Wednesday, 9 April 2014

H is for Habitat, Hardcases, Harbours ...


The coast of Britain has many habitats dependent on its placement and the tidal or river reaches ... Shoreline, Dune, Cliff faces and ledges, Marshes, Mudbanks, Rocks and Rockpools ...

A variety of habitats: sea, sand, rock pools,
rock, gorse edged cliffs ... 



... and then Shingle – this is the least hospitable beach habitat, as most plants and animals find it difficult to survive the constant disruption of the stones being moved by the tide.




Shingle
A good example is the book  “On Chesil Beach” by Ian McKewan ... I’m ashamed to say I can add that to my TBB and R lists!





Then as I noted under F for Fractals the challenges in actually giving us exact measurements ... is compounded by the planet’s habitat ... the Earth moves all the time ... it is lumpy and it wobbles ...



... on its axis, its days vary and it’s flattened at its poles.  To make matters worse, continental drift means that we are drifting – Great Britain is moving north-east at about 2.5cm a year, just over an inch ...



Habitats are dependent on so many things ... and we have a multitude of possibilities in the UK.


 
Scottish Blue Lobster
There are plenty of Hard Cases around ... human as well as critters, as Lenny would say.  Crustaceans are a large and varied group of animals ... in the same way that insects swarm on land, so crustaceans teem in the sea.




Hard Cases come in all sizes ... microscopic creatures that make up the plankton or algae, essential nourishment for so many other animals.
 
Crab: White and Brown
meat - ready to eat with
a salad, some fresh bread
and Cornish butter.

The ones we are most familiar with are the decapods, which include shore creatures such as crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimps.  Decapod means “ten-legged” ...


A meal in a Hard Case – a large Cornish Crab ... or the separated brown and white meat from the Crabbery below where my mother used to live – a good excuse for an excursion down the hill: delicious.


Gorey Beach, Jersey (UK)


H is for Harbour or Haven ... a body of water where ships, boats, barges and fisher fleets can shelter from stormy weather, or moor until required.




As described in The Guardian - 10 of the best Harbours in 2009:  Lynmouth, North Devon “The most delightful place for a landscape painter this country can boast” described by Thomas Gainsborough, who like Shelly brought his new bride here.

 
Clovelly, Devon - another
picturesque harbour
Crail, Fife, Scotland, also described in The Guardian, is possibly one of the prettiest of a string of fetching fishing ports along the East Neuk.  Looks like a tourist destination to me ... especially with local shellfish on offer ...



Crail, Fife, fishing harbour and tourist delight

... red stone and whitewashed cottages tumble down the hill ... and a medieval market place, once the largest in Europe ...



... many of the 17th and 18th C merchants’ houses have been restored by the National Trust.  Well I’m hooked!



That is H for hospitable Habitat, hats for Hardcases, heavenly Harbours and Havens ... hunkering down along Aspects of the British Coasts ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

43 comments:

Empty Nest Insider said...

Crail, Fife, fishing harbor looks absolutely beautiful! The crab sounds delicious, and I love how easily you throw a gourmet meal together! A haberdashery of delights, Hilary!

Julie

Rosalind Adam said...

I love seeing photos of small harbours with fishing boats bobbing. Of course, visiting them is even better! Isn't it a shame that the recent storms have changed Chesil Beach for ever and I haven't read it either but then there are so many book that I haven't yet read!

Manzanita said...

I'm always attracted to pictures of fishing villages where it looks like life is slow and mellow and like the TV bar Cheers, everyone knows "your name." I think I could spend a long period of time in a fishing coastal village....perhaps even a lifetime.

Jen Forbes said...

I agree with Julie the fishing harbor just looks amazing! What a vacation spot that must be!
I would also love to eat that lobster with a nice cold beer...

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I love crab - we had crab pasta for Mother's Day lunch because it's my mum's favourite :). We went sailing once and I remember we spent the night on the boat in this tiny little harbour, bobbing up and down on the waves. It was so peaceful.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

mail4rosey said...

Well, I just love all of the pictures. You're very good at this A-Z business, and I knew you would be. :)

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

For some reason, the fact that the Earth is lumpy is amusing me this morning! :)

Crail, Fife looks lovely!

