A Prickly Subject

Today’s walk, from the most easterly point in England, Lowestoft, to my home town of Great Yarmouth turned up some unexpected plant life.

Sea Holly

Sea Holly, up close and prickly. Photo 27th August 2018

The beach is shingle with stretches of sand. The eroding cliffs are forming sand-dunes that coastal flora are colonising. I just loved the way the light caught the glaucous leaves.

Confession, I hopped on a bus at nearby Gorleston cos I’m not a saint or a saviour to walk upon water and there’s a navigable river barring the way.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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12 Responses to A Prickly Subject

  1. Dale says:

    Lovely indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynn Love says:

    That’s a cracking photo – the grey/blue through the grass is just gorgeous. We use sea holly as a cut flower, though the florist varieties are not as tough and prickly as this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      We used to do this walk a lot, along the beach. But then the storms came and took huge chunks of the cliffs and the beach was closed to walkers and so was the cliff-top. But the cliff has stablised now so tackled the beach. And found that sea holly, sea beat, sea dock and sea kale all had moved in to colonise the dunes that the cliff falls had produced. So, wow. Lose some, gain some. And yes, it’s very prickly. Not to be trodden on with bare feet!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lynn Love says:

        That constant erosion and expansion is a fascinating – if at time dangerous – aspect of coasts, isn’t it? And what you found on your walk is encouraging to me – nature colonises those new environments so quickly. Makes me smile, that thought 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Every time I walk along the banks of Breydon Water (a five minute walk from where I live) I see those signs of expansion and colonisation. The growth of the ‘rand’s’, the strength of the salt-marsh vegetation … and slowly the estuarine mudflats are turning to land. I try to imagine how it was in Roman times, a vast estuary, threaded through with channels but otherwise all glistening mudflats alive with waders at low tide. Now it’s nearly all gone. Changes. Nothing remains the same.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lynn Love says:

        I find wetland almost exotic for that reason. Those areas that are so scarce now, because men didn’t see them as profitable so drained them, and yet were so common once – those mysterious In between places. Imagining sometimes takes some effort though – we have a rundown shopping centre near us ( Iceland and Farm Food outlets, empty units, stained concrete, tatty flats above). It’s called St Catherine’s Place, named after the St Catherine convent and hospital that was there in the medieval period. I struggle to imagine nuns walking along the frozen veg aisle in Iceland, whispering prayers for the sick and dying above the chatter of drunks, the scent of incense fighting with cigarette smoke. Nothing remains the same, as you say

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        You have such a wonderful imagination. Meanwhile, on the way to Breydon, I fill my head with images of Viking longships. And try not to think of the screams and flames that shortly will follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Ooh, that sounds amazing! Yes, of course, plenty of raiding on your coastline. Love that idea – though of course, horrifying at the time. I like to remember we here were once part of Wessex, Alfred’s kingdom, that Great king and creator of the Danelaw, though of course that was only partly successful

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        True, Alfred did ‘concede’ the east of England to the Danes (the easy option, cheaper in silver and gold, cheaped in lives). But was the east of England his to concede? Wessex only had ‘control’ of the east because Mercia had, at some point, trumped it, and Wessex then took Mercia. But mostly the east paid lip-service and taxes and otherwise went their own way. And that was still the general feel ‘on the ground’ when the Normans came clopping across the land. As with the west of England which had always been closely allied to the Celtic lands, the east had always been allied to our cousins across the North Sea, and that began way back with the hunter-gatherers. (Oh, and now you’ve started me; let me climb down from my podium) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Nice summation of that period! I can see why the east would be so much more closely linked with the continent – they were connected by Doggerland at one point, of course. You stay on that podium as long as you like! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    That sea holly is really interesting – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. I smiled at your confession, being a language stickler myself. But you can take a bus to get *to* a walk; I’d say that’s perfectly legitimate!

    Liked by 1 person

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