Sunday, 24 April 2011

Week 16

We have had such lovely sunny weather all week and I have had several walks on the shore.  On Tuesday we were aware that it was near tide time but what we witnessed was a complete surprise.  We heard a sudden sound of rushing water,  the water was coming up the tidal river with such speed and it just took seconds for it to spread and fill the river to the sides of the sandy banks.  It was a tidal bore.  We watched at the frightening speed of the incoming water,  we stood by the railway bridge and watched the water rise up, counting the bricks on the  bridge support,  as our shore was soon covered in water.  As we walked back close to the fence at the edge of the shore,  huge pools which were empty were now filling up as the water tipped over the banks.   It was here I found my fish, stranded in a pool but dead.  I was sorry for the fish but thrilled to be able to draw it, a great find for my page.  I quickly sketched it in pencil and captured some colours in crayons. There is no way I can tell you how much this fish started to smell on this hot evening as I sat outside drawing it, but it was a lovely find and fun to draw.  We had heard fish jumping last week,  it is a young salmon, they swim in the estuary and in the river which runs into the sea.
The shore has many crabs, see the photograph of a few we found, different colours and sizes.  The bigger crabs are found with the backs opened and ended up as tea for the birds. The two crabs I chose,  the green one with the dark markings and a pinky orangey one were rather smelly too.  The snail shells were two I found but I did see some climbing up plants.   And my feather was definitely  from an oyster catcher.   I keep adding the oak leaves because they are always on the sand,  now showing signs of aging.  I hope you like the page, it is a mixture of things I found and makes me realise what lovely colours and interesting natural objects can be found here.

My collecting day is usually Saturday, so I kept my rule and went for a walk at 6pm.  The noises were different today, a farmer has put his flock of white sheep and many lambs to graze on the fast growing green grass. A notice to owners to keep dogs on leads meant the shore was empty, with just a couple of people walking.  It was getting a little cool but we were rewarded with the sight of a heron ,  it landed and we sat and watched it slowly step through the shallow waters left after the tide.  As the sun was getting low it made such a beautiful silhouette against the sky. We saw the first two swallows dipping and swooping in front of us as they flew around and circled in the sky.  The oyster catchers in pairs and so were the shell ducks, all calling out their own bird calls.  A pied wagtail was sitting on the railway bridge supports and kept disappearing under the bridge, perhaps nesting.  I must confess I have all these bird names and calls given to me by the expert, thank you,  I am always grateful.   Of course I know the seagulls but I had a lesson on the herring gulls and the black backed gulls,  lets hope I can remember them all.  No sign of the swan tonight but we saw her through the week gliding on the water covering the shore at high tide, see photograph.   I just love walking along listening to all the bird calls,  and hearing them drift through my windows at night.
All too soon the sun went down and we left the shore to the sounds of  crying lambs looking for mothers.  I collected some soft curly lambs wool caught on the fence,  to stuff a pin cushion.  I bet you do he said.  Well I bet I do,  so now another job for my list,  just to prove him wrong!
Thank you for the lovely comments, I  love to read them,  so do stop and let me know how you are enjoying my shore finds.     Millyx


Susan Scheid (Raining Acorns) said...

Quite a catch, and depicted with your usual grace (notwithstanding the odors, I see!). Must have been something witnessing that tidal bore.

Windsongs and Wordhoards said...

Beautiful, I love the colours you've captured in that fish, he looks as if still alive... and I liked your amazingly detailed crab from week 15 that I've only just caught up with, great texture.

It's nice to see your old friend the swan in person (or bird-son) and hearing about all the other swooping and whooping bird-folk.

I used to see a pair of Herons quite often when out walking where I lived before, and always got a great thrill to see them lift effortlessly up from the water, big ungainly seeming legs and necks becoming so graceful in the air. I love the hook-necked profile against the sky.

Melody said...

Hey, there's your swan! :))) I love the little fish, that's an unexpected twist ~ I'm happy i can enjoy his portrait odor free! He's got lovely colors. I so enjoy the little walks on the beach with you each week.
I can't wait to see your pin cushion. he he he :)

Carol Creech said...

I love the fish, too! Something different from your usual fare. All of it is so fun to look at and read about, though. Thanks again for including us in your weekly adventures!

martinealison said...

De superbes dessins pour illustrer de bons moments en pleine nature...
Gros bisous

Sarah Melling said...

Just stumbled upon your lovely blog. I will be visiting often!

Lucille said...

I thought of you yesterday Milly as I walked on the shore at Cuckmere Haven. Later we watched the 'tide' coming in at Alfriston. I had no idea the river was tidal at that point but there were stranded crabs! That fish was a great find for you.

Acornmoon said...

Such a treacherous shore line ! It is a good job you know the area as you do.

and now, don't forget to post picture of that pincushion!

Frances said...

Milly, it seems that your walks were very different this week, what with the tidal bore and new lambs, and warming air.

All this is so subtly reflected in the incredible new page in your sketchbook. This visual journal is becoming a great 2011 report.

Of course, you will be making that pincushion, and you might even remember the names of those birds!


Mary said...

Tuesday's unusual occurrence must have been a bit worrisome - water can be so dangerous and it's sudden movement often devastating. Anyway, you were safe, thank goodness, and the water brought new things to share with us in your beautiful drawings.

I'd love to hear the sound of bleating lambs again - we used to sit on a five-barred gate at the top of my road in Devon and watch them, many, many years ago!

I'm in touch with Delila and have told her our plan. Will e-mail you later this week after I try to get my iPhone usable in the UK.

Hugs - Mary

P.S. Tomorrow my post will give you a peek at the nesting Cardinals in my garden - hope you can stop by!

Ruthie Redden said...

Milly, that must have been quite frightening to see the water coming n so very fast! I too love the fish, it was worht the smell to capture something different. I am longing for MR o & I to be settled in our new home so that we can get back to our normal & our regular walking, i am really missing it, all the more for reading of yours. x