Wilts and Berks Canal
According to the saying somedays you eat the bear, somedays the bear eats you. The Calne bear population is relatively small, which is just as well or I'm sure yesterday I'd have been accompanying their porridge, or marmalade, or more probably, being Calne, Bambi kebabs.
The day began sharply colder than the day before and I was feeling it more than normal, perhaps starting to come down with something as I felt quite low. During the morning my laptop started playing up, applications taking aeons to load and then freezing. It seemed that a former virus protection program had re-installed itself unbidden and was conflicting with the authorised one. Trying to fix it took most of the day and by the time I'd got to the point I could leave it to reboot and try again and go out, the light was already fading.
When I reached Chaveywell, already after sunset, I noticed that I could see the skateboarding park, unwisely placed adjacent to the nature reserve but previously hidden from sight, largely inaudible and easy to ignore. It was in use, and the clatter of the skates and shouts of excited youths echoed across the river and canal and followed me as I walked westwards towards Bowood. I have super sensitive hearing and have a phonophobic response to a number of sounds, top of the list being barking dogs, thumping footballs, the clatter of skateboards and the shouts and cries of babies and children, so for me the calm of the waterside was destroyed by this and I became quite stressed. It has put me off returning there.
Worse was to follow when I reached the point where the path runs between the River Marden and the old canal. Volunteers who have been restoring a section of the canal had been sawing down trees and hacking back all the shelter that separates the canal area from the open land beside it. Logs from the felled trees had been turned into open fires and left to burn. Valuable cover that provided habitat for the wildlife, including red kites and buzzards, had been destroyed and even the felled trees that could have provided shelter and sustenance to other creatures had been burned. There may be good reason for it, but to me it seemed like vandalism.
The view in this picture shows both river and canal, a sight previously impossible to simultaneously record.
My attempts to get the laptop working failed because after uninstalling the old program, when I rebooted it simply installed itself again, making it inoperative in any useful way, and I haven't yet got it sorted. Finally, my several attempts to upload this picture on my desktop PC in the study also met with failure because the Blipfoto site was down.
Lens: Pentax 12-24mm