Warm sun through a soft haze pervading the whole area.
A man in a parked car playing the clarinet.
As I walk towards the beach, crossing the grassy field of rabbit and sheep droppings and hoof prints
a plane humming overhead – sound disappearing slowly back to nothing
To the right over misty Appledore – distant gulls;
And just in front of me the trill of a skylark in the air
On the ground are scraps of white fleece covered with glittery dewdrops.
I follow my familiar path over the dunes, through tall marram grass, down over the pebble ridge to the open beach.
I can see the sand spit at the estuary mouth, but the hills across the bay are almost invisible through the haze.
I walk out towards the sea, to where I can see fields of bladderwrack and pebbles – crossing expanses of intricate wave patterns in the sand.
Occasionally the tracks of a dog or human cross my path. Behind me I am leaving my own tracks.
The seaweed forest becomes more dense the further out to sea it is growing.
Skylark again. Near the water’s edge I see a large white blob, and fondly imagine it to be an egret. After watching for a while, I reluctantly have to admit it is some sort of plastic bag or container.
I come across a mass of pebbles embedded into the sand. They have come to rest here after their long journey along the coast, relentlessly tumbled and knocked into shape by storm and tide. Walking on the pebbles is like walking along a cobbled street. Some of them have a skirting of delicate green algae.
In the background of the image above, you can see the pebble ridge with its protective reinforcement of imported granite blocks.
Around the seaweed and pebbles there are large hollows and pools in the sand, formed by estuary currents. I have to be careful because of quicksand. More than once my foot has plunged down into cold sandy water. I quickly learn which are the safe areas to tread.
Pools and hollows:
Ground-up shells around one of the hollows:
A closer look at some of the seaweed:
I turn back, towards the pebble ridge and the dunes. At the edge of the ridge I rest a while in soft hazy sunlight, then walk barefoot back the way I have come, across the sand and cold pools.
I bring a few shells back in my pocket to examine when I get home, plus a small amount of litter. (It is my habit to pick something up for disposal every time I go to a beach – especially fishing nylon).
Spread out on the table, I discover a minuscule shrimp hiding in a razor shell.