24th January 2008
Howick is a site I had planned to visit for a while as a bit of an archaeological pilgrimage. Recently, archaeologists discovered a Mesolithic structure on the bluff above the shoreline that showed that hunter gatherers made a permanent home in this place thousands of years before the pyramids were built.
Following my good start at Dunstanburgh and my disappointment at finding the southern walls covered with scaffolding, the discovery of this wonderful old bathing house in it’s commanding position above the rocks at Howick was a great bonus.
The low morning light added a warm glow to the rocks and I was interested in the way the water was swirling into pools cut by the wave action.
There is a spot near here that is marked as “Rumbling Kern” on the maps, as is often the case without local knowledge it is difficult to be sure which feature in the landscape had this evocative name but the sea certainly lent it’s power to the scene.
As the day drew to a close, and realising that Lindisfarne lacked atmosphere on this occasion I decided to return to Howick to explore a little more.
Sadly, one thing I found was evidence of the terrible storms that had so recently hit the seal colony on the Farne Islands.
When I first saw this seal pup on the shore I thought it was just resting and it’s mother would be somewhere in the area. I was surprised to see it on the mainland but moved on so as not to disturb it.
When I returned a while later, it’s body was being thrown about on the rocks by the waves and I realised that it was actually a victim of the storms.
I took a couple of photos as I’d never actually been this close to a seal before and then dragged it’s body back into the ebbing tide to let the sea look after it’s own.
As the sun went down I found myself in almost the same spot I had photographed earlier and got one of my favourite shots of the day.