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The Waterland

Upton Marshes… Wildlife Walks on the Norfolk Broads

After the walk… I cannot resist a final glance across the marshes before clambering back aboard Grey Goose III. The sun has set behind us and there is now a hint of mist rising from the watery lowlands.  Owned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Upton Marshes are managed with the aim of attracting and providing a home for all sorts of wildlife and it is working. Rarely have I seen such an abundance of life on any walk. A public footpath follows the […]

The Bounty of the River…

Welcome aboard the Waterland wildlife tour boat.  We are making our way along the River Ant, near Wayford Bridge, through the now familiar countryside of grazing marshland and reeds.  Friendly moos are exchanged with a small herd of Highland Cows we have come to know as we continue on a southerly course. Soon the welcome sight of Hunsett Mill greets us and we follow the twists and turns of the now tree-lined river, through Sutton Fen and, before long, pass ‘The […]

White Ghost of the Marshes…

‘Barn Owl’ I whisper to Mrs Waterland as we walk along the river from West Somerton.  To our right, what I think is a male Barn Owl is criss-crossing the marshes, looking for prey. I have been lucky enough to film Barn Owls, once near Coltishall and a few times at Blickling, but I’ve never photographed one before.   I know their keen senses are finely tuned to detect sound and motion so it will easily hear the shutter noise […]

Night at Barton Turf

The wind and rain subside at last and here at Barton Turf, the river, now slow and soft as a caress, gently rocks the mastheads standing tall and bright, gleaming in the boatyard lights…            

A Love Letter to the Night…

After all the activity of a long summer day on the river, a calm has come. As the sun sets, the wind, which had filled the sails of boats, is now a gentle sigh and the river has become softly rippling mirror, reflecting the world through which it flows.   I feel immensely lucky to be able to remain here, watching and listening as darkness slowly envelopes the world. Hours pass almost as minutes as the landscape around me becomes […]

The Grandest View I Dreamed to See…

8th May 1974 Hey, you caught me time travelling.  Mind you, some people would call it reminiscing, but it seems to me that a memory is a moment in time kept, that you can revisit whenever you wish.  And, sometimes, when you go back into a memory, you remember other things that you had forgotten and the only way to get to the new memory, is from the old memory.  That sounds like time travel to me! I am six […]

Aphid Farm run by ants

Come Sail With Me, to an Aphid Farm on a Willow Tree…

‘Oh, they’re aphids!’ I exclaim in an excited voice, while standing by the willow tree we’ve moored next to and reading an article on my phone.  My raised tone causes Mrs Waterland to glance at me and reply ‘what are?‘ ‘Well, you see, they’re on this willow tree and I hadn’t even noticed them until I was checking a photo I’d taken of a group of Ants.  I could see something else in the photo when I zoomed in…  and it turns out they’re […]

A Gentle Dark Comes…

Now and again something quite special happens on the Norfolk Broads in the late evening…  The time, after the sun has set, but before it is completely dark, is sometimes referred to as gloaming and is perhaps not when most people would think of getting out into the great outdoors, but we should because it’s a wonderful time to be alive in nature… Looking over the barley field, I watch as the sun falls behind nearby trees and realise it’s too late to get […]

Noticing the details in Nature...

Noticing the Details in Nature…

In an idle moment a discovery is made…  the beauty and intricacy of a Silver Birch leaf becomes clear when the Sun illuminates it from the behind.  The details that are revealed are quite breathtaking.   After admiring the complex network of veins, used to transport water and carbohydrates around the leaf, it doesn’t feel quite right to remove it from the tree.  Instead, I wait for a lull in the late afternoon breeze and do my best to photograph […]

A Wildflower Walk…

  One of the reasons I wanted to write this blog was to encourage myself to take the time to learn about the life and landscapes around me on the Norfolk Broads.  So, over the Bank Holiday weekend we took to the river and sailed to How Hill.  Once there we headed out on the footpaths and country lanes that criss cross the landscape between Ludham and Sharp Street.  I wanted to photograph the different types of wildflower that we […]