Wish I could eat crab. I dearly love it, but it doesn't love me back! Pooh on allergies.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

The British Isles should hire you as a travel writer! You come up with such interesting tidbits, Hilary.

Bob Scotney said...

When I was at St Andrews we knew Crail well. There was a Russian language school there at one time That part of the Fife coastline is well worth a visit and not just Crail.

Will that lobster still be blue if Scotland votes for independence?

Jo said...

How could you do that to me Hilary, I remember the crab we got in Cornwall with delight. Nothing like it on this side of the pond. As for lobsters, my all time favourite food. I loved Cornwall when we went there in the 70s, delightful towns and harbours with lots of fresh fish/shellfish and, of course, cream.

I remember pebble beaches in Norfolk particularly. Not the best place to swim from. Sinlaw won an award for one of his pix of a pebble beach with a bird hunting on it.

Trisha F said...

You're doing a great job of highlighting some very beautiful places in the UK.

I wonder how long it will take the UK to end up in the Arctic circle? :)

Margie said...

My son is coming for dinner this weekend and he requested crab, his favorite dish, I love it too.

Hilary, I am truly enjoying these posts.

Crail, Fife, beautiful fishing harbor.
Oh, I so want to travel to Britain again.

Thanks for another great post!

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

I'm hooked too!!! :) Fish harbors always look so cozy.

Love your post.

Julie Flanders said...

I'm hooked too and want to go to Crail, Fife immediately. Also wondered what hard cases was referring to in the title - should have figured it out!

Danielle L Zecher said...

I love the beach pictures, epsecially Crail Fife, it's so beautiful. I've only been to South Carolina and Florida beaches, so I love seeing pictures of other ones.

Robin said...

I love shellfish, but I am allergic to the iodine... so I cannot eat it. Of course, living on the coast is more than just shellfish... all fish tastes better FRESH.

cleemckenzie said...

These harbors and habitats look heavenly. I'd love to be in one of those cozy whitewashed cottages you have in your post today.

Lisa said...

I'm so ready to go to Crail, even though I don't eat seafood I would go for the scenery. Also Clovelly, Devon. Look out for the imagination running wild!

Lena Lawson said...

Adding Crail Fife to my bucket list along with many other English ports, bays and beaches (Port Isaac is at the top). It looks freezing but somehow seems to make the perfect backdrop to a beautiful love story as turbulent as the sea! Thank you for the photos and for creating this image in my mind. :)
-visiting from a-z -
unwaveringme.blogspot.com

Spacerguy said...

Theres nothing quite like a family outing at a sun soaked golden sandy beach. These places sound awesome!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That does look like a great little fishing village. I will put Crail, Fife on my list for the next time I visit. Still need to get to the Isle of Skye.

Silvia Villalobos said...

A meal in a Hard Case sounds very appealing to this seafood lover right now. Sitting on the beach and looking over the water, while eating such a meal ... oh, so good and relaxing.

Rhodesia said...

I have just been trying to catch up with your alphabet series. I always seem to be so busy now that spring is here. It is a great series and some very interesting information. Will try to keep up as it is more difficult trying to go backwards!!
Take care Diane

Chatty Crone said...

Very beautiful indeed, Wish I could visit there!

millvallison: mary allison tierney said...

I just love all that I learn from your blog! thank you - it's so fun.

Donna K. Fitch said...

I've always heard of a shingle beach, but never was sure of what it was until I read your blog. I'm fascinated by the habitat, hardcases, harbours and havens! The picture of Crail is lovely.

loverofwords said...

Learning, learning, learning, always from your blogs. And increases that desire to see England again, but not the big cities.

J E Oneil said...

I wouldn't want to live there, but that Shingle looks pretty from a distance.

Lynda R Young said...

You are making me want to visit the UK again!! :)

Liz Blocker said...

Lovely pics and information, as always! I feel for the poor creatures trying to survive in a Shingle habitat - but they are awfully beautiful!

Sue McPeak said...

I am most taken with the HARBORS of your amazing Coast. Crail, Fife, Scotland is indeed fetching and would be my choice of a vacation spot and a picturesque spot for painting. Great job on the Letter 'H' which is also Hooray for Hilary!
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

wangiwriter said...

Lovely photos and descriptions of beautiful habitats that I would love to see for myself.
I left England at the age of 5 and have never been able to get back, much to my regret.

