Tag Archives: nature

Dolphins more common in North East waters than any other part of England

A pod of up to 100 dolphins has been spotted off the coast at Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.

And marine experts say the region is currently the best place in the country to spot the mammals.

Both bottlenose and white-beaked dolphins have been sighted in the area over recent days.

Stephen Marsh, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “White-beaked dolphins are abundant in the North Sea at the minute.

“The ones spotted off Tynemouth have most probably come down from the Farne Islands.

“We have seen a pod of up to 100 passing the region in recent days and the area is by far the best to see these type of dolphins at the minute.

“The reason there are so many is due to the movement of their prey.”

Bottlenose dolphins have also been spotted off the coast at Roker in Sunderland in recent weeks.

Fishermen just outside Roker Harbour reported seeing the mammals jumping as they moved up the coast towards Seaburn.

Experts say the pods could well be attracted to the high numbers of mackerel shoals.

Terry McKeone, senior aquarist at Tynemouth’s Bluereef Aquarium, said: “Mackerel are quite a dim fish and they hang around in large shoals.

“They are close to the shore in the area at the minute so it could be the dolphins are just rounding them up and hitting them in large numbers.

“Dolphins are social mammals and they tend to be seen in large groups. You might get the occasional one by himself but that’s usually because the other dolphins don’t like him.”

Michael Jeffrey,  from Roker, said: “We’ve had the dolphins off the coast for the past few weeks, they’ve attracted quite a bit of attention.”

The white-beaked dolphin is most widely spotted in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Source –  Newcastle Journal,  02 July 2014

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Starlight Castle, Seaton Sluice, Northumberland

 

Starlight Castle is a folly – or rather, the ruins of a folly, situated on the slopes of the north side of Holywell Dene, near Seaton Sluice in Northumberland and built in 1750.

Only and arch and a couple of bits of wall remain, but once it looked like this…

Legend has it that it was built overnight in order to win a wager

More photos & information here – http://spiritofplace.weebly.com/starlight-castle.html

 

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Wishing Well, Cox Green

 

A mossy grotto alongside the south bank riverside path a little way east of Cox Green, a hamlet on the River Wear, about 5 miles out of Sunderland. Water drips from the roof and walls, forms pools on the floor.

I call it the Wishing Well because I came across reference to it by that name in someone’s memoirs of the 1930s published in the local paper. Its not otherwise refered to in any source that I’ve yet found, though maybe for others it has significance – on one visit I found a carefully constructed daisy-chain floating in the pool.

It’s really a well under threat – the roof of the grotto seems to consist entirely oif soil, held together by the roots of the trees growing on the bank above. Sooner or later the elements will conspire to bring the whole lot down, and the grotto will be gone, or at best extremely truncated.

Oh, and it works !

I presented a silver coin to the well spirit, made my wish (I wont divulge its nature) and within an hour my wish had been granted.

 

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Water troughs, East Rainton

 

A couple of water troughs alongside the Durham Road, between Rainton Bridge and East Rainton,  near Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne & Wear.

More photos and information at the Holy Wells & Water Lore forum –

http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=200

 

 

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Almanac – April 15

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci born.  Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.

His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination“.

 He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

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1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy saw a “long belt” of daffodils, on a walk around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the Lake District,  inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud a couple of years later, inspired by Dorothy’s journal entry describing the walk –

When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up — But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about & about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed and reeled and danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one busy highway — We rested again & again. The Bays were stormy & we heard the waves at different distances & in the middle of the water like the Sea.

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1894 – Bessie Smith born. American blues singer. Nicknamed The Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on other jazz vocalists.

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1912 – The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survived.

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1980 – Jean-Paul Sartre died. French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic.

He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.

His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines.

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Roadside Water Trough – West Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne

A roadside water trough, located in Forsyth Road, West Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne,  a few yards from the junction with the Great North Road.

An Ordnance Survey bench mark – a horizontal line with an arrow pointing up from below – is carved into one end of the trough.

These marks were cut by Ordnance Survey levelling staff to provide a network of points at which height has been precisely measured (to the centre of the horizontal line) above sea level.

There used to be about half a million bench marks in Great Britain but they are not needed any more, due to satellite technology,  and about half have disappeared.

More photos/info in the Water Troughs In North East England thread at the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=200

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St. Mary’s Well, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne

More photos of St Mary’s Well at Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne…

 

The dimensions and shape of the site make it difficult to get a decent photograph of…but we try.

More photos, site history, etc at this thread on the Holy Wells & Water Lore Forum –  http://holywells.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=74&p=1

 

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