Nature Notes, January 2012

New Year's Eve.

Walking on the beach between East Runton and Cromer, I lean up against the pillbox which has been tilted by the tides, I've seen it covered in sand and fully exposed to the elements at different times of the year. In front of me is approximately 250 yards of golden sand, then 500 yards of flint rock and pools. Gulls move and stand in circles of ebbing, gentle slush. The fog freezes the ends of my fingertips.  A few dog walkers pass by without noticing me. Herring gulls lift into the ghostly patches of fog. Marley (my dog) tries to sniff every rock. A man pulls on a lengthy piece of splayed bull rope. Empty plastic containers edge up the bottom of the cliffs,
the land above has precarious (caravan standing) slabs wedged into eroding earth - it's just a matter of time before they crash to the beach.

Pillbox, Cromer Beach, 12/1/12.

5th January, 2012.

Thousands of acorns and husks have been swept into the road gutters by the gales. If I were an artist I would paint the mast of acorns in the gutter and the plastic bags in the trees with a squirrel on the woodland path with a caption saying, 'Where have all the acorns gone?'I learned today from a reliable source that squirrels can be right or left handed. A couple of years ago I found an unconscious and hypothermic (kitten) squirrel, which led to a poem, see poems page HERE. The squirrel went on to live in the trees of an animal sanctuary, it is illegal to re-release grey squirrels back into the wild. By coincidence I did get a photo a squirrel monkey in the trees (through the zoo fence!).

Squirrel Monkey, Cromer Zoo.

I12th January.

Went back to the beach to take some photos of the pillbox. Thought I saw tubes of amber washed up the shore by the recent drilling, would have been worth a small fortune! As I got closer I realised they were massive lumps of amber (bees?) wax, must have been swept by the high winds off a passing cargo ship ... an internet search revealed nothing of this size, perhaps unrefined bees wax? Should have looked for dead bees and other debris inside it - the high wind and rain drove me back to the car. I shall let a friend of mine know, she makes candles and might be curious to take a look. (My friend texted me while rolling and floating the stuff in the sea and informed me there'd been something on the news about wax on several beaches the council were asking people to report any sightings, I checked and the other washed up wax on beaches seems to be white paraffin wax.)

Wax washed up on Cromer Beach.

Publications, prizes, reviews.

12th night, poem 'Ice Bonds' published on Ink, Sweat and Tears, see links page HERE.

Reading at 'Farndon Village Hall, Farndon, Newark on 21st January. Newark Open Poetry Competition - 3rd prize. Poem title 'Trace'.

Review: 'Spots of Time' by Norman Bissett (Indigo Dreams Publishing), Reach Poetry Issue 160.