Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giant flying butterflies above Swaffham Bulbeck Lode (and I mean giant)

Monday, 3rd June 2013: Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. For variety of reasons I have not been able to get into a regular cycling pattern.  Which is one of the problems with working from home. Mind you I am not complaining. Because it did mean that on this splendidly sunny Monday afternoon I could sneak off for a bit of tranquillity.

I almost forgot this is my 1K post (1,204). Oops that should be 1,024, you think by now I would have been able to get it right – thanks Mike


So I nipped out and as I headed out along NCN51 I decided to turn off at the Missing Sock along Albert Road, a reminder of the time when the Missing Sock was the Prince Albert. I didn’t actually pay, much attention to what was growing in the field – I assumed some sort of salad vegetable. Although it isn’t that clear to me from the picture. I assumed a lettuce, but on closer inspection of the picture I am not so sure. Perhaps it is beetroot?  What really caught my eye was the electric fence put up to keep the unidentified crops from escaping.  At the time I though maybe to keep rabbits out, but maybe deer as well.

Crops imprisoned in a field alongside Albert Road

The same view but paying more attention to the neat lines drawing your eye off to the horizon.

Crops imprisoned in a field alongside Albert Road

I then headed across Collier’s Lane (B1102) down Station Road – another reminder of bygone times. There isn’t a railway line or station in these parts. This link shows what it looked like.

Not long after crossing Stone Bridge over Quy Water there is a bridleway.  On the other side, not really visible is the rather splendid Quy Hall.  from this old map of Stow-cum-Quy in 1737 it appears that Albert Road was called Dunsey Cross Road, although the OSM map shows the corner as Dunsley Corner as does the OSM map. The land alongside Quy Water appears as The Slaps.

What was a bridleway appears as a “road” up towards Stow-cum-Quy Fen. The hall does not appear to open to the public, here is a picture of the hall taken from a hot air balloon.

This is a picture taken looking along the line of the bridleway.  It lies on the other side of the hedgerow. I am not sure whether it would be called after the Drove Way it connects with or Dunsey Cross Way it leads from.

Line of a bridleway leading from Quy

I followed the bridleway to the route of the old Cambridge to Mildenhall railway line and then about halfway towards Lode turned off it along the path in the middle of the OSM picture on this link and in this inserted picture. (It is called Dam Drove) (Which I can’t see using Windows Live Writer – hopefully it will appear on the Post.)

View Larger Map

This leads to a track the meets the railway line near Harvey’s Droveway – quite a wide track as you can see here.  On this map on the Lode village website it is called Harvey’s Droveway.

Harvey’s Droveway – Lode

I also detoured towards Lodemoores Droveway. Apparently there were some cottages along the track, just behind where I was standing when I took this picture.

Lodemoores Droveway

I headed back towards Harvey’s Droveway, stopping along the way to take a picture of this Dog Rose in the hedgerow.

Dog Rose on Harvey’s Droveway – Lode

As I was cycling along Fen Road I stopped to take a picture of some yellow iris and a cyclist happened along.

Cyclist heading along Fen Road (on the Lodes Way route)

This is the Yellow Iris (aka Water Flag) – Iris pseudacorus. It grows best in very wet conditions.

Yellow Iris – Bottisham Lode

Just before turning down White Fen Road I stopped to admire this tractor drivers work. I assumed at first he was earthing up the ridges (spuds perhaps). It actually looks as if he was ploughing up a headland on the far edge of the field.

Ploughing along White Fen Road

Along White Fen Drove, where it becomes Sandy Road and White Fen Drove kinks off I stopped to admire a bit more ploughing.

Ploughing along White Fen Road

Another quick stop on the bridge over Swaffham Bulbeck Lode – a regular photo-opportunity for me.

Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

For a change I cycled up alongside the Lode towards Swaffham Lock and Pump House.  From a distance there seemed to be large ethereal creatures flying in the sky. Some recently removed field fleece seems to have been caught by the wind.

I guess the fleece has to be light to avoid squishing the crops it is protecting.

Flying Fleece – above Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

And to here is a less zoomed picture with the reeds alongside the Lode.

Flying Fleece – above Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

The track seems quite well used, by agricultural and EA vehicles as well as fisherman. The water level in the Lode is higher than the track.

Track alongside Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

Swaffham Bulbeck Lode Lock and Pump House

Quite a profusion of Cow Parsley in the bank. It amazes me just how quickly it appears, trying to beat the other plants I guess.

Track alongside Swaffham Bulbeck Lode

O then headed back to Lodes Way via Lord’s Ground Drove before heading towards Upware. Somewhere along the way was a recently de-fleeced field – not the source of the earlier flying fleece. The fleece seems safely grounded at the far end.

The trouble with the fleece is that it also encourages the weeds.

Salad crops – recently de-fleeced

I then headed back down the bridleway from Upware towards Wicken Lode an Harrison’s Drove. Here is a group having an electric boat trip from Wicken Fen – they are in the wider waters of Reach Lode.

NT boat trip from Wicken Fen

They made it safely back to the safe waters of Wicken Lode. the boat is called the Mayfly, although I resume the occupants would rather it didn’t.

They are now passing the Wicken Fen sign – which also seems to warn people that it is “Slippery when wet”. (And bees may sting, etc).

NT boat trip from Wicken Fen

After a bumpy ride back down Harrison’s Drove I cycled back along Lodes Way towards Cambridge. A boat had sneaked into the bank just near the footbridge over Burwell lode.

Wild-mooring on Burwell Lode

As I cycled back past Newnham Drove a car was heading down from Burwell Fen Farm.

Newnham Drove (Burwell Fen)

I cycled back via Swaffham Prior and between Swaffham Prior and Swaffham Bulbeck stopped to check out the noise levels of the cars on the road. (It was 83-84db – and the traffic wasn’t that bad.)

Oil Seed Rape (between the Swaffhams)  – it made hardly any noise

No comments:

Post a Comment