A selection of views which I've enjoyed recently, none of them the sort voiced at length by politicians campaigning for Thursday's General Election.
We've had a few frosty mornings lately, some of which have also had some accompanying mist or fog. This is that glorious time when the first rays of sun break through to light the last few golden leaves. Dawn transforming into day at the same time as Autumn slides into Winter.
Another view on the same day and along the same path, a path which used to lead to the hamlet of Moor End. The houses have long gone and it's just another ploughed field these days. The other evening however I was checking something on the Ordnance Survey maps on my computer and I flicked to the aerial photography mode. As if by magic you can still make out the shape of their gardens by darker marks in the soil, though nothing is discernible down here at ground level.
You weren't expecting that, were you? That, lit by the first rays of morning sun, is Johnson Matthey's factory, a major employer in the Royston area. It looks a bit out of place here, in the fields on the border of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. You might think I'm making some kind of environmental point here, but read on. The firm specialise in precious metals and started out ensuring the quality of gold and silver for the Bank Of England. Today they make catalytic converters which lower the pollution from cars and they also make similar devices to reduce the emissions from factories and power stations. So part of the solution rather than part of the problem then.
Even when the sun rouses itself to climb above the horizon in December it doesn't get very high in the sky. The British Isles are surprisingly far north - nearer the North Pole than either Newfoundland or Vladivostok! It's the ocean currents that give us our mild climate.
This may look as though it's somewhere up near the Arctic Circle, but it's actually in the Brecklands of Norfolk. The sandy, relatively unfertile soil has long been used for timber production. In recent decades the Forestry Commission has begun leaving clearings like this for the benefit of wildlife; woodlarks and nightjars are among the birds you might see here in summer.
And this is the ornamental lake that was constructed for Lynford Hall, which is surrounded by the commercial forestry operation. It's a magnet for bird life with many species present, but not the Hawfinches which are what I'd hoped to see.
And this has suddenly sprung up on Wicken Fen recently. It looks like a traditional hayrick that you might have seen in the countryside a hundred years ago (though probably not just here), but in fact it's a work of art called "Mother". Here's what it says online:
"MOTHER... is new artwork by Studio Morison, inspired by the restorative qualities of the beautiful fen landscape as described in Richard Mabey's book 'Nature Cure', and childhood memories of visiting the Fens and the Wash".
If you look closely on the right-hand side you'll see a narrow aperture that you can just squeeze through.....
Once inside you can gaze up at this ornate wooden roof. I'm not sure what to think about this piece of artwork but everybody else I speak to thinks it's marvellous.
Sunset is ridiculously early in winter, starting in mid-afternoon. This was taken long after the sun had sunk out of sight, looking across Burwell Fen, part of a re-wilding project NE of Cambridge. You can just about make out the Konik ponies which graze the land. The evening mist is just beginning to swirl around their feet.
Believe it or not I had to tone down the lurid orange sky to make it believable on these last two shots! A few last-minute geese cross Burwell Lode as they fly to roost. We'd been watching a Barn Owl hunting in the dusk as darkness crept over the land.