When I go up to my parents in North Norfolk I tend to go on the back roads to avoid the tourists (a coast road in summer can be a very slow moving, frustrating journey) and I've often seen this little church through the trees.
For years it had scaffolding etc around it but recently I noticed that it had gone so last weekend I decided to drive up the track and have a closer look.
It has a beautiful round tower and amazing arches.
It was the church for the village of Appleton, a village that has long since gone although apparently you can see outlines of it when the fields are lightly dusted with snow.
I haven't found out why the village disappeared but I hope that one day someone might do some excavations, although I suspect that might be unlikely as it is all on the Sandringham Estate land.
Still - the arches are pretty, I don't know why I'm so fascinated with arches, especially ruined ones!
A few days before I went to my parents I finished my fairisle cardigan. I ended up having to do a last minute re knitting of one sleeve when I discovered that I'd made a colour mistake on one of them - fortunately very near the top so I only had to unravel about 20 rows.
Finally, yesterday I took the afternoon off work and my friend and I drove to the other side of Suffolk, about 1.5 hrs away to Minsmere.
First stop was the Bittern Hide where a bittern was on the edge of the reed bed opposite for about 20 minutes preening, and fishing. Then he crouched down, puffed himself up and boomed. I've never heard a bittern boom before let alone watched one do it. The warden in the hide was beside himself with excitement too as he's never seen it in 20 years of bird watching (red arrow indicates the bittern, looks a long way away but the view through binoculars was stunning).
|click to enlarge and nearly see the bittern!|
Then we walked to the Island Mere Hide. It rained whilst we were in here but it didn't stop the bearded tits from flying around and one perched for quite some time on a reed and we got a really good view.
When it stopped raining we walked to the scrape where amongst other things we saw a marsh harrier swoop down and take a black-headed gull chick (gruesome but kind of retribution for the fact that they've taken all of the avocet chicks so far this year!).
After a cup of tea overlooking the sand martins we made our way to the Discovery Centre and then upward through the woods to the Springwatch studio to be in the audience for the live transmission of Springwatch Unsprung.
|me, far left|
It was just as good as last year!
Minsmere is a wonderful place to visit - during our three hours on the reserve we saw/heard at 11 species, most of which are rare or threatened. If you're into wildlife and in the area I can highly recommend it.