Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Camber Sands and a pillbox...

Monday 4th February we were told by the weather forecasts would be one of the best days for sunshine so far this year. I'm not saying that they were wrong (perish the thought) but following quite a hard frost, at 10am it was still cold enough to be painful.
But then, to be fair I was by then at Camber Sands on the East Sussex coast and it's invariably colder at the coast.


Click any photo for larger view

Low tide might be a good time to find any wildlife that may be present and also reveals huge expanses of smooth sand, ideal for Herbie the terrier to run around on.




Unfortunately the opportunities for finding any live macro subjects were almost zilch! Too cold, too early in the season? The sands themselves were vast but offered little to tempt me aside from the abundance of sea shells.
By late morning,despite as thorough search as I could manage in the cold conditions, the only living things I had photographed were some horses as they were being prepared for a 'hack' (is that the right term?) along the beach...


I determined to spend some time photographing the sands as there seemed plenty to choose from...



The next photo was one of those happy mistakes. I half-dropped the little p&s camera as I was switching it on and this was the resulting picture...I kinda liked it...





And a couple taken towards the sun that by now had managed to lift the temperature nicely...






With the sea at your back, the dunes that are a big part of this environment become obvious and that's where the next few pictures were taken...



I found this lovely spike..possibly new growth?




From the edge of the dunes, you can just about make out the wind farm at nearby Romney Marsh...


The wind turbines viewed from a different spot, this time with a few of the famous Romney Marsh sheep...


Returning to the dunes, these are mostly of marram grasses but there are also dense areas of sea-buckthorn and although I had no idea of just what buckthorn looks like, I think that this is what the next photo shows, it's still in its bare, winter state and so difficult to be sure 100%...


Apparently this stretch of sands (approx 7miles) is home to the brown-tail moth caterpillar that makes its home on sea-buckthorn. It might be worth another visit come late spring when the buckthorn is in full swing and the caterpillars are emerging?

The other thing I found in the dunes that was a real surprise was this beautiful moss(?) It was only very small and growing directly on the sand. I haven't had much luck yet with an i.d. for this but then, I wouldn't expect to, as I've said before my photography skills are better than my identifying skills.


Back to the beach then...must be something worth pointing the macro lens at down here? Herbie decided at this point to either emulate me or parody me, not sure which...


What had I discovered to photograph?



And then more sandy shots...



And finally before it was time to move on, I came across this gorgeous little shell. I just had to photograph this one...


And so it was time to bid farewell to sunny Camber and head for Rye and a diversion through Appledore, hugging the edge of the military canal where I find so many dragonfly species along with the huge marsh frogs in summer, before arriving in Tenterden to check out the spectacular display of crocus flowers under the plane trees that line the main road through.

On the road to Rye, I stopped to photograph the trees that seemed to be on fire. Probably new growth on the willow(?) trees...




Through Rye and heading for the village of Appledore, time for a coffee break. There was a pull-in large enough to park up and restore caffeine levels. Having done so, I noticed a small gate that led to the canal and standing at the top of the bank, a World War ll pillbox...


These are small fortified constructions supposed to protect occupants from any invasion. There's more about these strange little buildings here should you wish to abandon this blog update in favour of war relics.

A look inside a pillbox
      And looking through one of the openings used for fire arms...



Directly opposite this pillbox the stretch of canal seems to be home to a pair of swans...not too sure what this one was doing...honking?


On to Appledore then and a brief stop to photograph another swan, this one was green though!


Then Tenterden and yes, there were drifts of crocus flowers under every tree and all were being visited by honey bees.Spring, what a beautiful and energetic time of year. So much to look forward to, I have a feeling this year is going to be special...




Something of a marathon update but hopefully you've found something of interest and if not? Well there's always next time...

Until then...tarra chuck (or any endearment you prefer)...

6 comments:

  1. Cheryl Roberts5 March 2013 at 21:52

    I really enjoyed your story of your day out. Felt as tho I were there. Photos are spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Looks like a great trip out and about mate ... always like how you manage to make the things that many overlook as perhaps mundane look real interesting and stunning to look at ... it's a gift :)

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  3. Thanks for your comments Cheryl and Tim, appreciated. Yeah, was a good day...need more like it!

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  4. Wonderful series of photos again and that one of Herbie 'copying' you made me burst out laughing!! Too funny!
    Some beautiful shells there and love that new growth on the grass, an incredible colour! Sand makes such beautiful shapes and textures doesn't it! Looked a good day for it even if a bit on the chilly side!
    Nature's being such a tease at the mo with the odd good day (like yesterday) then back to the grey dull stuff...... we were spoiled in March last year!
    Maria

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  5. Thanks Maria..yes it was really nice to do something a bit different and hope to get out and about a bit more this year. Last year,just wasn't possible. Now all we need is the right weather!
    Thank-you for ALL of your comments.

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  6. Hi JJ, That Yellow Moss macro blows me away with it's Beauty....so well captured.....and the diagonal "mistake".....LOve it...Always enjoy your blog and this Sands one is a special delight..Best, Stella

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