Wednesday, 2 April 2014

B is for Beach, Beachcombing, Bay, Birds ...


Beaches entice us ... to lie and listen to the gentle lapping waves ... whiling time away with friends, as the kids play, building sand-castles ... 


... perhaps with moats to keep the rising tide out ... only for soooo looooong ...




Beaches are the buffer zones – they act as a natural buffer between the sea and the land ... absorbing most of the energy of the waves which pound the shore.

Renoir "Children at the Beach"
(1883)



... or for beachcombers strolling along the shore-line ... what will they find? ...






Beach combing finds

Shells, seaweed, jellyfish, whitewashed driftwood, perhaps a bottle with a message ... flotsam and jetsam ...






... or mammoth tusks, rubies or ammonites .... carved or decorated bones, Tudor bricks found on the Thames foreshore, lost treasure ... struck gold? – all real treasure must be recorded: check with the local museum.


Unpolished amber

 A good beach for beachcombing is Amber Coast ... between Felixstowe and Southwold ... fossilised resin from the ancient forests that grew on the land beneath the Baltic Sea ... has slowly made its way across the North Sea.



A Jurassic ammonite


The Jurassic Coast, Dorset is a coastline teeming in fossils especially after the storms this winter ... it is a world heritage site ... and care must be taken: the local Lyme Regis Museum is on hand for information and preservation advice.



Keem Bay, Ireland

Bays .. oh so many pretty, magical bays to visit ... some hidden, some wide and calling us to visit ...




Oyster Catcher



Birds ... the hungry Black-headed Gulls stealing sandwiches, or fish and chips ... or aerobatic Choughs – red beaked and fire-red legs – reeling off the cliffs into the Atlantic updraughts .... Oystercatchers on the salty flats, wading in the tidal reaches ...



That is B for the buffer Beach, benevolent Beachcombing, beautiful bounteous Bays, Birds with lots of black colour from Aspects of British Coasts ...

PS I won't reply directly to all comments as I usually do, but I will thank you for each post ... after the end of the Challenge in May - I'll write another post addressing any specific comments, notes, questions or queries ... so I'll get to answer everything - as best I can ... cheers H

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

64 comments:

kaushikgovind said...

Beaches and Bays never fail to mesmerize any heart! They have a unique allure which charm many.
Cheers ~ Kaushik

paulareadman1 said...

I love rock pools. I could spend hours just staring into them and see the creatures which manage to live there while the tide comes in and out. Nature is an amazing thing.

Maggie Winter said...

Brazilian beaches are beautiful BUT nothing beats my memories of rock pools and crabbing on a good old British beach...bliss. Sadly we don't have many interesting beaches here just endless golden sands, which dare I say get boring!
Reading British blogs make me pine for home.Great post as usual.
Enjoying the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

Donna Hole said...

I have a favorite spot to go to watch the ocean here in California. Its not warm, but the crashing waves and occasional whale sighting is soothing to my soul.

Michelle Wallace said...

I live 2 minutes from the beach.... literally!
Keem Bay looks beautiful!
(Hilary, I'm imagining your post in audio format... with relevant "sounds" interspersed between readings... would be really lovely)
Writer In Transit

Patsy said...

Beaches are wonderful places - there's always something worth looking at and I enjoy the sound of the waves lapping or crashing ashore.

I'm also very fond of oyster catchers. They look like they have a lot of personality.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Now I feel like going to the beach! So nice to take a virtual visit there...thank you, Hilary.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I've always loved looking for interesting pebbles when walking on beaches. The most interesting ones I ever found were on a holiday in British Columbia, but we used to holiday in Somerset and the beaches there used to give up some beautiful ones as well.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings

Optimistic Existentialist said...

There are few things more mesmerizing, captivating, and soul-cleansing than a beach...

Bob Scotney said...

As my grandson is currently in Ecuador with the GB Junior Sufing team for the ISA World Championships I will be getting sight of a few different beaches this month (from a distance of course). I hope there is less litter to be found out there.
We have a large ammonite in our garden but it came from an opencast ironstone mine not the Jurassic Coast.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Hilary,

I hope you understand that my paws can't pawsibly keep up with all the pawsts for that crazy A to Z. This is one of the pawblems it creates. Wish April was over.

Ah beachcombing, my human enjoys that. He takes a comb to the beach and brushes up the sand. I love to chase the birds in the beautiful bays.

Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Not to mention that beachcombing puts you in such a peaceful state of mind. It's sort of meditative. A good story could spring unbidden into a receptive head while collecting those treasures.

Al Diaz said...

All those places you mentioned, i would like to visit them. I love the sea and its sight soothes my spirit and brings me peace.

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

I've only been to manmade beaches here in MO. I need to be on a real beach with the ocean as my view.

mail4rosey said...

That's a lot of great 'B' words, indeed!

loverofwords said...

Oh, I miss the beach. We lived in Huntington Beach, California for 20 years. Sea glass was what I looked for and perfect shells.

Guilie Castillo said...

Great post, Hilary! Love the photos, too. I'm a big fan of beaches, and finding historical (pre-historical even!) is fantastic. Here in CuraƧao sometimes we find fossils, but it's mostly coral. Still beautiful :)

Thanks for the great post (and for the visit to my blogs yesterday--much appreciated). Have a lovely day!
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

Bish Denham said...

I can smell the ocean, feel the sand under my feet. I love beaches. :)

Jo said...

More memories. I used to spend hours as a kid on the Norfolk, Suffolk beaches hunting for amber. Never did find any. Didn't know about the treasures found on the Thames foreshore. There is lots of hidden treasure in and around the British Isle.

Inger said...

What a great post as always. It reminded me of when I lived in San Diego, which some beautiful beaches. I loved the tidepools there.

Julie Flanders said...

Nothing better than sitting on a beach and listening to the waves. :)

Danielle L Zecher said...

I love the beach! Your beach picturs are great, they're making me want a beach vacation right now!

Karen Walker said...

I love beaches. I live somewhere now where there is very little water, so when I travel, I especially love to be near water.

cleemckenzie said...

Nothing better than a beach to walk along. Sand, birds, sea air. Lovely.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Beautiful photos, Hilary. There is a lot to be found on a beach from shells and jellyfish to peace of mind. I love the beach as a buffer zone, as you say. We have lots of gorgeous beaches here in Los Angeles, and yours over in Britain look splendid as well.

Robin said...

You never know what will wash ashore on the beach. Do you have people with the metal detectors out on your beaches looking for treasure???

Donna K. Fitch said...

Such lovely thoughts. Very cool to have beaches with amber and fossils. Our Alabama beaches are lovely, with white sand and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but I've never found anything but seashells. Your post is so nice and relaxing. I'm visiting from Alexandria Publishing Group (and my own personal A to Z blog). Have a lovely day!
Donna

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

B is for Hilary's BEAUTIFUL posts. You always capture the essence of England. Wonderful shots.

Siv Ottem said...

Lovely post! I am lucky enough to live close to the beach. Merely a 3 minute walk and I am there. I love to listen to the waves at night.

Rosalind Adam said...

I love beaches, walking along the sea line, looking for interesting shells, walking much further than you ever intended. The Jurassic Coast is amazing. There are so many fossils to be found that even I found one!

L.G. Smith said...

Well, I can relate to this post. I'm sitting on a beach in California right now. Amazing waves today. Still waiting to catch sight of some wales, but no luck yet.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just don't go walking barefoot down the beach. Stepping on a jelly is disgusting.

Donna said...

Hilary,
A beautiful post...I love anything connected to the beach, so this is perfect reading on a day when we're expecting snow! Have a blessed day!
Grace,
Donna (fellow A to Z blogger)
www.fullmeasureofjoy.com

Sue McPeak said...

Another wonderful, descriptive and interesting post about your homeland. Thanks so much for the insights and photo thumbnails. Really enjoying your posts!
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Leslie Melby said...

You are enticing me to hop on a plane and make my way to the British Coasts! What I wouldn't give for a week there right now:)

http://www.thingsmymothertaught.com

Jen Forbes said...

Who doesn't love the beach Hilary? What a beautiful snapshot of Englands coastlines.

I was raised on the south shore of Long Island NY in a beach community. I know you asked this; I'm currently am writing about my home in south central Virginia. I am also blessed to also own another residence in Florida as well.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lovely photos, Hilary. I'd love to find some amber.

I do love walking the beach it's always such a peaceful place to think and makes one feel good.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Julia Hones said...

After looking at those gorgeous pictures I want to be on an ocean beach right now.
How delightful!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I would love to visit the Dorset coast. I'd love to discover a really important fossil.

Lena Lawson said...

