Having decided not to travel to Islay because of the Covid-19 pandemic this year I had a two week staycation at home in West Berkshire. Unfortunately the weather didn’t turn out as nice as I had hoped, so I didn’t get out for walks as much as I had thought (I ended up visiting a Swedish furniture store and completing some home improvements I had thought about for a while instead). Still, I managed to squeeze in a few short sunny walks along the Kennet & Avon Canal allowing me to take a few nice autumnal pictures (click on the pictures for the full size gallery):
Except for the first picture (which is from my flat overlooking the canal in Aldermaston Wharf) all the pictures are from the towpath from Aldermaston Wharf walking west towards Woolhampton. Some really nice autumnal colours around, especially over the second week. All the pictures were taken with my large wide angle zoom lens (14-24mm, mostly towards the 14mm), allowing me to capture some big views of the trees and their autumn colours.
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.
It was a very nice sunny spring day in West Berkshire today, so I went for another walk in the countryside near the village. I had hoped I might still be able to see some Bluebells, but couldn’t really find any. Didn’t see anything spectacular, so here are three fairly mundane pictures of a big tree, some cattle in the sunshine and a butterfly on a leaf:
(Click on the pictures for the larger versions)
I hope you had a nice weekend as well, hopefully spring and soon summer continue to be nice.
As I’m writing this it’s cloudy in West Berkshire, quite please that I went out for a sunny Sunday morning earlier today in the morning. I used a route I found last weekend, taking me north from Aldermaston to the outskirts of Beenham. Then turned west passing north of Douai Abbey to Kiff Green. Here I turned south and walked to Upper Woolhampton, from where I continued to Woolhampton. In Woolhampton I crossed the Kennet and Avon Canal, which I then followed along the towpath east back to Aldermaston Wharf. I saw a variety of things, here are some of them in a picture gallery (click on the pictures for the larger versions):
With some nice early morning sunshine and clouds forecasted for late morning and the afternoon I decided to head out for an early walk today. What was originally planned for a 1-2 hours stroll turned into a 3 hours walk as the sunshine held up longer than forecasted and I discovered a few footpaths I hadn’t used before. My route took me from Aldermaston Wharf via Mill Lane to Home Farm near Padworth College. I then followed the road south until the junction before backtracking to Upper Church Farm, where I took the footpath west towards Aldermaston. Reaching the road a short stretch along the road, then turning north again on the footpath towards Fisherman’s Lane. On Fisherman’s Lane back towards Padworth Mill. A short stretch on Mill Lane before taking the footpath over to Padworth Lock. Then back to Aldermaston Wharf along the Kennet and Avon Canal. A few impressions from my walk:
Click on the pictures for the larger version in a gallery. The map for the area is: