Ice Mushrooms

Ice Mushroom
Ice Mushroom

Very cold this morning but Helen managed to drag me outside by 10am, for what turned out to be a brisk, short sharp walk round Dancersend. We parked up where Dancersend lane flattens out next to some houses and marked past the manor then licked up the footpath that heads across the corn field towards to the hills on the horizon.

It was absolutely freezing and even after 20 minutes walking in thermals we were still cold. Once we hit the hills we turned right towards the old victorian pump house that feed the hidden reservoir. Along the foot path we saw those ice extrusions I have mentioned in the past. I think they might be caused by the really wet ground pushing the water up by capilliary action with then freezes when it hits the cold. Some we saw were several centimetres long, Helen called them Ice Mushrooms and I think that is a good name for them.

At the pump house we crossed the road to enter Dancersend nature reserve, we came across a couple each with a child in rucksack on their back, and a very boisterous large puppy, looked a bit like and Irish Wolfhound it was bounding around all over the place. We headed clockwise round the reserve up the hill and then through the woods to the bottom of the reserve. There was a lot a shooting going on around the valley it it a really shame as the blasts really spoil the tranquillity of the place.

Victorian pump house
Victorian pump house

We headed out of the reserve and joined the road at the pond on the bend below the manor. So we were soon up the road and back to the car it had been a short walk but we were glad that we made the effort. Not much bird life other than Tits, Goldfinch and a couple of Jays. We decided we would have a go at a recipe I found on the internet for Cannellini Beans in tomato sauce, that meant a trip to Tesco for some beans and a visit to the cinema to watch Black Swan with Natalie Portman.

I have since found out the ice extrusions are probably ice needles as per the Wikipedia article

Beans seal trip

Seals on Blakeney point
Seals on Blakeney point

We saved our seal trip till the end of the week, just as the weather turned. We wrapped up well and all wore water proofs, as it was pissing down with rain. We were all ready for the trip down at Morston Quay at 09:20 ready for the 09:30 boat trip.

There were some clearings in the clouds but they were not heading our way, the weather was coming from the NW and it looked grey, from that direction. We got under way and listened to the safety talk, the two crew were ones Helen and I had done a trip with  before.

Norfolk sail boat
Norfolk sail boat

Every so often a wave would break over the bow of the boat and get us a little wet. There were plenty of birds on the move across the marshes and flying low to the water. The boat headed past the old lifeboat station on the point, then out towards the end of the point itself.

The seals all congregate at the end of the point, there were about 60 lazing around on the sand bank and every so often we could see some floating in the water with their heads visible. After a few loops around the boat sped up and headed back to the quay. In all the trip lasted just short of an hour, which given the weather conditions was long enough.

We headed back to the hut for a well earned coffee and biscuits.