I don’t know what it is about old brick bridges but they always seem to be running with water. If there isn't water trickling under their arches, they are likely to have damp patches or small streams dripping from the parapet instead. I don’t know where this water comes from. It’s as if the bridges are standing in for mountains. I’m never clear how mountains manage to spout water either.
But the water on this bridge wasn’t being water for long. It was dripping into the undergrowth and fossilising the plants with ice.
|An imprisoned thorn!|
|Young Alexanders. These ice-ed plants spark connections. This one reminds me of Snow White in her glass case waiting for the Prince to come and thaw her with a kiss.|
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|It was bleak, yesterday afternoon; beautifully bleak.|
Strewn on the sand were these tightly closed carnations with small buds. It seemed terribly sad. You can see another stem a little further away.
The beak of this juvenile herring gull (Larus argentatus) caught my eye.
What had caught the eye of the gull was something to eat. It dropped onto the water, bobbed up and down for a few seconds, then spread its massive wings (a herring gull wingspan can be more than five foot!) hopped into the air, dived back down into the water - and came out with something pinkish in its beak - then off it went. In the picture, it’s getting ready for lift-off.
And, at last, to my destination - the National Trust Van.
That’s what I call it - "The National Trust Van". The National Trust calls it a “Recruitment and Engagement Vehicle for the National Trust and Jurassic Coast in West Dorset”. These cheerful (though shivering) people who do the recruiting and engaging are called Ben and Caroline.
I’ve been following Ben on Twitter for a while - under the delusion that he’s a cross between a palaeontologist and a botanist and . . . and . . . that he wanders up and down the coastline imparting wisdom and knowledge about our rocks and wildlife and history. Because his Twitter name is @jurassiccoastin I expected him to be more of a Jurassic expert than a recruiting one. HOWEVER, he and Caroline (recruiters!) were very friendly and invited me into their van for a cup of tea.
And was the tea welcome! The right hand side of my face (which had been facing east for most of my walk) had frozen so I felt a bit awkward at the beginning of our conversation. Meeting new people when it feels as if you’ve just had a tooth extracted and your mouth hasn’t fully recovered from the anaesthetic isn’t . . . isn’t . . . comfortable.
So that was my afternoon; my walk. Completely without a theme - an ordinary-for-round-here kind of walk at the beginning of winter. (I’ve given up calling it ‘autumn’. The leaves have powdered to dust because of the cold and I haven't smelled a bonfire in days.)
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To read more about this roving and recruiting and to reach Ben’s blog, click here.