A SEAT WITH A VIEW - SHAFTESBURY LAKE
Our Church Service this morning was rather different in that it was a live stream on Facebook - rather than Zoom. It was very good, except that every so often the screen froze, but we still enjoyed the service and especially Stephen’s preaching.
We decided to go out for a walk straight after the service and before we had our lunch, so as it looked quite cold, we had to kit ourselves up again with walking boots, anoraks, hats etc and of course, I wore my thermals again. We were glad we had plenty of layers on because the wind was biting. However, this didn’t seem to worry the various ducks and swans down at Shaftesbury Lake, which is only about a 5 minute walk from where we live.
A group of people have done a wonderful job near the lake, as they have made several flower beds and so far, they have remained complete without being vandalised, as so often happens in this area. You will see in my collage, from the top left, going clockwise, the little fairy doors that have been put onto one of the trees - but sadly, we didn’t see any fairies today.
There were, however, plenty of Canada geese - one on the lake flapping its wings and then one sitting on the bank sleeping. They were making quite a noise, honking and fighting between themselves so I was surprised that this particular was able to sleep. We watched as two little male moorhens were also fighting - Mr. HCB thinks there was a female involved.
The swans looked very regal and there were only a couple of cygnets left, but these are quite large now, so were obviously happy to go off on their own to find their own food. It was very peaceful by the lake and a certain serenity just watching swans glide along - and we really enjoyed our walk. I decided to take a selfie because it’s good to remember when we were out for a walk together and this time, Mr. HCB didn’t grumble at all, which quite surprised me because it was very muddy underfoot!
We spotted a Greylag duck, but it was keeping well away from the weir, which was gushing with water today but that’s hardly surprising given the amount of rain we have had in the last few days.
As we passed a little family with two children, they saw me taking photographs and said that there was a rat on the little picnic table mounted on a nearby tree - I couldn’t see it at first, but when we walked round a bit further, could see it quite clearly. I got quite close, only having my phone camera and took a few shots - someone obviously leaves food for the birds, but if the rats find it first, then it has a good feed. When we walked on, Mr. HCB said that he thought it might be a water vole, rather than a rat and we then had a discussion about Ratty in "The Wind in The Willows", because Mr. HCB said that he was probably a water vole rather than a rat, which was news to me!
The last shot is Mr. HCB sitting on a seat on the other side of the lake where there were lots of gulls bobbing about, obviously looking for food. It was rather a grey day, but still very pleasant to see all the wildlife around.
When we got home, I checked on whether the furry creature was a water vole or a rat and after looking closely, we decided it was a rat, mainly because of the stand-up ears and long tail - eeeeek - I was then horrified to think I had been that close to an actual rat!
“Every lake belongs
to the quietness
desired by the swans.”