The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 13 November 2009

Photos a-go-go

For those who didn’t read my last post, let me just repeat the important bit: we got a new camera this week. That’s no real excuse for posting quite as many photos as appear below, but today was its first proper outing and so I took an abnormally large number of snaps.

This was the exact same walk as I took last Friday, except that I was half an hour later setting off. Once again Mick dropped me off in the next village along, right by this bridge:


I’ve walked past and over that bridge any number of times and yet had never before noticed that there’s a big weir on the upstream side of it (probably because the pavement is on the other side, so I always look over the downstream side).

The view on the downstream side made me remember that it had rained a lot in the night. It’s not usually this high (nor so muddy):


Green lanes and enclosed paths followed for a while:



Across the first of the open fields I had my first dog incident. Having charged at me it turned out to be friendly enough.

The next field used to house a ‘watering hole’ where I have often seen a herd of cows wallowing. This year it seems to have turned into a bit of a puddle and is rapidly reverting to being just a sunken part of the field.


Sheep were encountered (non-killer variety):


And then I was into a section of National Forest plantation, where I had my next dog encounter. Much to its owner’s embarrassment it ran up to me repeatedly to place its muddy paws on my trousers (it was too small to reach my jacket); even I couldn’t categorise this one as a killer.

The large man-made lake here seems also be filling in and now it looks more like a marsh than a lake, but I’m sure that it’s still a friendly place for much wildlife.


The viewing platform was less friendly; those planks were mightily slippery in today’s damp conditions


Onto crop fields and the path was the cause of much slipping and sliding. I reached the roadway with half a field’s worth of mud adorning my shoes.


But first there was a real sense of deja vu when I had an exact repetition of last week’s dog-running-at-me-at-full-tilt incident (same dog, at the same point in its walk, with me at the same point in my walk, ran around me and barked, then left at the same speed with which it had arrived):


A four-ball on the first tee caused me to pause part way across the golf course and whilst paused I looked over to the club house. Funny that I’ve walked past it so many times and yet somehow never really noticed it. I suppose I’m usually more interested in the golf course itself (particularly if there are any balls flying around)


Approaching the river/canal junction my eyes were once again drawn to this building. Every time I walk past I wonder what its history is


Once at the canal/river junction there is a sign warning craft not to venture over the tall weir between the canal and the river


And just to be sure there’s a barrier to prevent incidents involving people who haven’t read the sign. Until late last year that barrier was in a much worse state of repair, and during its disrepair period we did witness a narrow boat in quite a pickle there (but I was too polite at the time to take a photo of their panic and predicament)


Mallard are starting to pair off again, but some fussy females are keeping their options open


The Navigation Warning System on the lock before the river section shows that conditions are just about qualifying as ‘normal’.


I’m sure that it will only be a short while before the ‘open as normal’ becomes ‘proceed with caution’ for much of the winter, with occasional closures (at which times the lock gates will be chained shut).


The next mile of the canal would be nicer save for being immediately adjacent to the A38. The volume of my audiobook had to be pumped up at this point to be heard over the traffic.

This sizable residence across the other side of the road looks to be falling into disrepair


Hardly surprising when you consider the usual traffic conditions right outside of the front door


With attention back on the canal, here’s a better version of the bridge-bridge-lock combo that I snapped with the Blackberry last week


Last pic of the day (sigh of relief all around). Much smoke coming out of chimneys along a residential section just before I left the canal, walked up the roads, past the ponds and called Mick to beg for a lift the rest of the way home.


Unsurprisingly the route was still 7 miles long and still featured a negligible amount of ascent. As you may have noticed the day was grey, but the rain was good enough to hold off until I got home.


  1. Hi Gayle,great photos.Over the years I have tried one or two different cameras but have now gone back to using a Canon Ixus.The build quality is superb and Canon seem to be one of the few manufacturers who produce compacts with a viewfinder.Anyway,hope you enjoy using it.

  2. Where was that walk? I have tried to identify the buildings but can't. Looks a decent area to get to from Fradley Park...