We head out to the Marshes at least twice a week for a long walk with the dogs, it does us all good to get out and escape from life and just enjoy the nature around us. Yesterday was no exception, come mid afternoon we bundled the dogs into the back of the mighty Defender and headed East. As ever I had checked the tide table and the plan on this occasion was to walk to the water. Now this might sound rather odd however this is the Lincolnshire Salt Marsh and the sand is very flat which means a good walk if you are to get to the sea at low tide, it also means choose the wrong time of day and the water can come in rather quickly which means wet feet, if you are lucky.
We always split up at the start of the walk, I take the Labrador on a more challenging route on the water side of some creeks and the Viking takes the Lurcher along a path at the base of the sea defence banks, the plan being we meet up around half an hour later and continue our walk together. This also gives the Labrador a chance to work with me without the distraction of the Viking’s companion.
We met up at our usual spot and headed out, getting to the water was certainly attainable with a leisurely 1200m+ walk in front of us however as we closed on the water I realised some tourists in the form of Grey Seals had beaten us to it, I could see the tell tale dark and light blobs on the water’s edge and could even hear the occasional bellow as the wind was coming in from the NNE so we turned away at around 600m and left them to it.
One of the pluses of walking in such a place is that we seldom see another person, in fact I have never met anyone on our more usual walks once we have left the car. This does mean the local wildlife is in abundance and we obviously need to be very aware of what our dogs are doing and where they are. Recent sightings include the normal range of Waders that I invariably struggle to identify other than Little Egrets and Dunlins and even then it is down to time of year and plumage. The more unusual include Marsh Harriers and the occasional sightings of Roe Deer.
Even if we do not see any Roe Deer or Muntjac, signs of their existence are abundant and these tracks made me smile, Deer plus the start of the Samphire, I do wonder if that would work on a plate as well as it seems to work on the Marsh.
I am trying to expand my recognition of the local plants beyond the Sea Lavenders and Vetches and usually snap a picture so I can look up the subject when I get home. The remains of this old boat are always interesting as it seems to be the host for numerous interesting species and based on the tracks around it is a bit of a meeting point for many birds and animals.
On the subject of animals a picture of the Lurcher who excelled himself by finding a dead Grey Seal that had been washed up on one of the high tides a couple of weeks before and rolling on it many times until he had picked up an impressive change of colour and smell, his more usual colouring is white with the occasional darker spots across the back and the brindle colouring to his head and base of his tail.
We always say things that smell of the sea are the sea and dead seals however you can add Lurchers to the list. The Labrador has been known to roll on dead seals in the past however he is easily stopped by a quick shout and invariably heads back looking slightly amused. The Lurcher however obviously thinks we are nothing more than an unnecessary distraction when the allure of something smelly calls. Here he is looking slightly defiant and I have actually caught his better side in the picture. That additional colouring is basically decomposed seal and worst still we still had to drive home with him in the back of the Defender 🙁
He was washed last night and again this morning and right now is looking like an RSPCA advert for a maltreated animal as he usually does when he has got wet.
The red harness in case you wondered is the Viking’s choice as it means he is easily spotted at a distance, not that it is difficult to spot a white Lurcher hurtling down a path towards you at 40mph!
Well that is a bit of a catch up for the Journal, I am going to make myself another cup of coffee and start on today’s work, one of the pluses of working for yourself is you can actually have a late start to a Saturday.