Ferns and Fresh Water

Photos Liz Baum

Warm sunshine and bitingly cold wind kept the sky blue over the weekend. What to wear on the trek up to the Viewpoints? T shirts and shorts in the sun and padded jacket and trousers in the shade. For the ferns coming out in the forest – curl or uncurl? – that is the question. Like sleepy mice the furry brown fiddle heads, are stretching out their Spring limbs from under every tree stump and stone and covering up a lot of the brash left from the felling of last year. As the dead wood is shaded from the drying winds and sun it can start the first stages of rotting down into soil again.

The chilly breeze whipped up quite sizeable wavelets on the shingle bank below the Lower viewpoint, and we were fascinated to see our female’s ablutions when she down to bathe after eating a hearty fish lunch. Standing in the shallows she kept bending her head and shoulders forward to duck under the waves and then surge upright again to let the water run down her back, until her feathers were saturated. When thoroughly soaked she rose into the air, flying back and forth over the water whilst shaking herself as vigorously as a brown Labrador dog.