walking at Morston again this morning, I reflected that this kind of landscape is one I won’t find in Fife.

there are sandy beaches with dunes and flowery machair

and rocky beaches

and reed beds in the Tay estuary at Newburgh.

at Tentsmuir there is pine forest behind dunes, with heather and ferns, more beautiful than Holkham’s pinewoods.

but there is nowhere as liminal,

where sky and land and sea segue into each other

with this very special mixture of plants – the sea-wormwood, the sea lavender, sea purslane, shrubby sea blite, sea beet, all the succulents that grow on the salty silt, especially the samphire.

soon to turn orange and red, their autumn colours, along with the mauve and yellow sea aster.

this morning the high wind was in our ears, echoing the surf thundering on the sand banks; curlew and redshank  loudly disapproving, although the nesting season is well over.

tide on its way out

and bladderwrack left behind, attached to its brick holdfast, all barnacled.

the texture of this place is extraordinary; pebble-studded, sometimes slippery with black silt; smooth clay deposits; loose sand;

stinging sharp marram stems; dry paths; wet channels and pools. always the pools that reflect upwards the light of whatever weather happens on the day.

I counted twenty swans in the Stiffkey’s freshwater outflow

and in the marram grass were these tiny ghosts of crabs.

on Thursday there were these ghosts of Covid-19 – disintegrating latex gloves all over the purslane lawns next to the channel

in the sun and wind it’s hard to remember the pandemic, still a rising tide.

in this seemingly empty place, empty except for me and the dog, for half an hour, until we turn back and meet more dogwalkers.

it’s full of life, of course, birds, insects, fish, crustaceans, seals, even hares. I shall miss this place most.

but now I want to paint its looping shapes and its colours, its drama, now when my studio is all packed up and I am busy organising the move, the change of address, and the last skip ……