Sunday, 1 March 2015

West From the Anvil

The trek west from Anvil Point lighthouse is another good one, the path that follows the cliff top is muddy in winter but easily walkable with care. As you walk, taking in some more of the finest views around, you can be forgiven for thinking that the countryside you can see is virgin and unspoilt. In reality though what you can see right along the ridge is the remains of a long since disused industrial estate. Quarries littered the land from east to west and even the cliffs themselves were breached and robbed of the valuable stone.
What I really love about this place is the fact that nature has reclaimed and is still reclaiming the land that we no longer want.



Sunday, 22 February 2015

Rainy Days and Sundays

Not exactly the finest day for photographs but I managed a few before the rain came in properly.



Saturday, 21 February 2015

Kingston to Houts-tout

It is hard to imagine a better walk than this! For me, the outcrop of rock that rises high above the sea named as Houns-tout is just about the perfect place but the reasons for thinking this are not so clear.
The views are just superb but then there are other views that equal this perhaps.
This place allows you stand on the edge of exposed stacks the best part of 500ft above the sea and gives you the feeling that you are flying with the gulls but maybe there are other, more impressive cliffs.
The walk then, from a small car park in The Plantation near the village, that seems to take you higher and higher without the pain of an uphill climb? Well, I know of a few of these around here so it can't be that!
All of these things help make Houns-tout special but there is something else, something that I can't put my finger on, can't put into words and certainly can't commit to computer screen!
Just sit on the edge of one of these stacks on a clear evening, summer or winter it really doesn't matter, and watch the Sun drop the distant hills. Don't worry about being alone as you will have plenty of company: Badgers, Foxes, both Roe and Sika won't be far away and the mournful call of the Buzzard will compete for your attention with the impatient screech of the Peregrine.
The walk back to Kingston can take you in too directions: back the way you came or down to Chapman's Pool, then north past Westhill Farm.
Either walk is fine but if you take the steps down towards Chapman's Pool you are in for a very particular treat! Over 160 very steep steps take you down the hill into the valley and this is only part of the way down to the sea, if that is where you want to go. That is for another day though as today it is better to head north across green fields until you reach the track that gradually becomes South Street, Kingston.
This is not a long walk, an easy two hours without lingering time, you don't need any special equipment or extreme survival skills, but it really is one of the finest walks I have ever done.
Westward across Kimmeridge Bay

Westward towards Portland

East across Chapman's Pool

North past Westhill Farm

Corfe Castle from Kingston

Snowdrops

St.James Church, Kingston



Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Valentine Fox

This morning we had another Fox wander through the garden, not an unusual sight these days, but this was a different one.
The pictures were taken through the glass on a gloomy day and so could be a little sharper but I quite like them.





Sunday, 8 February 2015

From the largest to the smallest.

On a beautiful but chilly Sunday afternoon, a wander was always going to happen. It got off to a good start when I stumbled across our visiting Fallow Deer. We do not usually see Fallow on the Isle of Purbeck but this chap, sometimes joined by another buck, was in his usual place minding his own business. He was incredibly shy and doesn't take too kindly to interruptions.
From there I found somewhere quiet, somewhere out of the way where I could just sit and watch. This is not difficult as there are many such places here just waiting waiting to be found.
The place that I chose this time was an old flooded quarry that still had a covering of ice: sealing all the life that will eventually become countless Dragonflies when the Sun warms up this world. Birds returned to the surrounding Gorse, no longer bothered by the movements of an intruder and flitted with amazing speed between sharp points and yellow flowers. Dartford Warblers first and then the smallest of the small, the Goldcrest. Both wonderful to watch and both difficult to get a shot of.
Whilst I was failing miserably to get any half reasonable shots, I had the distinct impression that I was being watched. The eyes that burned into the back of my head were amongst the most beautiful that you will ever see around here and belonged to a very relaxed, sunbathing Fox.
There are worse ways to spend a Sunday.
Fallow Deer


Dartford Warbler

Goldcrest
Red Fox


Friday, 6 February 2015

Time For A Kestrel or Two

Finding a Kestrel willing to let you get close is always good. Finding two that are far too busy having a row to pay any attention to me was even better.




Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Final Launch

The lifeboat station that has served Swanage so well for over 100 years is to be replaced with a bigger and better building that will be able to house our new lifeboat. Today's launch was the last before the building and its slipway are demolished and it attracted quite a crowd.
As usual, Swanage Lifeboat crew did not disappoint: two inshore boats, the Swanage ALB and a visit from Poole's boat kept everyone happy on a very cold Sunday morning.