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A Spring Walk


As I said in my last posting spring is here and it's glorious. We walked from Bottisham across Quy Fen to Lode Mill and back this afternoon. The sun was shining and there was very little wind. I couldn't stop grinning.

Quy Fen lake
Quy Fen lake

It was a perfect spring day: fluffy cumulus was painted across a blue sky, winter wheat was starting to put poke its head up through the soil from the previous autumn's planting, birds sang in the trees and the only human made noises were the occasional plane coming in to land at Cambridge Airport and a Virgin hot air balloon trying to find somewhere to land over towards Stow-cum-Quy.

And to prove it was the spring as we crossed a footpath north of Lode Mill we saw a lapwing fly up into the air in front of us to perform his spring display flight.

The other highlight from a naturalist's viewpoint was that we spotted four roe deer lying down in the middle of a big ploughed field next to the old railway line. Through the binoculars we could see them very clearly and they were keeping a careful eye on us too but it wasn't until I closed the kissing gate on the track back onto Quy Fen and it made a loud clattering noise that they got to their feet.

What was noticeable was the amount of water about. All the drains were very deep and flowing fast. Bottisham Lode for example was at least twice its usual depth and very fast flowing. The gauging station near Lode Mill had water overtopping the concrete dam by a significant amount.

Normally the water level upstream is significantly below the dam and there's only water flowing through the slot in the middle. Indeed on the downstream side of the dam it's usually dry on each side of the slot.

And the lake on Quy Fen itself was as deep as we've ever seen it. This photo by Beth is taken at one end and to her left and out of shot the lake is gently overflowing onto the surrounding land.

All over the grassland, and especially on Quy Fen, there are big puddles in the grass and a lot of the paths are becoming quagmires.

The land is completely saturated. If we get another big rainstorm now we'll see the local rivers flooding.

Tags: photos, walks Written 01/03/10

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