back in Scotland after an eight hour drive through rain and wind (only on the M6 and M74) and surface water yesterday.

wind this morning but with it light and shadow and clarifying blues

early morning walks at West Sands beach are rewarding, both in terms of cobwebs blown away and in sheer beauty

also in the opportunity for my running dog to run – difficult in the summer in North Norfolk where beaches are crowded and the temperatures a bit much

with the tide out this morning there was plenty of room

she was completely blown after a second session – not a teenager any more

though the energy seems endless.

all along the high tide mark there are clumps of sea rocket flowering

it’s a salt resistant sand loving plant that responds to sand blowing over it by vigorous growth, and it has a deep tap root to keep it in place and find moisture. there’s a lot along the edge of the sandy beach at Blakeney Point, and it’s typical in the Hebrides – in fact all round the British coast where there’s sand and dunes.

I was delighted and astonished to find more harebells growing in the sandy grass than I’ve ever seen before, probably altogether more than I’ve ever seen in my life.

I think this grass must qualify as machair, though it’s not in the Hebrides or any Western Isles. harebells love a chalky soil, and one of the characteristics of machair is a high lime content of the soil, due to shells breaking down on the beach.

lots of rosebay willow herb too

but the harebells were just stunning

thickly spread blue, lighter and more airy than bluebells

those of us who walk in birkenstocks with bare feet …..

and more blue – this was the product of the leftover oil paint during last week, a smaller canvas, 50 x 50 cm.

it has something of the drama of the beach and sky this morning in its contrasts

and textures

but it does remind me a little of the splash detail in Hockney’s swimming pool paintings, so “A smaller splash”

meanwhile B is on her hols and I have brought some new watercolours to see if I can do the delicate thing for a change.