I agree with Julia's comment above! I also want to be on a beach right now! Beach combing is one of my all time fave things to do. Thanks for recreating it so vividly
Lena
unwaveringme.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

Wow you got a lot of B's in this one post! Lovely. I went to a beach in Norwich, next to the Fens on the north coast and it was flat like in Florida, with pines growing inland. So unusual I thought, for England. Never knew it had that kind of terrain. I also went to the coast on Anglsey, and near Caernarfon. It was wild and windy and I loved it...

Tara Tyler R said...

beautiful beachy post!
lovely to see a glimpse of your historic beaches and some artful photos as well!

happy b day!

TALON said...

I was at the beach last week...a local one. The wind was howling and cutting and it was hard to remember it was ever warm and kind. Still, there is something about sky and water...they restore my spirit.

Paula said...

A great post. You fed my hunger for the beach....at least for today

Tina said...

Oh, how I love a beach. I can literally just lie in the sand or stand at the edge for hours and never get bored. I love beach-combing and have found some amazing treasures. The Engineer and I honeymooned at an Atlantic Coast beach, and I grew up spending weekends on the Chesapeake Bay. Oh the memories. Lovely post. Love the oyster catcher - don't think I've ever seen one before...
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

caringforaveteran said...

Beaches are beautiful. I just wish I could like sand. :)

Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
My A to Z Challenge
Caring for My Veteran

Munir said...

Great B word. Now I miss Redruth's beaches.

Rhonda Albom said...

A perfect post for me to read right now as I am about to take 14 girls (5-6) out to do some tide pool exploring.

Shelley Munro said...

I've heard so many interesting things about the Jurassic Coast and hope to visit one day. Thanks for stopping by my post.

millvallison: mary allison tierney said...

I have never been to an English beach - I hope to some day. I'm a California girl - Northern so chilly foggy beaches I know. Texas gulf beaches with warm bathtub water I visited as a child. I will take any of them as the air off the water is so energizing.

Marcy said...

What beautiful treasures on your beaches! I love the beach also, but live quite far away from the ocean and don't get to visit very often.

Marcy said...

What beautiful treasures on your beaches! I love the beach also, but live quite far away from the ocean and don't get to visit very often.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kaushik – you’re so right they always draw you in don’t they .. thanks for the lovely descriptive comment.

@ Paula – yes R for rock pools ... we used to search around them in Cornwall .. and wait for the tide to refresh them ... nature is wonderful as you say ..

@ Maggie – your white white sands – yes I know what you mean and they can get boring .. like the sun all the time .. we want a break ... Sorry – but that’s good you might return for a visit just to make sure we’re still here! Escape the Footballing lot?!

@ Donna – how lovely to have a ‘private’ spot to just sit and be by the Ocean ... and then to be able to whale watch .. we do get some here ... a bit like a Moby Dick, I gather – but dark - a Sperm Whale ... and others ...

@ Michelle – I’m only about 10 minutes away .. but it’s a pebbly shoreline we have here. Keem Bay does look just wonderful doesn’t it .. it’s on an island ...

Thanks re the audio thought I’ve noted it and have ideas once the Challenge is over ... a friend and I are going to work together I hope ...

@ Patsy – you love beaches, living near one too and then your travels ... but that peace we can find is just so wonderful. I’m glad I put the Oyster catcher in – they’ve always amused me at the beach ...

@ Elizabeth – that’s a pleasure ... going to the beach as kids was blissful and so much fun ...

@ Tasha – my mother and I found some amazing ones off the Skeleton coast in Namibia – but that was a real treat of a visit .. but down here we look for the flint ones ... I’m hoping to include some Somerset pics for you ...

@ Keith – such good descriptions: mesmerizing, captivating and soul cleansing ... away from everyone – they definitely are ...

@ Bob – I hope your grandson is safe and perhaps enjoying the tsunami waves – though not sure what Junior surfers would do in those circumstances – you must be very proud of him – so I sincerely hope the trip hasn’t been messed up by the earthquake? Lovely to have those pictures to look forward to – what a treat for him and for you .. I think you’ve shown us your ammonite – must be amazing to look at every day ...

@ Penny – I think we all feel for humans at this time – the Challenge brings out the bonanza in all of us .. well your human, Gary, will have plenty of time to comb that sand while you chase the birds in our beautiful bays .. Good to see you..

@ Kim – it probably does give you that quietness and peace of mind as we ramble over the shore – I’m sure a good story could be woven here .. and springs do appear at the coast ...

@ Al – certainly the sea is benign at times and can give us much serenity of mind .. and it would be lovely to see you here ...

