Got a new “smart”phone so I’m using map my walklink – a GPS tracking system that’s supposed to let you monitor your fitness. Anyone who knows me knows that fitness ain’t exactly my thang so I’m using it as much as an aide-memoire as anything.
Most of it’ll be my daily walk to town for cat food – you know I’ve four of the monsters, don’t you?
I go the long way round usually – around the north side of the pond, up t’ canal to the Lock Keeper (pub), down canal to town & back via canal and south side of the pond. I’ll link walks and use MMW mileage to show the link in future.
Dunno if there’s other “aps” that do similar but this one seems to do the job. Just gotta work out how to GPS stamp my pics in camera (gizmo from Nikon costs a bloody fortune!) and all will be good.
The eleventh of January was Saturday and apparently I went to town twice although I don’t recall it.
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Saturday the Eleventh of January 2014CE
Today’s first walk MMW 2.01:
Sunrise is as colourful as sunset although a red one is rather less welcome:
Red sky at night:
Red sky in the morning:
If I recall aright this is because of the UK’s prevailing South Westerlies. A cloudy (red) sunset means that tomorrow will be fine whereas a cloudy (red) sunrise portends wind and foul weather. Dunno if there’s owt in it though.
Goosanders often appear in low numbers in early spring; they don’t usually stay long, although in the time they’re here I expect they take a toll on the fish. They seem to fish co-operatively – a group will dive as one in a semicircle and presumably herd fish under water.
Second walkMMW 2.32:
Hazel and alder have male catkins, the alder has female cones and hazel tiny pink flowers. There’ll be pics of these later. (promises, promises)
The eroded fence post is magic, innit? … and as for the colours of Fungus, lichen and moss …
As I said elsewhere (Where? Dunno, but I know I did.) there’s a couple of blackthorn bushes that seem to bloom before the majority – last hear they did very poorly in the berry (sloe) stakes, presumably they were out before the pollinators were ready. We shall see this year.
Sun 12 Jan
Apparently didn’t take MapMyWalk with me – can’t recall. Anyhoo obviously went up t’ canal to Shireoaks
The robin caught in the act of scoffing a worm, I like. The tree is unusual: Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ or corkscrew hazel is also known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick. For those who this information means nothing, Sir Harry Lauder was a Scottish comedian in the first half of the 20th centurylink known, among many other things, for a twisted walking stick.
Teasels are, of course, a favourite of mine which I rarely miss an opportunity to record. Seed heads are apparent at this time – all the surrounding vegetation being down and only the drying stems remaining. The Marsh Orchid I recognised from seeing it in flower last summer. Mosses are always there to give a touch of colour to things; I love the way saplings alongside the canal towpath have “moss socks”.
Walk MMW3.08 Some of this mapping is krap. Once inside the Priory shopping centre it goeth haywire can’t do owt about that apart from turn off indoors but also it doesn’t like being in my pocket. I think the second prob has been solved – by putting it in the top of my backpack so it’s always got clear’sight’ of the sky.
Split these pics into easier to manage chunks
The rather yucky looking fungus prefers elder trees to live on.(can a fungus ‘prefer’?) It’s called Jew’s or Judas’ Ear – the tree Judas hung himself on was supposedly an elder. Some of the growths do look earlike.
Ivy is a fascinating plant – it flowers later than most and fruits accordingly. It therefore feeds (pollen & nectar) late insects and (ripe fruit) birds, when there’s little else about while presumably getting its own DNA spread far and wide.
Birch bark with lichen makes rather a good attempt at imitating a satellite view of the earth.
Some lichens are green – vivid green – until the sun gets to work, when they yellow a little.
The pair of mallards were having a real scrap – over a female of course.
Sparrows, and other birds, will fluff up their feathers to conserve heat – this has the added advantage of making them look CUTE!
The mossy wall I walk past every day, it was just being grazed by the sun which gave it something …
Sky with clouds and sun. Say no more!
Grebes still nest building.
The moon in daytime is always worth a go at catching – although not always successful I think these were not bad (?).
A few thousand vertical feet makes all the difference on a flight.
The young swan looks quite coy – proud of that pic!