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15th June 2019 – Flatford Mill

We spent a couple of hours touring around “Constable Country” on the Essex/Suffolk border visiting Dedham, East Bergholt and Stoke by Nayland on our way to Walberswick in Suffolk. The most interesting, from my point of view, was the visit to Flatford Mill near East Bergholt where John Constable painted the Hay Wain, one of his most famous landscapes.

DSC05896Willy Lott’s house – the setting of John Constable’s The Hay Wain (2019)

DSC05930A print of the The Hay Wain by  John Constable (1821)

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DSC05895Flatford Mill

DSC05884.jpgValley Farm

There were a couple of opportunities for nature photos here as there was a robin at the National trust café and a female broad-bodied chaser and some blue damselflies in a lovely little wildflower garden run by the RSPB.

DSC05928Robin

DSC05967Female broad-bodied chaser

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DSC05994Damselflies

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14th June 2019 – Maldon, Essex

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Our hosts at the B&B at which we are staying in Maldon, Essex suggested two really good activities for today: firstly, a walk along the tow paths of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal to Heybridge Basin; secondly, a visit to the gardens at Beeleigh Abbey.

DSC05487Interesting graffiti under one of the bridges of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal linking sea with the land

There were a few opportunities for nature photographs especially as we made a diversion on the route to Heybridge Basin and followed the sea wall of the Blackwater River where we saw common terns, oystercatchers and little egrets, as well as thousands of black-headed gulls. We even heard a cuckoo singing.

On the canal as well as coots and moorhens we saw more common terns and a kestrel. There were dragonflies two.

DSC05510The Chelmer and Blackwater Canal

DSC05495Holly blue butterfly along the canal

DSC05508Female four-spotted chaser on a metal railing alongside the canal

DSC05534Great views from the sea wall back to our B&B 32 The Hythe with St Mary’s Church behind

DSC05606Common tern

DSC05646Oystercatcher

DSC05655Little egret

DSC05680The sea wall leading in to Heybridge Basin

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DSC05691Kestrel

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DSC05771Fortunately the weather has improved for some lucky couple

Beeleigh Abbey was a monastery constructed in 1180 for the White Canons, otherwise known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians. It was purchased by William Foyle, the owner of Foyles Bookshop, in 1943 and Christopher and Catherine Foyle, the current owners, open the gardens on certain days in the summer.

The rose garden was particularly beautiful especially as there were some small tortoiseshell butterflies. The garden also has a riverside walk where we again saw the ubiquitous little egrets.

DSC05774Beeleigh Abbey

DSC05789Small tortoiseshell butterfly

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DSC05870The riverside walk

DSC05865Little egret

DSC05873A beer at The Queens Head Inn on the quayside back in Maldon was very welcome