today was mild and dry and I gave myself a day off, so I took the dogs to Burnham Overy, and we walked across the marshes to the dunes and the beach.

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there were plenty of Brent geese and other waterfowl out on the marsh, but it seems the pink footed geese are on their way back to Iceland and Greenland.

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everything is still pretty dead looking – the reedbeds don’t give much cover now, until those dried out stems are replaced with new growth. larks singing above though make it sound like spring.

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the marram grass is bleached white, and all the mosses and lichens nibbled close on the dunes by the rabbits. all the rabbit earthworks are very exciting for the dogs. Sal is getting a bit past it now, but Til just adores the humpy terrain and the lovely sand for tearing around like a grey-blue streak.

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the beach almost to ourselves is a pleasure beyond many, especially on a day when we are not being battered by an icy wind. I picked up a piece of mussel shell bright mauve from the wear of sand and wind and water, a very old and worn oyster shell with worm burrows accreted to its inside surface like old limestone carvings, and a piece of shell reduced to a lace sculpture by some unknown creature.

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walking back over the dunes I found the moss pushing itself up through the sand like little pustules. it reminded me a little of the wood ash and clay glaze when it crawls and opens up over porcelain.

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these little stretches of water surrounded by reedbed amongst the marsh grazing are protected from the wind by the high bank which keeps the sea out. they encourage waterfowl, and they bring that special light of sky reflected in water to a grey day.

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on the way home we passed through Cockthorpe especially to see the snowdrops in the churchyard there.

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the place is smothered in snowdrops, but the church tower looks in a bad state, with supports wrapping round it in several places. it is almost disused, and the parish is so tiny they will never have the money to get it repaired themselves.

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there are aconites amongst the snowdrops, and even violets, which smelt very sweet.
the violets are in the bottom right hand corner of this photo, but it has to be reduced down so much for the blog they are hardly visible.

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I always try to make a little pilgrimage to this church in february for the snowdrops.