Saturday 13 March 2010

Water and watery places

There is something about water that attracts all of us, I think. Whether it is a stream, river, sea or more formal water features, it always seems to refresh my soul.

Formal water attractions can be heaven-sent on a hot day! The left hand picture is in Verona, Italy. We had gone there on an excursion from where we were staying on Lake Garda, and it was HOT! I had had enough of walking around looking at this and that, and was exceedingly glad to sit by the fountain in the park. There was a market there too, so when I felt like strolling round there was plenty to look at! The right hand one is in Grange-over-Sands on the Cumbrian side of Morecombe Bay. it certainly wasn't hot that day, but there were so many ducks and waterfowl from all over the world we were fascinated, and the gardens were lovely, too.

This bridge is the Old Dee Bridge across the River Dee at Chester. Chester was founded by the Roman Army in AD75, and there has been some sort of crossing there ever since. The present bridge was built in the reign of Edward I. Just below it is a big weir built in 1093 to provide a head of water for mills along the river. Chester is a really interesting city, lots of remains from Roman times, and Medieval houses, shops and a lovely Cathedral.

Cromer is a typical seaside town on the north Norfolk coast. The Pier has a theatre at the end and hosts a show throughout the season. We always used to go to Cromer for our family holidays after the second World War, until about 1955 or so, although I opted out earlier!

My parents rented a big beach hut just down from the cliff in this photo, and that beach was "ours". The only drawback was the long, long hill back to the top of the cliff at mealtimes and the end of the day! The path went down in a Zig Zag, which you can just see, with little seats at the angle of the zig and zag! It was painful if something was forgotten and an unlucky person had to go back and fetch it!

The Menai Straits go between Wales and the Isle of Anglesey. Although they are narrow, the currents are strong and unpredictable. Always something to watch there, boats going by, and Caernarfon on the opposite shore (from where we were, on the Isle of Anglesey) was very interesting to watch with binoculars!

I love a really good high tide, with waves crashing over the promenade, but I have no photographs of that. They are all tucked away in Mr. G's photo archives, taken before digital photography. He was brought up in Margate on the north Kent coast, and his mother lived there for many years. We often went down there, three or four times a year, but mostly in out-of-season times, so saw plenty of high seas!

But low timde has its own beauty. Both of the photographs above are along the coast from Grange-over-Sands, at a headland called Humphrey's Head. No idea who he was, but it was a beautiful place. On the rocky cliffs there was a Peregrine Falcon's nest, and we were lucky enough to see the male Peregrine. I spent some time down at sea level, there was no one else there, and so quiet and peaceful.

Inland Lakes have their own attractions. The upper one is "my" lake, in the Park, but the other one is Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire. Mr. and Mrs. Kipling spent a holiday there (?their honeymoon) and were so entranced by it that they called their son Rudyard after the lake. There are boats on the lake, and a little train goes down to the end and back again. Great for children!

Lakes and harbours abroad always have a foreignness about them - it might be the mountains, the flowers, or just the architecture. We had a great time in Menorca and then a couple of years later on Lake Garda in Italy.

The sound of trickling water always makes me feel cool. The stream in our park has been culverted, and little steps take it down the slope to the lake. After heavy rainfall, it does its best to immitate Niagara Falls!

Light on water makes me want to get out my camera! I can never quite get what I want. But I keep trying!

And lastly, sometimes there is far too much water where it is not wanted! The Council decided to renovate the childrens' playground and started just before one of the wettest, muddiest winters we have known! They still haven't finished, though it looks "done" and a lot of bigger children are going in by climbing over the fence!
Who am I to stop them??

This coming September we are going on a cruise around the UK, so there will be plenty of water for me to enjoy, photograph and just watch go by. So long as it just goes by, and not up and down too violently!


CorvusCorax12 said...

Water soothe the soul, lovely pictures

Anonymous said...

I love your photos - and enjoy that round Britain trip.

Hollace said...

I love water, too, whether it is at the coast or a water fountain in the city center. One of my favorite sounds is a burbling brook in a wooded area when all else is quiet except the birds. I live on a busy street with fairly constant traffic noise, and the sound of a brook in the quietness is the utmost pleasure to me.

You must have a wonderful catalogue system for your photos--How can you just pull them up like this from all the years? I want to do the same!

Jennyff said...

You are right, water is a huge attraction. I think we all dream of a house on the water's edge and a city centre fountain is always crowded with people. I'll try to remember next time it's raining what the benefits are!

theMuddledMarketPlace said...! I remember those paths!

love water.....balm for the soul

thanks for lovely images and thoughts that now fill my mind

Friko said...

a splendid journey of discovery via watery highways and byways. I love water too, who doesn't, but most of all I love the sea. Shropshire is well and truly inland but the Welsh Coast is not too far away for a quick trip.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Beautiful pictures. I hope to travel to the UK one day and visit some of these beautiful sites in person.

cheshire wife said...

Thank you for your tour around watery places. I enjoyed it!

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

Water does have an alluring ability.
Perhaps because of our ancestral connections, beauty of its vastness or simply a place to cool one's toes it is a timeless attraction.
Hope all is well and sunny in your little piece of the world Gilly.
Susan x

Diane said...

I often wished I lived by the sea. lovely photos Gilly.

awareness said...

Gilly, your post makes me want to travel right now! I would love to see the spots you've highlighted here. beautiful!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

A wonderful post Gilly - all your photographs are lovely, you are right about water, it has so many attractions.