Seatown Sea Thrift

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) growing on cliffs

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) cluster on the cliffs at Seatown in Dorset, England, along the World Heritage designated Jurassic Coast. They form carpets on the cliff top edges and occupy isolated ledges of collapsed material on the cliff face.

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) growing on cliffs

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) growing on cliffs

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) growing on cliffs

Pink flowers of Thrift (Armeria maritima) growing on cliffs

The cliffs of the east side of the beach at Seatown, Dorset, England

The cliffs of the east side of the beach at Seatown, Dorset, England

St Ann’s Provincial Park

St Ann’s Provincial Park along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, was just springing into life after a cold winter when we visited earlier this year. It was a brief stop for a picnic lunch on our way from the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to the Louisbourg area on the east coast. The park  lies on the northern shore of the stretch of water known as North Gut, and has a short trail leading to a look-off where there are views over the saltmarsh and St Ann’s Bay. We did not have time to venture very far down the trail but, even by the car park, there was plenty to enjoy.

Bright green ferns of various types were uncurling their fronds. The compacted fern buds are called fiddleheads. Particular varieties in some localities are a feature on menus at this time of the year (we tried some and they were delicious). Golden mosses covered the ground, while bladed marsh plants were breaking through the winter’s debris on the water margin. Delicate white blossoms quivered on trees of the woodland edge. The greatest delight was catching sight of a snake making its way through the leaf litter. I am not certain what sort but it might possibly be a Maritime Garter Snake.

Flowering fields at Charlton Down

Yellow flowering oilseed rape crop in spring

The weather was very changeable but it was still a lovely spring afternoon for a walk up the hill to the barn. It is a good viewpoint up on Charlton Down, looking over the gentle rolling hills of arable farmland. I haven’t been along that path for some time and it was amazing to see the difference in the surrounding fields.  The young oil-seed rape plants that I had seen as raindrop-covered seedlings last December were now hip-high and covered in clusters of faintly scented yellow flowers. The grey skies broke with the brisk breeze and clouds scudded across the blue sky, making fast-moving shadows over the rural scene. The agricultural machinery parked by the barn remain a constant while everything around changes by the moment, with the weather, and through the seasons.