Lenny Lee* said...

hi my grandblom!

"H" is for "hooray" for another really cool and educational post. i always learn sooo much from you. i love all the neat pics.

...hugs from lenny

Paula Kaye said...

That first picture is so beautiful. Just where I need to be on retreat!!

Donna Hole said...

I like lobster and crab; but I don't like that they are alive when you cook them. Yuck.

......dhole

Juliet Batten said...

I chuckled at the hard cases, Hilary. I lived for a winter in Cornwall many years ago, and loved exploring the charming fishing villages where crabs were sold as soon as they came off the boats.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie - thanks so much - I hadn't thought of the word haberdashery! Good thinking .. and so glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Ros - lovely to see you - and oh to be in a bobbing harbour - bliss!

Chesil beach - the storms whammed most of the stones against the sea wall -so now it's a steep decline ... while many stone were flung across the land .. I wonder how the beach will adjust as the years go by - interesting to find out ..

@ Manzanita - yes Newlyn, where my mother lived, was like that .. we constantly bumped into friendly faces ... you're by the sea now - but these little harbours offer much don't they ...

@ Jen - I think there might be a few of us going on up to Crail .. looks to be so pretty: my luck I'll get there with a raging North Sea!!

@ Natasha - your crab pasta sounds delicious and I'd enjoy that too .. so pleased you gave your mother that extra treat ...

While your one night in the gentle harbour ... with the sounds of the sea around you, and the flagpole sounds, the buoys bobbing around - sounds very romantic and peaceful ..

@ Rosie - many thanks .. I do enjoy these yearly postings and I enjoy making them fun ..

@ Elizabeth - I had to put 'the lumpy earth' in - as like you it amused me: we think of ourselves as a round planet - no such luck!

Sorry about the crab - but they'd do wonderful fresh fish too - I'm sure! Another for Crail! And yes pooh on allergies ...

@ Susan - thanks so much .. I just enjoy the different snippets .. keep me happy too ..

@ Bob - my brother was at Uni at St Andrews and I had one visit .. but we never left the town, I don't think .. I think I'll include St Andrews in my trip if and when I get to Crail .. Thanks for letting me know that coastline is extra special ..


Independence and Scotland and Lobsters .. I do have an other interesting snippet coming up on Lobsters .. can't remember which post though!!

@ Jo - sorry! - just glad you have such good memories of Cornwall ... I've only had lobsters a few times, but love my crab ...

We have pebble beaches here - trying to keep us with a shore-line .. there are parts that are sandy - but lots of people go there!! So pleased about your SIL and his photos - he's obviously very good ..

@ Trisha - it looks like you'll have time to visit many of these places .... before we drift gently into the Arctic!!!! Zillions of years I guess - but this earth can do some strange things ...

@ Margie - great minds think alike - I love crab .. I think I'll go down to the shore fish outlet soon - I need some crab and fresh fish.

Thanks so much Margie .. it's lovely having you here and I hope you can get over here again at some stage ..

@ Teresa - lots of hooked up for a visit to Crail .. the little harbours are special ...

@ Julie - it should match Aquinnah so well .. we could meet regularly here and there!

I like to keep myself amused with the titles ... glad you appreciated the 'hard cases' ...

@ Danielle - thanks for coming by ... posting like this - is a good way of giving 'everyone' a view of the UK ... so delighted you can get a clearer vision of the UK and its shores.

Part 2 following on .. thanks for commenting everyone ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Robin - oh another with allergies - but to iodine: an interesting allergy.

Living on the coast is much more than shellfish .. so true - plenty of delicious fish around and I agree it is so much better fresh ...

@ Lee - the sun is out today, the breeze has died down ... but it is blissful .. and to join you down by the seaside would be a great pleasure ...

@ Lisa - as Bob said that Crail, Fife coastline apparently is beautiful .. a place I think I need to get to! They'll have some good Angus steak too, I'm sure ...

Clovelly is a real tourist attraction ...

@ Lena - well you're going from one end of Britain to the other ... Port Isaac, west Cornwall up to NE Scotland .. both stunning places though.

Being by the sea - there's almost always a breeze .. and it can get pretty breezy and chilly .. nothing that a good walk won't help with, or finding a cosy corner to take stock and enjoy the views!

