Seaham and Easington coastal walk

Terry drove us south of Seaham harbour. After he parked the car Tom and I got our ruck sacks from the boot. We set off south down the cliff top path, with the sea on our left.

A typical view from the cliff path

We were following the railway line and several times we had to cross back and forth as the route looped inland through a densely wooded dene.

Criss-crossing the rail tracks

From time to time we decended to sea level, and we could see the rail track high above us running along the brick viaduct.

Down in the dene looking up to the viaduct

Early in the walk we paused to take a look at a limestone quarry, on our right; we contented ourselves with peering through the perimeter, padlocked fence.

Limestone quarry

In the woods there was a profusion of wild flowers. Tom spotted a rather splendid caterpillar, too, at one point. Tom and I talked about how inadequate we felt in terms of being able to name species in nature. When I got home, I looked through one of my reference books and this particular caterpillar seems to fit the markings for a drinker moth, and this is the identification I tentatively offer to you, my dear blogophiles.

Possibly a drinker moth?

As to the flowers in the hedgerows, I have a feeling that this specimen might be a dog rose but, once again, I am lacking in confidence in this regard.

A dog rose?

It is possible that you may not be aware of the Seaham-Shrinker plant. It’s large broad leaves grow up to waist height on stems that remind one of rhubarb sticks. It is imperative not to snack on the leaves, since the ingestion of even a small amount is enough to trigger the rapid shrinking of the animal or human who has been foolhardy enough to take a bite. I repeatedly told Terry not to do it, but he took no notice of my warnings. As you can see, Tom had to pick him up and carry him for a while until the effect wore off and he returned to his normal size.

Effects of the Seaham-Shrinker plant

At one point we got lost and ended up by the old pit shaft that used to be Easington colliery. The mine and the workings have been grassed over but the area remains barren of any serious attempt to landscape it in a creative fashion.

The old pit shaft at Easington colliery

We returned to the coast in order to pick up the path that we were looking for. On our way, we passed an old WW2 defensive fortification.

WW2 defensive fortification

We walked onto the beach and rested up for a bite to eat. The tide was not at its highest and there were plenty of small rocks exposed, out to sea.

Rocks by the beach at low-ish tide

I felt pleasantly exhausted by the time we got back to the car. We plan to do another walk in three or four weeks time. Speak to you later, my dear blogophiles.

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