Not all the walks I take produce a hatful of pictures. Here are a few photos from three recent strolls, all beside water in various quantities.
In The Fens
Just over a week ago my brother and I took a walk beside the River Cam going northwards from Clayhithe.
We set out along the riverside flood bank opposite the Bridge pub with dredging equipment and a bright red narrowboat bringing a little colour to a grey day.
Boats going through Bottisham Locks. You can see from the size of the lock that quite large vessels can make their way up to Cambridge, and in former times they often did.
Some of these boats are lived on throughout the year. Behind it is the pumping station needed to keep the Fens drained, as much of the land is actually below the level of the rivers. Flat land, flat light - not ideal for photography, so we turned around and made our way back to that pub.
Mist On The Mel
On Saturday I helped out with my village's footpath volunteers spreading wood-chippings on the path beside the River Mel. There were plenty of us and we shifted two lorry-loads of chippings with shovels and wheelbarrows in just over two hours.
A couple of days later I passed that way again and was rewarded by a spooky mist rising from the water and being lit by the low sun.
This lovely Little Egret was enjoying a little fishing by the river till I disturbed him, though I'm sure he returned as soon as I'd gone.
A Man-Made Lake
We have no natural lakes in East Anglia and with the land being so flat it's difficult to find places where a reservoir can be easily accommodated. Grafham Water, which was constructed in 1965, is the exception. My brother and I (we try to meet up at least once a week) went for a walk there earlier this week but didn't do the full ten-mile circuit, but a five mile walk at the east end.
I sometimes think walking is an eccentric pastime, but then I see an angler standing waist-deep in the water and I don't feel so crazy.
There were lots of winter ducks on the water including hundreds, possibly thousands, of Tufted Ducks. Some Goldeneye, Gadwall and Wigeon were also there in smaller numbers. And lots of Mallard along the water's edge. And two of those white spots in the photo above - you'll just have to take my word for it - are Whooper Swans just recently returned from the Arctic to spend their winter here.
We turned "inland", making our way through woods and along a disused railway line, to the little village of Grafham.
By the time we got back to the car park the weather was beginning to look decidedly gloomy.