@ Spacerguy - glad you enjoyed the post and reminded you of family outings to the seaside ...

@ Alex - that's lovely that at some stage you'll be coming over ... and Skye is stunning too .. they have blue potatoes there!

@ Silvia - Yes I think I'll think of crab as a meal in a hard case - oh and I love seafood ..

A secluded tavern, some folk music, a delicious menu ... and be able to mull and wind a lunchtime or evening away with beautiful views .. sounds very good ..

@ Diane - thanks for coming through and reading .. the garden comes first .. I quite understand that. It's good that you're enjoying the posts ..

@ Sandie - a few views and thoughts to take your mind off clearing up the house ..

@ Mary - appreciate that you're enjoying the posts ..

@ Donna - well I'm glad you've learnt about shingle beaches - sandy ones are much nicer though!

Just very happy habitat, hardcases, harbours and havens passed muster! Crail does look a delightful fishing village ..

@ Natalie - yes I'm teaching me too! Well we have plenty of tiny places to visit, walk around ... and no need to visit an urban conurbation at all ----- unless a museum draws you in ... ?!

@ JE - we have lots of sandy beaches too .. but at least we can get to the shore with the shingle and it protects the town ...

@ Lynda - well I'm delighted to hear it .. it's great to read I'm tempting you over!

@ Liz - it's part of life .. I just find it amazing that there's so much variety on our planet and how everything's adapted to life on earth, yet keeps adapting to whatever the environment is doing .. they are better at it than we are!!

@ Sue - I'm sure they get lots of artists up there in Fife ... and there are lots and lots of harbours and tiny villages still ... just need the warmth ... but still the seas can be spectacular ...

@ Wangiwriter - good to meet you .. well I hope I'm tempting you to make a return visit .. I'll be over to see you shortly ..

@ Lenny - Hi GrandBlogSon .. wonderful to see you here commenting .. so pleased you're getting a chance to read these posts ... should help with that geography?! And give you some new places to visit, should you get a chance to come over to England sometime?! Thanks for the hugs - always love having them .. hugs back ...

@ Paula - I can't quite remember where I got that picture .. probably Wiki and English coastline ... but it is a good photo ... and I agree - a lovely place to be in solitude .. with that vista ..

@ Donna - I know it's not a good thing to know about is it .. I've cooked them in Ireland and brought them back over here - to eat the next day I might say .. so I've seen them crawling out of the boiling water ..

But they're good to eat ..

@ Juliet - glad you enjoyed my 'hard cases' - reading these posts will bring back many memories then - that's good .. and fish straight off the boats is not possible anymore I don't think .. sad - it has to go to a shop at the harbour .. I think!

Cheers to you all - thanks so much .. Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

Oh Hil, those cottages look DIVINE! What a terrific place for a writing retreat. I would love to be there right now. Such beauty. :-) Thanks for this, Hil. I can imagine I'm there in my daydream.

Viola Fury said...

We have a variety of harbors and hardcases here in Florida, but as the British comedian Eddie Izzard says, "I'm from Europe, where history comes from," or something along those lines. It just all seems somehow much more picturesque in Britain, than some of the harbors here in Florida, but the state is lovely! Thanks, Hillary! Mary

Theresa Milstein said...

I didn't know England was moving! Wow, that's interesting.

Love all the pictures with water. So soothing.

Michelle Wallace said...

You had me at "human hard cases"... LOL
The Scottish Blue Lobster is a beauty...
The Crail Fife fishing harbour is delightfully quaint!
... and I'm still "hearing" the audio version of your posts...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Robyn - wouldn't it be lovely to have a writers' retreat - bliss! Enjoy those day-dreams ..

@ Mary - I'm sure your harbours and hardcases are similar! Eddie Izzard has a wonderful turn of phrase doesn't he .. particularly as they traced his Neanderthal DNA back - I wrote about it last year .. long posts ..

@ Theresa - well America's moving too .. we're all interesting ..

Some coastal waters look beautiful if you're there on the right day!

@ Michelle - human hard cases - I couldn't resist it ..

That lobster is just huge isn't it .. and hits my imaginary taste buds all the time ..

Crail just looks stunning doesn't it ..

Yes - the audio version is reverberating in my head too!

Cheers to you all - so kind of you to visit .. Hilary