to the mouth of the river

November 15, 2013

tussocks 2

At low tide, looking across Nook Drain, the tussocky forms of Atriplex portulacoides (sea purslane) are revealed carpeting the marsh extents of the River Rother. A hidden landscape at high tide. Foragers will collect the seed for pesto  or something more complicated . .


. . looking to the west across the wader pool, an area of John Gooder’s saltmarsh habitat, the teazels retain their presence. Humans can consume the seeds as a remedy for Lyme Disease but they are much needed by winged foragers as the temperatures drop. Looking again at these photos taken early afternoon, I realise how deceptive they are. In reality the river path through the wildlife reserve was thick with folks enjoying a stroll in the sun – and why not – but my interest lay to the landscape and the eclectic elements within and also in the distance. The large built mass of the power station at Dungeness is just hovering on the horizon in the image below . . .


. . closer at hand is one of a pair of WW2 blockhouses and, of course, the much photographed red roofed hut. How many coats of paint or bitumen has this received over the years? The end of the path is blocked now as construction work is being carried out to the long timber river wall but it’s possible to trudge and slither down the pebbles on one side and gain access to the beach . . .

pill box 3


. . . and discover the groynes in many shapes, formats and materials.


groynes water cor 10 groyne

cor 10

Soft textures working their way across the steel and natural stone as well as sculptural man made hummocks of concrete. On the ground there are watery imprints of the tide as it leaves the last surface – sand.

seaweed 1

concrete pilllows



beacon 5

Time to stop intruding and just steal away. A couple of related posts, here + here + here

beacon 2

It was winter, near freezing,
I’d walked through a forest of firs
when I saw issue out of the waterfall
a solitary bird.
It lit on a damp rock,
and, as water swept stupidly on,
wrung from its own throat
supple, undammable song.
It isn’t mine to give.
I can’t coax this bird to my hand
that knows the depth of the river
yet sings of it on land.   Kathleen Jamie    The Dipper

6 Responses to “to the mouth of the river”

  1. charleshawes Says:

    Really enjoyed this photographic essay Julia. I read it on my desktop at first. Most of the pics did look a little unsharp. You might prefer them that way of course but if not you could apply some sharpening to crisp them up a bit.

  2. julia fogg Says:

    You’re right Charles – it’s a mix of a Lumix with a Leica lens and then I phone – good on mid range and close but not good on long distance but I do like the grainy result – liking less and less the ‘managed’ look. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Tom Says:

    Damn. Lost my reply!

    I meant to say…

    I love the detail of the iron, wood, stone and sand. Love the way you show how man-made element are reclaimed by The Elements and that I love your compositions; generous geometrically but restrained.

    More detail please! Spoilt to bits we are x

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