So the sun has decided to come back, which I’m happy about, and it seems to have great timing at the moment as it’s shining its brightest on my days off from work – which I’m even more happy about! So I decided to take a little visit home to see my dad and sister, and what better sunshine activity than to have a riverside / woody walk along Nacton Shore!
There’s something quite enchanting about this place with its combination of countryside woodlands and beachy sands. It’s not often you get the two together, winding in and out of wooded pathways and then exposed beach, the perfect place for a little camera stroll.
As well as the more normal looking variety above, we also came across a whole collection of little mutated acorns; apparently the lumps are formed where a wasp has laid its eggs inside (did that make you shiver as much as I did when I heard it?!) I steered a bit of a path between me and these acorns after that, even if they’re not coming out any time soon!
This little guy was more to my liking, mainly because of his lack of wings or ability to fly at your face with a stinger! Have to say I felt a little bit like Timon and Pumba at this point, watching him wriggle in and out of his log.
And then the little woodland walk erupts into sunlight again as you come out onto the beach. Our path didn’t go very far in this direction as soft sand rapidly became squelchy swamp but I climbed up the log nevertheless (I challenge the kid inside you to ignore such a climbable looking log!)
Its branches also looked pretty dramatic against the bright sky; but what I liked more was how they look like haunted tree arms, ready to reach out and grab you… I wonder if Tim Burton has lots of trees like this around where he lives.
Unfortunately for them, we also came across lots of jellyfish flattening out in the sun on the beach, so we grabbed a stick and got them back into the water where they did seem to re-inflate somewhat but I’m not sure how much you can recover after melting into a squidgy puddle…
But luckily, I did come across this very alive, very inflated, jellyfish bobbing along in the water. It was at this point an underwater camera would have been great, but then I might have missed his comical looking swimming bopping up and down on the surface!
Jellyfish are so cool…
Back into the woodlands to continue our adventure, what’s a nature walk without some cliche closeups of leaves!
I stumbled (almost quite literally) across this charcoaled tree stump along the path, and all I could see looking at it was this stunning mini-mountain range with a little light coloured path around its base, winding its way up through. The texture on this was pretty beautiful, the fragmented bits of bark look like jagged rocks, appropriate for my imaginary mountain range!
I love its one little ‘tree’ poking up at the bottom as well, it looks like one of those tiny sprouting plants you get in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, popping up from the ground and then used by the little fluffy ones as umbrellas (see below for those who have no idea what I’m on about, points for those who do!)
One of the guaranteed features of a Suffolk nature walk; blackberries!
I thought I’d do a couple of first person pathway shots along the walk so now you can all feel like you’re coming along with me, if you’ve made it this far through!
Cobwebs literally seem to find their way onto everything… I wonder if the spiders go on little nature walks too, leaving their mark as they venture through the different picturesque spots.
If there’s one thing this walk gets an award for, it’s definitely textures, all the trees here are knobbly or interesting looking, even the branches that have fallen down or lie along the beach look like sculptures. I think this one almost looks like loads of little trapped faces attempting to push their way through the surface, or maybe that’s just me.
More mushrooms! This was probably the closest I got to finding the classic red and white dotted look. The base of this one is so white though, kind of makes you want to paint all over it and colour it in.
And of course, more cobwebs too.
We came across a collection of stick built huts further down the path here, possibly one of my favourite things to do on these kind of walks as a kid, if you didn’t used to go to the woods and build houses out of logs, your childhood was missing something! Of course, leaving your masterpiece behind was always somewhat heartbreaking, what do you mean we can’t live in it, it won’t keep the rain out?
There’s something quite enchanting about the tiny dapples of sunlight that make their ways through to the woodland floor when the sky’s this covered over, little patches of warmth that dance about on the undergrowth.
Our path began to wind a little more in-land, not much, but enough to start getting the occasional stinging nettle to the ankle. Of course, I was completely unprepared and making my way through with open topped shoes with holes in the pattern and completely bare legs, but clearly I’m built for the outdoors as I escaped with only one sting (hehe)
Our path was getting tinier and tinier as nature took over and left us with a little tunnel, and yes, more nettles!
And then the top half of the shrubbery broke away to reveal another beautiful seaside view. Had a little experiment with a wide angle lens and polarizing filter at this point, I always think it’s interesting how much you can manipulate the sky with one little filter, it was a lot brighter than this in reality, but you can better see the outlines of the clouds and dapples on the water in the background.
We next came across this pleasing little tunnel made from overgrown shrubbery, it reminded me a little bit of the famous ‘Tunnel of Love’ in Ukraine, one of many perfect photography spots in the world, but a darker, creepier version, the kind of tunnel that might lead its way through a haunted forest.
The Tunnel of Love, Ukraine, (not my photo):
Found a little camera-shy sheep along our travels, I guess he wasn’t having a good hair day…
I’m not quite sure what happened in this next photo at all, but I like the effect it had! Some of the most intriguing effects you get in photography seem to be accidental!
And back to the beach again, I told you this was a winding walk!
And to finish it all up, another cliche must-have of any nature walk, some butterfly closeups. It was quite tricky to get an angle on this one as he decided to land on the other side of a barbed wire fence so here’s a little peeking view through the leaves until I managed to get a clear shot.
This next one not exactly a photo worth sharing, but just a little glimpse of the drive back at the end of the day, was a perfect summery sunset to end off a sunny day. Note the fingerprinty lens, not what you want to see from an aspiring photographer…
We even got a little wave home from some strangers on the dual carriageway bridge, what better place to leave of this post. Thanks for reading/looking!