Monday, 30 November 2020

Here And There

Here: as in near my home. There: as in near my brother's house. And all of it within the local authority area of South Cambridgeshire. That's how our wanderings have been restricted during the last month. 



Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB reserve is just down the road from Les's house. There were more birds about than it looks in some of these pictures, though we didn't manage to see the Cattle Egrets which have been there lately. We did see a couple of Great Egrets however.



The area above is where they've created "scrapes", areas of shallow water and wet meadowland, just the thing for the huge flocks of Wigeon, neat little ducks that spend the winter here. 



A family of Mute Swans on one of the drainage ditches.



Just before we left we noticed dark clouds gathering, with the low winter sun illuminating the reeds and bushes.



I ventured out early one morning while frost was still on the ground and the mist was clearing, transforming (I hope) a mundane scene into something more interesting.



The first rays of sun were illuminating this lonely rose and had already transformed a touch of frost into tiny drops of dew.



The overnight frost made me notice this stylish picnic table.


I loved the way this spindly tree seemed to be breaking free from the tangle of bushes and briars.



A visit to Fowlmere bird reserve yielded a spectacular sunset - but no murmuration of Starlings now. They seem to have moved on elsewhere, leaving about 30 birds to try to put on a show - and probably wonder where all their mates had gone. 



The fields surrounding Les's village are all intensively farmed and, back in the seventies were virtually all given over to growing wheat and barley, year after year after year, and maintaining output by applying huge amounts of chemical fertilizers. Don't blame the farmers though; they were doing exactly what the government and the EEC were encouraging them to do. There are a few pleasant walks, like the old Lolworth to Childerley road that you can see above.


Lolworth has a population of just 150 people, while Great Childerley and Little Childerley were destroyed long ago in order to make way for a deer park by Sir John Cutts, owner of Childerley Hall. I think you can work out why the old road fell into disuse. 


Some high cloud began to drift over as we made our way from Childerley to Dry Drayton. It's called "Dry" Drayton to distinguish it from "Fen" Drayton. 



That's potatoes being harvested as we get close to Dry Drayton. And we'll pop back to that sunset we saw at Fowlmere to bring these wanderings to an end. For now.


Take care.

27 comments:

  1. What beautiful photos. I love the sky shots. And that rose is just gorgeous. Those last few blooms that hang on as long as possible are just so beautiful. I hope the dark clouds did not bring storms. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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  2. Your here and there shots are far from mundane.
    I really, really liked them all, but the fourth and the seventh (just) have my vote this morning.

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  3. It is great to wander with you in the open spaces. My wanderings involve buildings and just a bit of a break in some ravines but they don't offer wide views like yours.

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  4. Beautiful photos, the Lolworth road looks magical.

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  5. So many views of the area "here and there". Each photo shows a lovely piece of the beauty near you and your brother. Well done! Thanks!

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  6. Very atmospheric November photos - the mists have been around for days now, but when it lifts the skies have been incredibly blue.
    Seeing your photos of Fen Drayton Lakes has reminded me that Slimbridge, which is in our area, has reported that they have avian influenza. Their wetlands have been shut down until further notice in the hopes of trying to contain it.

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  7. Those scrapes look to be fantastic habitat for waterfowl, and I can only imagine the variety of other species too. As you point out industrial farming was encouraged with an obscene level of synthetic fertilizer application, in some cases damaging the soil beyond repair, and changing its very chemistry. I hope that we have evolved at least a little from those days. The shot of the picnic table is artistically done and is a complement to your fine eye for photography, John. Having wonderful areas such as this in which to wander at will must greatly mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

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  8. Thanks for the walk. Looking forward to walking the countryside when we move at the end of this week to a smaller town. But still in NH.

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  9. Cattle egrets are such amusing birds and really do seem to exist companionably with the cattle. You wonder if there are friendly long-term pairings between them. But the Great Egret is the real beauty of the family. Lovely wanderings you get to take.

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  10. I love the early mornings when everything is quiet. For me it means beating the hunters and their constant shooting. Foggy frost is one of the prettiest sights on a early winter morning.

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  11. So many photos to enjoy here and so many favourites, #2, 4, 5, 10. They all made for a great wander about, John .

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  12. British countryside hard to beat for beautiful photos no matter the season.
    Love the moody shots - and the swans are amazing.
    Freshly dug potatoes must be really a gift to the taste bugs - wish I could get some - nothings beats a plain boiled one with a little butter and parsley!

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  13. Such atmospheric images, certainly not mundane!
    Good to read and have sights of new reserves...to me!

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  14. I don't think I've ever seen a mundane picture here John, your English country walk captures are superb 💙💜

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  15. On a rainy New England day, indoors, I was transported. Thank You...

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  16. Terrific shots! Those swans are beauties.

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  17. Really great captures...so love the one after the swans.

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  18. Beautiful and very colorful sky shots, John. The fourth one down started out as my favorite in this post, but then others further along were also in the running for favorites. You and your brother had a great walk.

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  19. Really beautiful photos of wonderful landscapes.

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  20. Somewhat frustrating to be back to such local walks, isn't it? But at least we both have some amazing scenery around us. These are lovely, atmospheric and evocative photos.

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  21. Even though you can't go far you still find stimulating scenes. I love the leafless tree silhouettes and the paddock gate.

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  22. Hi John - it's always great to see the photos ... and to see how the countryside changes - I'm glad you and Les are able to get out and about. Take care - Hilary

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