Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, Saturday afternoon’s alright for cycling

Saturday, 13th April 2013: Well the best laid plans, here I am already my posts are two weeks out of date. The good news is that I have managed a few moderate cycle rides between then and now. Seven or so – the main reasons being it is just so nice to have some Spring weather at last.  The flatlands have been lovely just recently, I have been getting out on the bridleways and byways a bit more as they are no longer muddy quagmires, the leaves are appearing and a whole new round of flowers are following on from the daffodils. The only snag is I haven’t had so much time to write about them.

I also realise my Post sequence has gone out of order again! The last Post got in early, perhaps because there was only one picture.

This particular day was a grey day, or rather a grey afternoon, it was sunny in the morning when I couldn’t cycle and by the time I could it had turned grey.  At least I had fuelled my enthusiasm. It was also a little blustery.

Grey days tend to delay my TTFP – time to first picture – especially when the grey is uniform.  This ride took me out towards Lode and then Upware and then back via Wicken Fen, Burwell, Newnham Drove and Lodes Way. It wasn’t until I was halfway up Great Drove that I stopped for my first picture. The fields were being fleeced. According to the link harvest time can be reduced by 1-2 weeks.

Fleece on the fields along Great Drove, near Upware

It has been a few years since I saw daffodils grown in the fields around these parts, but you still see the legacy, daffodils growing in the margins. A quick look using Picasa to browse my pictures shows them in March 2005. Not as long ago as I thought. Checking on my Blog and there are pictures from April 2006 and March 2005

Upware Daffodils – April 2006

Upware Daffodils – March 2005upware daffodils.jpg

The lack of Spring weather has certainly delayed things by comparison with now. Mind you here are a few daffodils growing in the margins. Nature is persistent.

Daffodils growing along Great Drove Verge – April 2013

Farmers have to respond to the weather – it would seem to be more driven by science than ever, well in terms of when to apply treatments. It wasn’t too windy for a spray. If you look beyond the right boom you will also seem some daffodils between the two fields.

Crop Spraying along Great Drove

A bit further along and it would appear that Chapel Farm has been sold. Spring seems to be a time when houses get bought and sold as well.

Chapel Farm , Upware, Sold

As I cycled through Upware I took a picture of this field – it has been fallow for a few years, but is always good for a few (quite a few) rogue daffodils. Now I could have sworn that the Pub wasn’t as visible as it is now. I reckon that some trees must have been removed, probably conifers of some sort. I have had a quick look to see if I have a similar view in my archives but can’t find one to hand. A look on the Pub’s website and yes I wasn’t dreaming it there picture shows tall conifers – Five Miles from Anywhere No Hurry Inn

Wild Daffodils and the Five Miles From Anywhere No Hurry Inn, Upware

And just in case you couldn’t see the daffs in the last picture here they are again, in close-up.

Wild Daffodils, Upware

I was going to cycle along Docking’s Lane (a short byway) which avoids cycling along the A1123 to Wicken, but it was too wet and muddy.

Wicken Fen was busy and there were cyclists about, it looked like the bike rental place was doing business.

An old Boat – Wicken Fen

And here is the entrance to the Cycle rental, well worth a go – this is an easy part of the world to cycle in. According to their website you can hire a Tandem.

Cycle Hire – Wicken Fen

That old boat in front of Wicken Fen – looking from the other direction. Maisie is waiting patiently alongside a picnic table (Maisie is the bike in case you were wondering!)

An old Boat – Wicken Fen

Here is a new boat – it is electric and reduces pollution (sound and chemical). The NT do a kit deal for a boat trip and cycle hire.

Cruise the Fens – the NT Wicken Fen

As the afternoon progressed it did not get any lighter and the wind picked up. The crops in the fields seem to be popping up though. The bank in the distance is Reach Lode Bank, with pylons marching off to Walpole Substation to the west of King’s Lynn (quite a busy one). I stopped on Headlake Drove.

Reach Lode Bank across the fields from Headlake Drove

As you can see the Field Fleecing techniques vary, I presume some of it depends upon the crop being grown. This field lies alongside Highbridge Farm. A quick web-search throws up the Sale Brochure – but dated 2010. The downside of selling stuff on the web is that property plans become public in perpetuity it would seem.

Time for another ride I think!

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