Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Two Trees on Low Fen Drove Way (near Quy-ish)

Saturday, 29th March 2014: I have a sort of routine. When I have been for a ride I generally say hello, then sit down at my computer and plug in my GPS, swap memory cards between computer and camera, plug my phone in to charge and plug my MP3 player in as well.

Then I download the route data, download the pictures and stick then in a folder of their own – for the month (in this case March). If I have time I will then sort out the pictures, fiddle with the chosen ones, (using one of several of Photomatix 5.0, Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Picasa). Then I select and export to a new directory the chosen pictures and stick a frame on using Picasa and upload them to my Picasa Account ready for sticking in a Blog.

Then when I get around to writing the Post I check where I have gotten up to, select the pictures on Picasa (on my computer) and open a Post (Windows Live Writer) and import the pictures into the post and then write the words.

This time around the pictures for the 29th March 2014 had been selected and edited (fiddled with) and there was no trace of them on my Picasa cloud directory. My first through was not to doubt myself but to start mentally “blaming the cloud”. The truth was I had gone through most of the emotions and just forgotten to upload the pictures – duh.  Still with my faster BT Broadband, that I am pleased with by the way, it didn’t take long to upload them and here they are.

It was a Saturday and I was catching up on The Archers – an everyday tale of country folk and the misery of living in the rural outback of the UK. (Well that is how it seems sometimes.)  So I try to go off-road quickly, because the traffic on roads is so noisy my poor little MP3 player just can’t compete. So it was a spin around Low Fen Drove Way, followed by a ride to Lode via Allicky Farm and then up to Upware and back along Lodes Way.

It was a glorious afternoon for a ride, with temperatures almost getting to double figures (in centigrade) and lots of sunshine. The result only a small number of pictures.

The first few were taken about half-way around Low Fen Drove Way near Snouts Corner.

Two Trees – no leaves yet; Between the Pylons – Low Fen Drove Way

I have taken a few pictures of these two trees – I guess that someone takes care to ensure that there aren’t trees growing directly under the high-voltage transmission lines. There two trees are between two runs of transmission lines.

I think I overdid the picture-fiddling – the sky didn’t really become light blue underneath the cables because of some strange electro-magnetic effect.

Two Trees – no leaves yet; Between the Pylons – Low Fen Drove Way

The good news is that the sky was really quite a uniform shade of blue – much as I think pylons spoil the rural countryside they do provide some interesting lines to take pictures of.

A Run of Pylons – Low Fen Drove Way

The next two pictures were taken on The Drove Way.  My tip for a cycling trip with kids of a certain age, that you want to take off-road is to cycle around these tracks – there is some great exploring on and off the bike and you can lock your bikes up and explore Quy Fen. Check out the stone commemorating William Ison!

The landscape is both living and dying – there are a few dead Oak trees around the hedgerows. The one to the left is providing support for Ivy. I don’t think that the Ivy kills the trees – but it does seem to thrive where the trees already have a problem. It isn’t parasitic, but does provide extra sail so I would assume can increase the possibility of wind damage.

The Oil Seed Rape is quickly coming into flower this year.   I reckon it is almost a month earlier than last year. This post form last year “England’s Yellow and Pleasant Land” is dated 28th April 2013, and the Oil Seed Rape seems to be at a similar stage.

The gate in the middle shows where the old Cambridge to Mildenhall Railway line runs through National Trust Land.

The Drove Way – near Quy

this picture was taken from the route of the old railway line – you can see the cats-cradle made by the power transmission lines to the left.

Oil Seed Rape – coming into Flower – near Anglesey Abbey

Coming next – a trip to Coveney for a change!


  1. How do you feel about playing your mp3 player whilst on the bike (obviously you feel pretty safe and confident to do so). I can't distinguish between the rushing of air past my ears and the sounds of cars approaching from behind until it's crawling up my back wheel. At the same time, I wouldn't suggest a deaf person be prevented from riding their bike (or driving). Do you feel a loss of peripheral sound when wearing it? Is there any instances you wouldn't wear it? Or do the earphones in some way help you to distinguish sounds better - I'm too nervous to try myself.

    1. When I went out for a late afternoon spin today I gave your question a bit of thought. I guess that a lot of my cycling is on country lanes and byways and bridleways, by choice. I really don't like to be cycling around noisy and smelly cars and lorries.

      I tend not to listen to my MP3 player when cycling around Cambridge City, not so much because I can't hear what's going on as I need to concentrate on the other traffic (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians). I tend to listen to speech radio podcasts which aren't a wall of sound but do take some concentration.

      My earphones hang in my ears rather than seal them. I don't like the type that plug the ear - they really do block out external noises and I found them a little uncomfortable. I would also not wear headphones for the same reason.

      I don't have the volume that high either - as I have gotten older I have probably become a bit more cautious about blasting my ears - much as I would like to. (There is nothing like a bit of loud heavy metal to get me spinning the pedals :-)

      When cycling through a small village listening to my MP3 player I could hear solitary cars 50+m away from me quite easily and tell what direction they were moving in.

      Where I do find the MP3 player can be a distraction is when cycling on a narrow shared-use path. Much as I aspire to be a fast cyclist I do get overtaken by other cyclists and sometimes they seem to swoop in from nowhere. Whereas perhaps without an MP3 player I might have heard them sooner.

      There can be quite a lot of wind noise - whether the earphones are in or our (I tried it today), which surprised me I guess it would normally be something I tune out.

      I do find that the ear phones can help to cut the higher pitch tyre noise on some fast roads which I find uncomfortable. There is one road in particular which has a shared-use path that I avoid when the traffic is busy. Although I don't think that the earphones actually improve the perception of sound either.

      The strange thing is that modern cars are now so sound-proofed that when driving you don't hear much from the outside at all. Even working out which direction an emergency siren is coming from can be quite difficult. So as a driver and cyclist I am used to maintaining a constant watch.

      I hope that makes sense.

      PS I wouldn't listen to my MP3 player when cycling in a group - you really do need to be alert then and rely on all senses.

    2. Thanks for that... it's quite interesting to get the whats' and whys' and the proper swot in me loves a comprehensive answer.