. So we took a route that turned inland along another high earth bank called The Great Divide!.


We circled round though fields divided by reed beds, the views were wide expanses of green and ochre.


Eventually we got back to the outskirts of Brightlingsea, through housing estates and then streets of Victorian red brick cottages. I made a mental note to return on a day when the interesting bric-a-brac shops would be open.

We decided to drive a bit further along the coast to Clacton-on-sea for lunch and a quick breezy stroll along the pier and the promenade gardens before heading home.


... It's almost time to watch the last episode of War & Peace ... Oh Pierre! so I'll sign off

C xx

15 comments:

  1. Thank you for a lovely mind-walk, Celia. I do love me some salt-marsh!

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    1. Agree, sadly the fragments pf Colne Estuary salt marsh are tiny and under constant erosion.

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  2. Somewhere else I've yet to go to! It looks lovely, and with bric a brac shops too, a perfect combo :-)

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    1. Add to your list of places to explore!

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  3. Pierre? Really? Not sure any of them rock my boat, or maybe that's my advancing years... Lovely, windy, winter coast walk and a part of the world I know well,too.

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  4. Thank you for this. Not a part of Essex I know.

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    1. Essex has a beautiful wild coastline if you know where to look.

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  5. What a fabulous walk. I seem to have completely missed War and Peace... Might have to invest in the box set

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    1. It certainly blew the cobwebs away - which is what I needed.
      I think you'd like War&Peace - worth it for the locations and fabulous coats!

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  6. What a wonderful place for a walk, I bet it blew the cobwebs away though. I taped War and Peace and am now only about half way through it. I thought the first episode was really hard to get in to so I ended up watching it for a second time but I'm enjoying it now.

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    1. I only understood the first episode by referring to the list of characters on the BBC web site. I'm glad I did as the story then drew me in.

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  7. What a lovely bracing walk, an interesting area.

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  8. This looks like a lovely winter walk with its wild sea and bracing wind. I'd love to see the geese, too. I must visit that part of the county again soon.

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  9. I love the coast in winter. Wish we'd got a better view of the Brent geese.

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