Sunday, 10 March 2013

Pootling at Portus Abonae

Have been hellish busy lately - I think I've definitely bwirtten offh mure thn I cn cherw. So although I've been out and about a lot, it's been more about doing stuff than assimilation.  And I need a bit of contemplation every now and then.


No time for jaunting again this weekend, but I did manage to fit in a bit of pootle with John Terry, Dru Marland and Ted, which is the next best thing.  And the place we pootled at was Sea Mills Dock, which the Romans knew as Portus Abonae, and the banks of the River Avon, after the gorge but before it meets the great Severn at Avonmouth. 


Low tide but no sun, which was a shame because when there is, it turns the mud gold and the whole scene is Klimtian, but there was a pleasing bleakness which is the sort of view that most accommodates the tired eye, I feel.  Well, mine, anyhow.  














To the right, then, is the River Avon, tidal and no longer the bustling thoroughfare it was when the city of Bristol was the main port, rather than Avonmouth.  To the left the always very busy Portway, leading from the city centre out to the M5.  Which means that this walk is far less peaceful than it looks, except that much like at Burwalls Cave, the white noise of the road is easily converted into the sound of the mighty ice age torrent that once cut the Gorge.  The land hasn't forgotten even if we have.


The dock has silted up a lot since its hey-day, so every now and then you get strangely positioned reminders of its previous life in unexpected places.  


One the the very considerable joys of jaunting and/or pootling with Dru is that you get to experience more wildlife than you would have otherwise, partly because of her attuned eye (I wander along in a fog) and partly because she can identify any bird who utters as much as a squeak.  So I can tell you that much of our journey was accompanied by the watery call of the sandpiper, and through her binoculars I saw a wondrously shaggy and sinister heron lurking on a bank in the river, which my feeble eyes had no chance of spotting unaided.  I hope she managed to get a good photo of it. 

 I don't need any help with enjoying the colours of a dull March morning, though. So muted, so beautiful.










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