Alexanders, Ragworm (Banned)Holiday Diary, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Saturday 12th June 1999
A SMALL SNAIL sits in the flower of a Briar Rose. The journey up there must have been tricky, along all those thorny stems.
There's a huge colony of Kittiwakes nesting on the ledges of the cliff facing out to sea below Castle Hill. It is hard to believe that 100 feet up, exposed to north-easterly winds, processes as critical as incubation and the care of day old chicks take place.
Alexanders , a large, yellow flowered umbellifer, is always associated in my mind with summer and the seaside. It's seed pods have, when crushed, a strong smell which reminds me of metal polish.
There are hundreds of lugworm casts on the sand of South Bay, each with a little hole nearby at the entrance to the U-shaped burrow in which this creature lives. Like the more active Ragworm it has some protection here as bait-digging is banned.
In the garden of our holiday cottage, a Blue Tit feeds its young on crumbs of bread. Two of them have lined up on a branch of a briar rose. The first chick is fed then the adult moves on to the next. As he pops the crumb in its mouth the chick looses its balance but clings on so that it swivels to hang from the branch like a bat as it nibbles its crumb.