and it’s almost a month since I last posted ….. perhaps being so devastated by the cutting down of all those irreplaceable oaks has put me off. anyway, quite a different subject – equally important environmentally – the saltmarsh at Morston on our beautiful North Norfolk coast. since the birds have finished nesting I’ve been taking Bims there in preference to the beach at Wells – it’s quieter, and better for her feet

and more fun, cross-country jumping over little creeks and pools. and for me a beautiful place with curlew, oystercatcher, redshank all calling –

at high tide when it’s early and still un-busy it’s very beautiful, I just long to be out there on a boat on a morning like this with no chop and hardly a breeze

though I’m a poor sailor and have never done much almost getting my bum wet and all that stuff. I did love having my tiny Mirror dinghy, but could hardly ever take it out, it was always too windy for me!

this was last week in clear sky weather

then later in the week with the tide lower. it’s all starting to look quite autumnal. funny how these salt-tolerant plants – samphire and sea-blite turn orange red or maroon. I’m not sure what the process is, as they are not about to drop leaves or anything.

the pools reflect the sky, so double the light, it’s all around you.

and a riffle of wind coming across this one

here’s B doing her thing, zoomies, round and round. she doesn’t go far from me

cooler light yesterday, and the tide on its way out. this perfect row of Cockles (or is the one on the right an Oyster – my initiation into this place more than thirty years ago involved a real clinker-built wooden Oyster – these are all fibreglass replicas) sitting upright in the mud.

this is the special place we used to come to by boat at high tide for picnics all those years ago, when our daughter and our friends’ middle daughter were only three … Morston Freshes and a side creek off the Stiffkey where it comes into the lagoon it shares with the Glaven

this morning’s sky

we were there earlier, so caught this lower sunlight and silvery sky

quite wet from all the rain

and the tide still on its way out. I have a sore foot so the saltmarsh and soft mud are kinder to walk on, and Bims gets to run as much as she wants. we may be doing this as our regular walk for a while.

as she was here yesterday she’s not needing to run around like a complete looney

sea-aster everywhere. the Elizabethans valued this as a garden flower. it flowers all along the margins of this coast in september and october

still quite a lot of thrift/sea-pink in the pink

and artemisia (sea-wormwood) silvery everywhere. I was lucky that B did not roll in the small dead seal which is decomposing slowly alongside the path. it looks like a young common seal. they pup in the summer, whereas the grey seals (the ones with long noses) give birth and mate in November, haunting the place with mournful calls.

the sun on the dunes and beaches of the spit, just for a moment ….

and a little bit of painting chat to tuck on the end of this watery post

I’ve tried glueing fabric onto my canvases, specifically pieces cut off linen shirt sleeves

they echo what I’ve done on fabric with stitches. but the problem is that getting past this seductive stage is rather difficult.

the unprimed fabric is absorbent and takes the paint quite differently from the canvas

here I could have held back too, if the surface quality of the canvas wasn’t a bit repellant

so a couple of layers later (the joy of acrylic paint, you can white over what you did that day, and have another go the next) this one is waiting to see what happens next

here’s another which looks interesting like this, but it still wasn’t enough

so here it is, finished (for now) 60 x 70 cm. the pale blue was a freebie with a paint order!

it has lots of texture and “Mirfak” scratched into that blue socket. Mirfak is a star in the constellation of Perseus. they have amazing Arabic names from the thirteenth century when astronomy was forging ahead in Islamic countries.