Saturday, 1st March 2014: One of the things I like about the Spring is that regardless of how we humans might define it it is all down the to weather. Having said that meteorologists do define March 1st as the start of Spring here in the UK. For me it is the start of growth in the countryside. I tend to think of snowdrops as the heralding the end of winter whilst daffodils and crocus and blossom and leaves emerging on trees and bushes are the signs of Spring.
The other reminder of things are changing is the lengthening of the daylight hours. In March the “day” gets longer by around 4 minutes a day. So at the beginning of March the day is 10 hours, 52 minutes and 45 seconds long and at the end of March it is 12 hours 50 minutes and 32 seconds. A difference of just under two hours – which for me seems to draw out my cycling trips to take advantage of the extra daylight. Here in the UK we also switch to Daylight Saving Time, or British Summer Time, which means getting up an hour earlier in the Summer.
NCN51 Shared-Use Path – nearing Quy
Blossom on NCN51 Shared-Use Path – nearing Quy
NCN51 – Newmarket Road - the path is not bad – but not that good. It has solar-powered lights dotted along the edges, although there has been some attrition. The good news is it is possible to cycle much of the route from Cambridge to Wicken “off-road”.
NCN51 Newmarket Road
This is where the route passes under the A14, by taking this tunnel it bypasses the A14 Quy roundabout which is definitely worth doing. However the tunnel doesn’t always drain that well.
NCN51 Tunnel under the A14
Having seen all the blossom I though I would check out this horse chestnut tree in Great Wilbraham. It always seems to be one of the first trees into leaf in the places I cycle.
Horse Chestnut Tree coming into Leaf – Great Wilbraham
Out on Lodes Way the trees are still bare. The fields are being prepared for drilling though.
Freshly ploughed peaty field – Lodes Way
Reach Lode – Under bank – plus electricity cables
A farmer preparing for chemical warfare near Upware
Short-eared Owl in flight – Burwell Fen
Short-eared Owl in flight – with in-flight snack (vole) - Burwell Fen
Burwell Fen – Water Meadows
Wicken Windmill – from afar
You looking at me – Roe Deer (Buck) – Burwell Fen
Sunset – Lodes Way
Sunset behind the pylons of White Fen