At last, a golden autumn day with a morning tide – perfect for a drive out into the countryside and a hike around one of our newest and favourite nature preserves on Wallasea Island.
I’ve posted about our walks there in the past, and this visit was chilly but as good as ever. Jeff particularly wanted to see the Great White Egrets that have been seen there recently, and we did manage to see them off in the distance, with the help of binoculars. Without the binoculars they just looked like white lumps on the horizon, but at least we found them. You’ll have to trust me on that as you certainly can’t see them in any of the photographs. Nevertheless, the scenery was beautiful in its own right.
We walked a couple of miles along the dikes and sea walls before climbing back in the car and driving over to Canewdon Church, which I’ve also blogged about in the past. There were people around this morning, and the church was unlocked, with a service about to begin. Nevertheless, we were welcomed in and we got a look around at last.
It’s a lovely church with an apparent commitment to their musical tradition. The bell ringers were hard at work, the bells calling people to worship. Downstairs, the organist arrived rather out of breath after playing for another service at another church – his talents are evidently in high demand. We didn’t hear him play, but the organ certainly looked rather nice.
We found what we were looking for, an old whale bone that one of Jeff’s geologist friends asked him to check on. Mentioned in 1912 in Byways in British Achaeology as King Canute’s Knee Bone, it still sits (rather unnoticed) on a window ledge inside the church. As always, local geology figures into our forays out into the Essex countryside. No one knows exactly where this particular bone comes from, but being that it is in a maritime community, I guess its presence isn’t too surprising. The church crowd, however, was both surprised and amused by our interest!