@ Teresa – not quite the same ... but they’ll give you a flavour and yes you need that Ocean view ...

@ Rosie ... my vocabulary is improving!

Part 1 of my replies ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Part two of my replies:

@ Tasha – I’d no idea there was a difference between sea-glass and beach-glass .. isn’t it interesting what we find out .. I wonder if I can bring it in somewhere .. yes I think I can ... Huntingdon Beach must have been lovely to have lived in .. then perfect shells – so difficult to find now ..

@ Guilie – C for Curacao – you must have some amazing finds at times ... and coral is so beautiful .. I don’t think our British Bs would compare with your Curacao coasts – they must be lovely ...

@ Bish – yup the tides of time as we feel that warm sand, then revert to the lapping waves for a little cooling and the smell of the sea – I love it ..

@ Jo – what a pity you didn’t find any amber on your beach forays ... there are so many people looking for things now-a-days ... the Thames still uncovers lots ... and we do have a great many sunken ships that may release their treasures ...

@ Inger – I never really got to the San Diego beaches .. but I’d love to go one day again and actually be a proper tourist ... also see those tide pools ...

@ Julie – you’ve done lots of that at Martha’s Vineyard .. must be magical there ...

@ Danielle – thanks for the visit ... and so pleased you enjoyed this beach posting ...

@ Karen – your Greek trip must have done you the power of good for some lovely sea scapes ... and living in Johannesburg I felt deprived of my sea .. so it was good to get to the Cape ...

@ Lee – a good walk in the sea breeze, checking the sand and the birds and the odd crustacean ...

@ Silvia – jelly fish can be nasty ... but I see what you mean – lots to look out for ... most of the shells have now gone .. I bet LA has many beaches – I’d love to visit one day .. ours I suspect are mainly much smaller ... but so pretty ...

@ Robin – nope and funny things do come ashore. Yes we have metal detectorists here too - lots inland .. they do find treasure – that must be fun to find .. but trawling around with a piece of waving met – not really my scene!

@ Donna – many thanks for visiting .. lovely to see you here. I’ve always wanted to get down to the Gulf of Mexico and spend some time in the warm waters! Collecting seashells would be such fun ... I think I struggled to find your personal A-Z blog – but I’ll check through again ...

@ Joylene – many thanks ... lovely comment ...

@ Siv – I don’t live that far away and it does make such a difference to be able to get out to the sea and just listen to the waves ... I can’t hear the waves, but the gulls – now that’s another matter!!

@ Ros – I’ve never been to the Jurassic coast ... I must make a plan to get down at some stage – and you found a fossil – very clever! I wonder if there are shells there now ... there were fewer around as I got older ...

@ Luanna – I hope that beach is still there and you’re enjoying a holiday .. a California beach would be just lovely – switch off .... I hope those whales come along – I’m sure they will ..

@ Alex – stepping on a jellyfish can give you a nasty sting as I well know!

@ Donna – oh no not more snow ... I think we’re out of the woods as far as snow is concerned, well I hope so ... last year we had enough (for this little island!)

@ Sue – delighted you’re enjoying your visits .. it’s fun to create the posts ..

@ Leslie – we’d love to see you over here! I think a week would be too short .. but a good start for another visit to follow?!

Part 3 to follow ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jen – exactly the beach doesn’t leave us does it .. if we’re lucky enough to have seen them .. and thanks for updating me for where you live then and now! and then that holiday place down in Florida – sounds a very good mix!

@ Sia – wouldn’t it be lovely to find some amber ... and just a good walk along the beach – it blows the cobwebs away ... Thanks for visiting – this must mean you’re up and about again ... I’ll be over ..

@ Julia – your little one would love the beach ...

@ Annalisa – well we could meet half way one day and visit the Jurassic coast ... it would be fun to find something exotic, or a piece of real treasure ...

@ Lena – lovely to meet you ... I’d love a beach stroll right now ... but it certainly does to keep ones eyes open ... just glad you enjoyed the post – thanks ..

@ Lisa – this seems to be the route I’m taking – yes the Fens and East Anglia are remarkably flat – that’s why the sea rolls in at times ... with storm surges ... it’s mostly fenland with reclaimed marshes ... so no cliffs ... just about land though!

Anglesey must be beautiful I went once with my father, but it was snowing and we were only there for a very short time .. and as it was freezing I don’t remember anything else. I imagine it’s like west Wales and Cornwall ... craggy and windy as you say – and quite often wet too ... it’s the way it is ... but it is so invigorating ...

