Grass Snake going for a swim on the canal

Having only taken pictures from my windows for a few weeks I ventured out along the Kennet and Avon Canal when the lockdown restrictions were eased a bit. I stopped near Frouds Lane to try to take a few pictures of birds crossing the canal. That wasn’t very successful. I was just about to leave when I got lucky, although not with a bird. I noticed some motion on the other side of the canal and suddenly a Grass Snake swimming across the canal came into view:

I must admit I didn’t know that snakes can swim until I saw this one doing it. This snake had to cross the canal twice (and did it quite easily it seems): It came across only to realise that on the other side was a retaining wall about 2 ft high, so it couldn’t get out. It had a brief look, then turned around and swam back where it disappeared into the undergrowth (no wall on that side). The tongue was nicely visible several times and the head nicely reflected/mirrored on the water. I hope you like and enjoy these pictures. I certainly enjoyed the moment and watching the snake.

Birds and more from my windows

During the first several weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown I wasn’t able to go out with my camera. As I live in a flat and therefore don’t have a garden I couldn’t even go out into the garden and take pictures there. Still, I did have my windows (including the door of my “fake balcony”) and I managed to take a few pictures from there. Here are some of the better ones:

Nothing spectacular, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Sparrows are what I mainly see from my window. But also a distant Heron at the top of some trees around a nearby pond. Also some insects collecting pollen. And a beautiful clear Moon in the afternoon light.

My New Year’s Eve 2019 Playlist

So that’s another year and a decade coming to an end. Having a relaxing evening at home, probably aiming for a reasonably early night so that I can be ready for the New Year’s Day concert from Vienna tomorrow (same as this year). Currently baking an improvised garlic and onion bread, which I’ll enjoy with a beef steak with black garlic butter soon. And while that’s going on I’m listening to one of my favourite playlists I’ve built up this year. Some is from bands/artists I discovered this year, some is from bands/artists I’ve known for a while. Some I’ve mentioned on this blog before, some will be new. They all have something in common though, I’ll let you figure out what that might be. Thought I’d share that playlist, where I’ve found a YouTube video I’ve linked it so you can listen if you’re interested:

Sorry, no YouTube playlist (I exported the list from my Google Play Music playlists and looked up the videos, picking live alternatives in some cases where studio versions were not available). You’ll have to pick the individual songs you’re interested in. Hope you find something you’ll like.

Steam Train passing Aldermaston Station

After the (luckily short) heat wave this week it was pleasantly cool this Saturday morning, also a bit damp as it had rained most of the night and still hadn’t fully stopped by the time I decided to leave for the train station. For it was time to watch and photograph another steam train passing Aldermaston Station.

Since the electrification of the line watching steam trains passing through isn’t the same any more, but then again some progress is necessary and I certainly prefer the electric trains over the old stinking and noisy Diesels we had before.

I haven’t bothered looking up the details of the steam engine pulling the train today, I hope you’ll still enjoy the pictures without that information. If you do know more about the locomotive feel free to leave the information in the comments.

Nothing but the truth…