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A Post Card From Devon

2nd of July 2009

I usually write my News Notes sitting at the dining room table glancing out of the window down to the wildlife pond, but today I am sitting in hot sun on a beautiful beach in South Devon casting my eyes over the rocks. In the last few days we have seen a common seal come into the cove and swim around the rocks, presumably hunting for fish. I had only seen seals in the zoo before and I feel very privileged to have seen this lovely creature in its natural habitat. Every now and then its head comes out of the water and it has a good look round before diving down again. Sometimes we can see a ‘bow wave’ as it swims away, or a sort of swirl in the water. It has a beautiful face and I can see where stories of mermaids have come from; after a long sea journey a sailor could easily fall for its lovely eyes. I tried to swim with it on the first day but it disappeared when I got about 30 yards away , so now I content myself with watching and we have had some nice views of it. Often the first sighting is of the sun gleaming on its head and then we watch as it makes its way along the rocks as the tide comes in.
This has been one of our best holidays ever; the sun has shone and I have had lots of swims in cool clear water. Three fulmars are nesting on the cliffs and wild flowers hang precariously wherever there is soil. The red campion are a wonderful colour and there are round leaved penny royal and superb yellow and orange patches of ladies’ slippers, whilst one of my all time favourites, sheep’s bit scabious, is just opening its sky blue flowers. When the tide was right up yesterday we had a picnic beside the coastal path at Bolt Tail surrounded by thrift, sky larks, and the haunting cries of seagulls. Heaven!
Must close now. The tide is out far enough for me to cross the cove and get an ice cream from the little shop on the other side. Wendy Bathurst

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