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The Waterland

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 […]

Norfolk Broads Video… Landscapes and Wildlife

I hope you enjoy this Norfolk Broads Video… The Norfolk Broads are a unique waterland with over 100 miles of rivers and lakes in Norfolk and Suffolk, meandering through wonderful countryside, full of wildlife and steeped in history. The vast, open landscapes of the Broads are dominated by big skies and succumb to the whims of the weather and changing seasons to become, at times, both beautiful and desolate, charming and bleak, picturesque and wild, mystical and inspiring. Because the rivers […]

Grey Goose III

The Finding of Goose Cove…

Friday 13th May… We’re running late.  The plan was to leave Waterland base camp long before sunset and find a wild mooring on the River Ant but, by as we get underway, the light was already fading and the low overcast clouds made it feel darker still. Our dogs, Monty (the Jack Russell) and Mabel (the Cocker Spaniel) wonder what’s going on as we head out into the fading light… It’s well past 9pm as we make a dash across Barton […]

Sand Martins

Sand Martins Among the Wavetops at Barton Broad…

It’s quite a display – fast and low – as if they  were weaving between the waves just for the thrill of it.  Sand Martins – and lots of them! As I watch, trying to follow them through the viewfinder of my camera, they seem to me like fighter pilots of the bird world.  You cannot fail to be awed by their aerial prowess as they hunt the insects that can be found close to the water. They are so agile, […]