Tuesday 17 January 2012: Fire and ice...
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Just before sunrise on a freezing cold January morning, looking south across the Nene Valley at Ferry Meadows. An almost monochrome landscape of frosted grass, with the icy river and distant lake reflecting the fiery sky. Almost silent, except for the occasional hum of traffic on the A47....
This was the highpoint of a fairly tiring day. I was up at 4am, having slept fitfully the previous night. Alex and I left the house at 5am, so that he could be down at Shuttleworth by 6am for his turn on the lambing rota. When we arrived the gates across the airstrip were locked, and Alex didn't know the alternative route to get to the lambing sheds by car, so he set off up the hill in pitch darkness, his rucksack loaded with a day's worth of food and drink.
I arrived back home at 7am and had time to browse a few blips before heading to Ferry Meadows with the dogs just in time to catch the sunrise. It was breathtakingly beautiful, the trees, bushes and fences coated in hoar-frost and the river and lakes largely frozen. I even saw the kingfisher perched in a bush - of course I didn't have the right lens and the light levels were so low at that moment that I don't think I'd have got a decent image anyway. As you might expect, I took many pictures, and there were quite a few near blip candidates, which I've linked to below.
The rest of the morning was spent sorting photographs and catching up with domestic chores. I must admit I returned to bed for an hour or so before lunch, so that I would be in a fit state to do some work with Ben later. We revised digestion, did a set of food tests and then made apple and cinnamon pancakes for pudding - quite an enjoyable afternoon.
All too soon it was time to head out and fetch Alex. I arrived at Shuttleworth at 9pm, but it took him half an hour to walk back through the dark to the car. I sat and listened to music and admired the night sky - a wonderful place to star-gaze. We finally arrived home at 10.30pm. Alex had his dinner and then crashed. He'd woken up with a sore throat and slight cough, but the strain of such a long day seems to have finally ground down his resistance. I don't think he'll be going into college tomorrow.
Alternative blip choices
Ice on the River Nene
Iced wire and web
Sunrise over the frozen Nene