Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sojourn on the Severn

Working on the premise that if it's not raining, you need to get out quick because it will be soon, we headed for Severn Beach this morning.  Which - if you haven't been there - isn't exactly palm trees and cocktails (despite the t-shirt).  


It was, however, looking its best in bright sun and with lots of turbid water rather than mud flats (although I think they're beautiful too, if not to everyone's taste.)



In olden times we were taught that the Severn Estuary had the second highest tidal range in the world after the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. These days it's more often described as having one of the highest and I have seen mention of Ungava Bay as being higher, which does seem a bit greedy of Canada.  Whatever, it's a powerhouse and quite intimidating up close ... 

... and I still find it staggering that Dru and poet Jo Bell travelled up it in a pair of narrowboats.



Beyond the new bridge, the rocks were splotched with lichen that looked as if it should be on a pair of dodgy 1970s curtains.
We soon reached New Passage, where - a local story goes - Prince Rupert was chased over the river during the civil war, and the Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley nearly died in 1743 when the ferry he was travelling on foundered in  a storm.

Beyond New Passage lies Northwick Warth saltmarsh, haven to birds, and up ahead, the ethereal grace of the old Severn bridge.  









Back by the new bridge it was clear that the tide had already receded a fair bit ...  



... the mud so deeply carved, it was hard to tell it from rock in places.  

I ventured out to get this shot of both bridges ... 
... while Ted barked me back to the bank. (He likes his herd together.)












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