Saturday, 31 December 2016

Review of 2016 through nurturing a sense of wonder

My one resolution in 2016 was to nurture my sense of wonder and renew my delight in the mysteries of earth,sea and sky. For once my New Year resolution didn't fade into the midst of time and I have had a wonderful year appreciating nature all around me and also sharing it with you. Here are some of my favourite moments of the year.

Solitary bee on the pussy willow in March

The bay full of fish that attracted seagulls and fishermen

Morning light breaking through the mist

Sunset at West Bay

Eype beach with rolling clouds

Mist and sunrise

On the beach


A frosty sunrise

I  started the year with this quote from Rachel Carson and it is just as relevant at the end of 2016 too :-

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

Wishing you a joyful, peaceful and healthy New Year!
Sarah x

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Through the Garden Gate in December

In my last wander through the garden gate for 2016 these empty branches stood out starkly in the lower light levels of a December sky.


However there is hope just around the corner with these primulas in flower - although something has been nibbling it's petals! This morning while  spending a couple of hours gardening I discovered the buds of the Christmas rose and bulbs slowly emerging - such a welcome sight.



The mild winter so far, has allowed us to carry on picking mixed salad leaves and with lettuce growing in the greenhouse, it is still rare for us to buy lettuce from the shops.


We bought this Judas Tree (cercis siliquastrum) nearly two years ago, It really struggled until in desperation we cut it back  and since then it has flourished. I love the shape of the leaves - they look just like little hearts hanging from the branches.

As it is the last visit to the garden this year and to add some colour to the post, just a reminder of the best times in the garden and the dream of new delights to come!


Please visit the other gardens who are joining me in "through the Garden Gate". If you wish to join us please mention in the comments below.

Others taking part in through the garden gate are:-

Margaret's patch
Elephant's Eye
Coastal Ripples

Thank you for coming on visits to my garden during the last year it has been lovely sharing it with everyone.
Sarah x

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year!


West Bay looking towards Golden Cap

  xxx

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Another wander along the Jurassic Coast

After a busy week of admin work, dog walks and Christmas get togethers it was good take a long walk down by the seashore and just enjoy some moments observing the sea. We took a short trip along the coast to Lyme Regis. The waves were crashing onto the shore, sometimes hitting the top of the sea wall before heading back to sea. The sun was trying to do it's best to come out through the clouds.





Following my last post I had a recommendation from Brenda to read Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier (she is well known for her book Girl with a Pearl Earring)  Remarkable creatures is a novel based on the life of Mary Anning a young girl  who was born in 1779 and discovered many fossils - some of which were the most significant geological finds of all time. I only picked up the book from the library yesterday, and have already been engrossed in reading it. Has anyone else read it? I was obviously aware of Mary Anning and have been meaning to find out more about her for ages, my historical reading has been concentrating on Bridport and West Bay.


As we wandered by the famous Cobb it was easy to see how important it has been for the town. The sea inside the harbour was calm. We enjoyed watching some birds flying into the fishing pots then feeding on something. For a second they all looked like caged birds, until they flew out of the holes designed to catch a much bigger bite!


A series of metal moorings reminded us of giant plugs and a welcome coffee in one of the pubs beside the beach came with a jar of dog biscuits! Tavi was impressed!




There is so many different things to see in Lyme Regis and the gardens overlooking the Cobb and sea are also a wonderful place to wander and look good all year around.


As we headed back to the car with the sun and the tide out we once again appreciated how amazing this coastline can be.


This week also marks 5 years since I first started this blog. I can't believe that it has been going for so long!  It has been a special part of my life and made me appreciate what is important. Thank you so much for visiting and following me. I have made so many lovely friends and through them learnt so much more about the world we all share. I also want to thank those who don't have blogs but pop by on a regular basis I do appreciate your visits so much too.

Sarah x

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Where the earth slipped away

Thank you for all the comments on the previous post and I hope you don't mind if we take another visit along the Jurassic coast in this post too. Our friends suggested a pre-Christmas walk along the most magical parts of this stretch of coastline and we couldn't resist!


So before we set off let us take a step back in time and go back to December 1839. The land here was very fertile and supported farms,orchards, and market gardens. Two weeks before Christmas locals began to see settlement cracks appearing in their homes, and cracks in the ground along the cliffs. On Christmas Eve a labourer returning home from celebrations noticed the path had fallen a foot, but full of alcohol,he was not unduly concerned. He went to bed but the noise of the land moving, kept waking him and when he did get up at 5 am he had difficulty getting out of his front door and raising the alarm.


The Bindon landslide was huge, eight million tons of rock slid off and headed towards the sea, a great deep chasm of over 20 acres was formed between the land and the sea and a piece of land named 'Goat Island' was left standing see here. There had been constant heavy rain during the six months before the landslide. The geological structure of the land is made up of many different layers of rock. Some layers of rock will not let the water in, while other layers dissolve before it. The result is similar to a high pile of precariously balanced books when one book is removed.

Looking up towards Goat Island 2012
We walked along the Undercliff back in 2012 and stared up at Goat Island in awe. 

