Adventures in Photography Challenge Day Twenty Three

Today is the twenty third day of my photography challenge – Adventures in Photography

I decided to head out for a sunrise this morning as the forecast looked promising. My plan for today was to head to one of my favourite places on the Suffolk Coast – Barthorpes Creek and tell the story of this tiny tributary of the River Ore through my 23 images.

Sunrise is getting much earlier now which meant I had to be out of the house by 5am and down on the beach for about 5.15am which would give me enough time to watch the light change as the sun rose. There wasn’t much cloud in the sky and a bank of mist hung on the horizon so I knew I wasn’t going to get any amazing colours but it was just nice being outside. Dawn is always my favourite time of the day and I love the subtle colours that you get with early morning light.

My first shots were all taken just before sunrise at the mouth of the creek where it joins the River Ore. In front of me lay the shingle banks of Orfordness spit where hundreds of cormorants had gathered this morning to watch the sun rise with me.

In the opposite direction Barthorpes Creek winds its way inland through mudflats and salt marsh and in the distance I could just make out the buildings at Shingle Street, their roofs rising above the mist that lay over the marshes.  As sunrise approached the light changed from a blueish hue to a much warmer pallet of blues and pinks.

After watching the sun break the horizon I headed inland following the Suffolk Coast Path along the edge of the creek. It had been cold last night and a layer of frost covered the ground adding a sparkle to the grass as the sun’s warming rays were reflected.

The creek winds its way around the saltmash in a series of bends heading towards the bridge on the Shingle Street road. As the waterway meanders the mudflats spill out towards the river wall and this morning these were full of redshank feeding in the shallows.

Beyond the bend the creak heads towards the sluice at Oxley Dairy. The sunlight is now catching the reeds which grow either side of the footpath and the colours look beautiful. There is not a breath of wind and the reflections in the water are perfect.

As I turn around to face the sun I can see the mist rising from the surface of the water. Despite the stillness the creek is very much alive. Geese noisily fly overhead and oystercatchers and redshanks call from the mudflats. 

Looking across the creek over Oxley Marshes I can now see the cottages at Shingle Street a bit clearer as the mist begins to lift. 

There are plenty of reflections in the water and I spend some time focusing on some of the more intimate landscape scenes.

Out on the salt marsh the sea purslane forms a lovely carpet of aqua and pale pink complimented by some areas of green moss that grow along the edges of the tidal creeks and pools.

As the tide continues to fall the receding water leaves behind tiny channels in the mud which twist and turn towards the middle of the creek. Footprints are dotted around the edge where waders have been wandering in search of food.

Overhead a group of swans head towards Shingle Street, their flight graceful but never silent. To me they always sound as if their wings need oiling as you can hear every beat as they pass overhead. 

Wandering back along the salt marsh I find a post covered in lichens, some seaweed glinting in the sunshine and a carpet of tiny white flowers which I think might be scurvy grass so called because sailors used to chew on their leaves, which are rich in vitamin C, to prevent scurvy. 

By the time I had arrived back at the River Ore it was 7.30am and the sun was beginning to be too harsh for photographs. My little journey along the creek wasn’t very long in terms of miles but in that short distance I encountered so many beautiful sights and was lucky enough to share the morning with some of the wonderful wildlife that calls this creek home.