Weekly Photo Challenge, Opposites

Hey WordPress guys, could you come up with an easy prompt once in a while please? Only joking,  know it’s a challenge.

Opposites. Well Exmouth, my closest beach, is opposite the nature reserve across the estuary at Dawlish Warren. Here is the nature reserve at low tide, in winter when its a rest stop for migrating birds, as well as a permanent home to a variety of birds.

warren2Now, the depth of field makes this look different from the reality. The grassy sand dunes are on the south west of the Exe, while the yellow apartment blocks are on the north east, with a mile of water in between.

warren1Does this second photo help or hinder? I promise you that nature and manmade are definitely opposites here!

Pimm's o'Clock
Pimm’s o’clock

Looking down from the balcony of my favourite Pimm’s hostelry, the sand spit on the opposite side of the estuary is Dawlish Warren nature reserve.

 

Orchid Alley

I called into Buckland Abbey today for tea and cake – Bakewell tart if you’re wondering and while I sat avoiding the mizzle, my friend went outside. After a few minutes she came back in, all excited, ‘Gilly, Gilly you have to come see now!’

This is what she’d found.

bu1Just past the Elizabethan garden, there’s a little path with a patch grass to the right.


Definitely two, maybe three varieties of orchid, a delight to see. I’d left my camera in the car so these are phone pics, click for a better view.

An Overbecks Stroll

Overbecks is a small National Trust  property at Sharpitor, overlooking Salcombe in the South Hams. The house is Edwardian with a surrounding garden of about seven acres. It is named after it’s last private owner, Otto Overbecks. The house has a small museum, a collection of rather bizarre objects, some of which I’ll try to show you in a few days. The drive down to Overbecks isn’t one that I’d bother with for the house, but the garden is a sub tropical delight, surrounded by woodlands. To get there take the A381 as far as the hill leading down into Salcombe, and then pray that you don’t meet any vehicles along the way. The road goes down steeply with sharp bends big gaps between passing places, cars parked anywhere they can, before it climbs back up around hairpin bends that give you white knuckles. This is coming from a Devon lass, who fearlessly drives narrow, winding lanes in the dark. Of course you might get lucky and not meet a soul! Parking is limited, but we were lucky, so we climbed the last quarter mile up the hill.

Where this view waited.

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Through the imposing wooden gate.
ob2And the first of many lovely paths opened up.

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But we won’t go down the steps to the lower garden yet, we’ve had a long drive and need some refreshments. This is the view from the café.

ob5I really wanted to sit in the conservatory.

ob4Can you see those legs stretched out between the plants? Well there were two very comfy seats, but every time I went past they were occupied, how rude!

ob6Let’s stretch our legs, gently of course, it’s too warm for dashing about.

ob10The planting is very exotic.

ob11Some lush bark for Meg.

ob12Something blue in the distance, but we’ll check that out later.

ob14I liked the look and feel of the stair rails.

ob15No I’m known for my wonky horizons, but honestly it wasn’t me, the silver pear trees were growing sideways.

ob20There’s one of several lawned areas up on the high garden. I failed to capture the true magenta colour of the gladioli’s, never mind, I can see it in my mind’s eye, and you can see how bright the sun was.

ovob21This lass is a lot more calm.

ob18Looking down over the wall there is a small, but very neat box garden.

ob24We walked on down to try to find it, but got waylaid in this sunroom.

ob25Surrounded by the banana garden.

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which of course had Datura’s as well. I should make the effort to call them Brugmansia, but is doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely does it?

ob27

I could sit there all day, but there are lots more lovely plants to see, so off I stroll.

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Up another flight of steps,

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to the highest point and the best view.

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Some more exotica on the way down for ice cream, Salcombe Dairy Honeycombe, it would be rude not to.

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I still didn’t get to sit in here!

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So it’s back down the lane, past the Acer glade.

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I probably only strolled a mile and a half around Overbecks, but I think Jo would like it there and happily share the walk. If you come to Devon and like the idea of visiting Overbecks, I’d go on a weekday during school term, the last couple miles of road should be a lot easier.

 

 

 

 

7-Day Nature Photo, day two

My lovely blogging friend Amy has challenged me to join the 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge, begun by Ulli, and it’s right up my street.
The two branches of the river Teign rise on Dartmoor and meet at Chagford, flowing southeast to Teignmouth where it joins the English Channel. It’s a very pretty river, and at castle Drogo it runs through a steep valley. I took this photo down in that valley, half way from Drogo to Fingle Bridge, a beautiful spot.

fingle bridge

A well as posting nature photo each day for a week, I have to challenge a friend to join in. Today I’m choosing Meg, who’s spending a year in Warsaw, and enjoying a northern hemisphere spring. She has a very good eye and I loved her calligraphy branches today. No worries if you ‘re too busy Meg!

The Day We’ve All Been Waiting For

The weather forecast was right, full sun all day today – yes this Brit is obsessed with the weather, it’s been a long, wet winter. A morning of housework gave me permission for an afternoon stroll, at Sidmouth. The town was busy but we found somewhere to park and a different entrance to the Byes.

I wonder how many times they've shared this bench
I wonder how many times they’ve shared this bench

Lots of blue sky and a tempting path.
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Little peeps of colour
Little peeps of colour
Looking back at the first bridge
Looking back at the first bridge

Here’s Daisy, all excited and with a spring her tail.
bys5
bys6There’s been some storm damage in recent years,

bys7But plenty of new tree planting.

bys8We’ll walk beside the river Sid for a while.

bys9There are remains of a jetty.

bys10Benches everywhere to watch the world go by.

bys11Leaving the river, we’ll go up a gentle rise towards Golden Copse, bys12in Margaret’s Meadow.

bys13The sky became even bluer.

bys14We were surrounded by birds, but most were too high in the trees. Never mind this robin gave us a lovely solo performance.

Back down to the river where lots of families were enjoying the day.

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That’s the Byes, I’ve taken you and Jo walking there before, but in the winter, I hoped you liked spring. The dog friendly café on the sea front was full today as were the car parks, so we headed home. I’ll show you where we made a quick stop tomorrow.

Did you go out for a walk this weekend? I hope you had sunshine as well.