Then three years ago part of the coast path was closed due to another on-going landslide, thanks to conservation bodies and hard working volunteers, the path has now been diverted on to Goat Island. Although it reopened in April, this is the first chance we have had to come here.




Looking down from Goat Island towards the sea.


The chasm is so deep and full of impenetrable undergrowth.  As we sat on a log and enjoyed a flask of coffee and a mince pie we took in the beauty and peace surrounding us. It is fantastic nature reserve where wildlife can thrive without much disturbance from man.



The views out to sea were amazing too, a river of fog hung over the water where the River Axe flowed into the sea.




As we headed back to the car the fog cleared giving us beautiful views of the white cliffs of Seaton and Beer.


I'm afraid that wasn't the end of the land slipping away from me at least ! The path was muddy, my foot slipped and I ended falling backwards into a bush of brambles and ended up with cuts to my neck and feeling an idiot for having fallen over. There has to be one and it is usually me! At least there wasn't a picture of my mishap. It's much better to end with the beauty of the Old Man's Beard!


Wishing you a good week ahead, last week was busy here, so I wasn't able to visit many other bloggers, hopefully this week I will be able to pop by.

Sarah x

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Finding fossils

Last weekend before the latest cold snap we awoke to some sunshine and decided to head west along the coast to Charmouth. It turned out to be a good decision, don't you think? It was a lovely walk along the seashore, but there is much more to see here......


The coast around Charmouth and Lyme Regis (seen in the distance) is world famous for fossils, which are easily found washed out of the cliffs and on to the beach. It is normal practice to see people holding hammers and looking closely at the stones and gravel on the beach rather than enjoying the scenery! Fossils from this stretch of coastline can be found in many museums all around the world.








The cliffs tower dark and menacing above us. The cliffs are unstable and landslips could occur at any time. When there is a landslip, many fossils hunters arrive searching in the hope of finding something unusual or big! There are least a few occasions during the year when people get stuck in the mud and have to be rescued.



The tide was out and we walked further along the coast than we had done previously, and discovered this unusual rock formation that has been weathered by the sea. What does it remind you of?


We weren't looking particularly hard but we found this imprint of an ammonite and also a belemnite.


As we headed back to the car via the heritage centre (they had a Christmas craft fair and were selling coffee and homemade cake), we looked inland where it didn't quite so blue and admired the colours of the reeds.

This week it has turned colder and we have had some frost in patches. There aren't many leaves left on the trees and it is beginning to look more like winter. We also had a lovely visit from fellow blogger Seagirl Suzie  and her husband. It is always a pleasure to meet blogging friends face to face.


This was another visitor to the Bay this weekend - he came to see the Christmas tree lights being lit! How are your preparations for the event going? I have so much still to do!

Thank you as always for the lovely comments you leave, they always brighten my day!
Sarah x




Monday, 28 November 2016

Through the Garden Gate November 2016


Another month draws to a close and with the daylight hours decreasing the changes in the garden this month have been more dramatic. At the beginning of the month the grape leaves were still displaying beautiful colours and now they have all gone!  On the fig tree the leaves just all fell off within two days of each other! Has anyone else noticed all the leaves dropping off at once, in their garden too?




We still have a few autumn raspberries, variety Joan-J, which were recommended by Sam at a coastal plot. Although they are in their first year and aren't planted in an ideal situation  next to the shed,we have been pleased with the crop, the berries are so big and tasty.


One of my biennial honesty plant (lunaria) which I grew from seeds, I received from CT from Countryside tales is in flower. I always thought this usually flowered in May. It's very strange as there are no signs of flowers on any of the other plants I have grown from the same batch of seeds! I love it's alternative name  Money plant  - the seeds pods (still very green above) are meant to resemble coins.


Since the heavier rain earlier in the week has disappeared, we have been spending lots of time in the garden tidying it up for winter. I much prefer doing jobs at this time of year rather than working out in the freezing cold in the winter months. The last tulips have been planted and I am hopeful of a good display next Spring!


My husband has been replacing the fence this week too. He wanted to do it in the Spring but there were so many plants appearing that I persuaded him to wait until the Autumn. Much to our surprise and relief Tavi didn't realise that he had free access to the field while the new one was being installed!


With the new fence installed we have moved this grass so we get the full effect of the sunlight shining through it. We are hoping that it will not be damaged too much by the strong coastal winds.


Colour in the garden this month is provided by the sedum (above) and the hydrangea (below). What are the dominant colours in your garden this month?




And finally .... a medlar from the community orchard. Have you ever tasted a medlar? It doesn't look very appetising does it? Peel the skin away and the flesh looks just like a rotten mushy brown apple, but the taste was delicious, it was sweet and reminded me of date mixed with a very ripe apple. It's flowers in the spring are meant to be unusual and beautiful too, I will have to remember to take the camera to the orchard next spring and capture them.

Please visit the other gardens who are joining me in "through the Garden Gate". If you wish to join us please mention in the comments below.


Others taking part in through the garden gate are:-
Coastal Ripples
Margaret's patch
Elephant's Eye on False Bay

Thank you for visiting and leaving me comments, have fun this week!
Sarah x

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