@ Tara – glad you enjoyed the post with the pictures exploring some of our land ...

@ Talon – we all seem to love the beach don’t we ... even when they’re freezing and wet with driving wind – there’s something invigorating, as I mentioned to Lisa above, about them ... the do blow the cobwebs out!

@ Paula – that’s grand .. that you feel some satisfaction after your visit and hope the rest satisfy too ...

@ Tina – the honeymoon on the Atlantic coast must have been amazing, while Chesapeake Bay has always fascinated me and I’d love to visit ... I’m remembering loads as I write these posts ... I’m glad you like the Oyster Catcher –he’s a pretty bird isn’t he ...

@ Jamie – good to meet you and thanks for coming by .. oh no you can’t ‘take’ sand – how very difficult – well a beach watch could be good ...

@ Munir – ah I thought I might trigger some Cornish memories ...

@ Rhonda – oh gosh fourteen littlies out to do tidal pool exploring .. I’m coming to that post! That will be fun .. I’m sure you’ll have enjoyed it ..

@ Shelley – pleasure and I’ll be over again soon ... like you I need to get to the Jurassic Coast at some stage!

@ Mary – ooh those chilly foggy days in north California .. must be beautiful though at times and so invigorating .. Texas beaches – somewhere else I’d love to visit ... However as you say the air is so energising ...

@ Marcy – the beaches were wonderful for collecting ... I hope you can get a visit to your Ocean fairly soon ...

Thanks so much everyone ... it so good to see old friends and meet new faces .. cheers Hilary

Damaria Senne said...

I love the beach, sometimes sitting there for hours, looking as far as the eye can see. It's very relaxing.... and humbling too

Sara said...

Loved the ending..."
That is B for the buffer Beach, benevolent Beachcombing, beautiful bounteous Bays, Birds with lots of black colour from Aspects of British Coasts..."

I remember a beach I visited with my daughters. I don't remember where it was, but it beautiful worn rocks. They looked like river rocks...all different colors. It was lovely. We wanted to steal some, but didn't. Not only should they stay on the beach, but they were dadgum heavy:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Damaria ... the sea is very humbling especially where you are in South Africa ... it's just lovely listening to the sound of the sea ..

@ Sara - I've enjoyed concocting my last sentence of my posts .. amuses me!

I wonder where you went with your daughters .. at least it was beautiful and worn - perhaps it was the Dorset area ..

I think we're not allowed to bring stones back from the beach .. and yes I can believe they were dadgum heavy!!

Cheers to you both - good to see you .. Hilary

Laura Brown said...

I used to live near a beach, on Lake Ontario. I miss beachcombing and building sandcastles, digging bottomless pits too.

Visiting from the A to Z Challenge. My site is: wordgrrls.com. Doesn't always show up when I comment on Blogger.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Laura .. for commenting - I can't find you on the A-Z, nor when I have spent time tracking you down - I can't comment ... I don't know how you've set up your site .. and I see you mention you have a lot of sites ... there's obviously some sort of mis-connection ..

Sorry - but all the best - Hilary

Patricia said...

Going to the beach for a picnic for my 37th wedding anniversary in July this year -
Wish it was in the UK...Pacific Ocean big, cold wave ahead.

This is delightful post and we are having sunshine today - so good to think about it

Patricia said...

Going to the beach for a picnic for my 37th wedding anniversary in July this year -
Wish it was in the UK...Pacific Ocean big, cold wave ahead.

This is delightful post and we are having sunshine today - so good to think about it

Viola Fury said...

Hillary!

I apologize for being so remiss at following along and you have been so kind to visit and leave wonderful comments. I had several doctor's appointments and I have a companion who has had a heart attack recently; I've been winging it, more than usual.

The truth is, I love your blog and your pictures and snippets of information and I've definitely added many of your places as places to visit, and you as someone I would love to meet! Your pictures of Bays and Birds are marvelous! Thank you so much for sharing. Mary! xoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patricia .. that's a lovely idea for your wedding anniversary in the summer ..

We had sunshine today the 13th .. but it's chilly!

@ Mary - it's great you're getting to read and comment on all the posts .. the A-Z is forgiving?! We all do what we can ...

I'm just delighted you love the blog and would love to visit the UK .. and meet up somewhere along the line .. perhaps we will!

Cheers to you both - Hilary