Boats and butterflies

One day back in March I went to explore a creek on the southern outskirts of Lytham, and though it looked quite an attractive place it was also a very muddy place as it was low tide at the time. Promising myself I would go back one day when it was high tide the opportunity came towards the end of August and I was also able to tie in my visit to the creek with a later walk along part of Lytham beach.
Leaving the van in the quiet lane at the side of the minor creek where I saw the welly boot stuck in the grass back in March I walked along the top of the bank to the main road then along to the creek with all the boats. Negotiating rather a tricky stile the first thing I came to was some sort of pumping station with the water in the creek bubbling like a boiling kettle, but just as I found a good spot to take a photo the bubbling stopped and everything became calm.
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The creek itself, at high tide, looked much more attractive than it was in March though I couldn’t go as far along as I did back then. The raised bank sloped down at the far end to a large area of flat grassland split by a minor creek, and though everywhere had been bone dry on my previous visit the grass was now very boggy under the surface. And how do I know that? – because my feet sank into it and I got my trainers covered in black mud!
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As I’d been walking along I’d noticed several tortoiseshell butterflies flitting about, in fact there weren’t just several there were lots of them and some of them did actually stay still long enough for me to get a few shots of them.
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Using the longer grass to wipe the worst of the mud off my trainers I went back along the top of the bank and made my way back to the van for the next part of my day. Driving along the seafront I came to Lowther Gardens which was the nearest place to where I wanted to be so I left the van there and later walked a short distance along the road, crossing over to a short slipway onto the beach. Through reading someone else’s blog I’d recently found out about a short stretch of the beach where I could find some old boats and even older tractors and on such a lovely sunny day they were a photo opportunity not to be missed.
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Farther along the beach and close to the low water line was the Celestial Dawn, a 41ft ketch which ran aground in August 2019. Two sailors, along with some equipment and personal items, were rescued by the Lytham inshore lifeboat but with a sixteen inch hole in its hull the Celestial Dawn has lain on the beach ever since, being enveloped by the tide twice a day so only the masts are visible. 
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Heading back to the tractors I came across an upturned dinghy buried in a water filled hole in the marshy grass; any deeper and it would have looked like a boat shaped coffin. Back at the slipway I took my last few shots of the boats and tractors, most of which were obviously past their best, then went back to collect the van from Lowther Gardens car park and head for home.
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It had been a lovely day, the weather had been perfect, and it had been good to find the boats and tractors which I hadn’t previously known were there. There’s actually a third part to this particular day too but the photos I took really deserve a post of their own so I’ll save those for a Monday walk another time.

 

18 thoughts on “Boats and butterflies

  1. Shame you sank into the mud and I hope it didn’t ruin your trainers. You took some lovely photos, the butterflies are gorgeous. Seems such a waste to see all those rusty abandoned boats and tractors.

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  2. The trainers weren’t exactly my best ones, I keep them for dog walking and generally exploring unknown places so it doesn’t matter too much if they get a bit grubby. Most of the mud wiped off in the long grass and I put them in the washing machine when I got home. The butterflies were really pretty and I couldn’t believe how many there were – they must really like those yellow flowers. Most of the boats near the slipway are a mess though one or two do look seaworthy – the tractors might look a mess too but they all have good tyres on them so probably most of them will actually run, which is why their engines are covered up.

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  3. Well done on the butterfly pictures – they never stay still long enough for me to get shots like that.

    The upturned dinghy is weird – almost looks like someone has been excavating around it, a bit spooky. Did Poppie sink in the mud as well?

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  4. Butterflies never usually stay still for me neither but this lot seemed quite happy to rest on the yellow flowers and there were so many that if one flew away there was always another close by. I haven’t a clue what the flowers are but I’ve seen them quite a lot on my recent walks – any ideas?

    As for Poppie sinking into the mud, she picked her way delicately through and only got muddy feet which quickly became white again once the mud dried and dropped off 🙂

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    1. The plant is Ragwort. Very divisive . . . it is poisonous to horses, attacks their livers and can result in death. Whilst horses are sensible enough not to eat it fresh, it’s still poisonous when dried, so if it gets into hay then you may well have problems.

      But, it is a British native, and therefore vital for butterflies and pollinators. I have a small amount in one of my wildflower meadows and it is always covered in bees and hoverflies.

      https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/ragwort-poisonous-ragwort-mythbuster

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  5. The whole area was absolutely bone dry when I went there in March, even the minor creek was nothing more than a trickle. Of course this time the grass just looked like grass so it was only when I walked on it I discovered it was all boggy underneath 😦 It didn’t spoil the day though and the trainers went in the wash when I got home.

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  6. You picked a lovely day for your walk, it’s nice to see those blue skies, and the butterflies were obviously enjoying the sunshine too. I’ve just caught up on your last post, such beautiful photos you have of Sophie, she’s was such a pretty little dog, no wonder she won those rosettes. Seeing her in her hoodie made me smile, such a cutie. It’s no wonder you still have times of sadness, it will all still be so raw for you. They do leave such a big imprint on your heart and I don’t think it ever goes away xx

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  7. I couldn’t have wished for better weather that day, it was fabulous. I did check the live webcams before I went though, just to make sure it was nice 🙂

    Sophie was such a pretty little dog and so gentle and good natured. I can still get emotional over losing my first little Jack Russell over twenty years ago so I know Sophie will stay in my heart for many years to come.

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  8. A lovely walk once again & I just love seeing your photos of the boats, butterflies & tractors. You’ve so much to explore both near the coast & further inland. Thanks for taking us along. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

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  9. There certainly is Jo, and all very photogenic. I was surprised at just how many butterflies there were, it seems they just love those yellow flowers 🙂

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  10. Takes me back to those warm summery days. I think I have seen some of those boats and tractors before. Love the butterflies. There have been lots of tortoishells this year. X

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  11. I can’t remember whose blog I was reading when I found out about the old tractors – maybe we read the same one 🙂 The butterflies were certainly in abundance that day, it was lovely seeing them all 🙂

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