Friday, 20 July 2018

Heatwave Part 2 - Wildflower Meadows by the Sea

It was over a year since I had been to the Wildflower Meadows. My last visit was on New Year’s Day 2016, when the sea wind caused my eyes to water and the flowers were waiting for the warmer weather before they put in an appearance.

As the temperature soared, I drove along the narrow winding country lanes and turned right at the staggered crossroad heading towards the sea. 

I was disappointed to see the lovely old rose that a few years ago had clambered through the hedgerow marking this turning had gone. 

Happily on my last visit, even though it was the depths of winter, I had taken a cutting of this rose, which amazingly rooted successfully, and now this summer is producing the same beautiful double pink blooms outside my side door at home.

In spite of the heat, and the fact that this area is close to where the drama Game of Thrones is set, visitors were scarce.  Savouring the feel of the hot sun on my skin, I walked alone amongst the wildflowers in the lush meadows 

with rocky foreshores, 

towards the sandy bays, hidden below crumbling sandstone cliffs - home to hordes of sand-martins that flit ceaselessly in and out of the little holes on the sandy cliff face.

watched the sand-martins swoop and circle close to the cliffs, while high up overhead the gulls soared effortlessly on the air currents above the coastline.

Coastal daisies grew in clumps

 amongst the rocks and tall sea grasses at the edge of the powdery sand.

Red and white Valerian grew wild at the top of an old stone wall above the little beach, 

framing the sea and sky beautifully.

Before returning home, I drove a short way further around the coast, past a little beach at the side of the road, 

to where another small bay provides feeding grounds in the sandy mud flats to seabirds

such as Curlews, Sandpipers and Gulls, 

and during the winter is a resting point for the Brent Geese.

As the afternoon drew to a close, I reluctantly left the coast, mindful of the hosepipe ban and the lengthy watering regime awaiting me in the garden and allotment, where the poor plants wilted and turned brown in the scorched dry earth.

The sea air and Co Down countryside had inspired me though 

and I was brimming with ideas for another coastal themed embroidery. 
(I will keep you posted…)


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