Thursday, 24 September 2015

September Walk Through Fordham Moor, Fordham, Cambridgeshire.

Today I took a walk in the lovely September sunshine and ventured along the road that runs through Fordham Moor and then followed the River Snail which winds its way through the Moor.

One thing I love about this part of the country are the large skies, which today have only a scattering of small clouds.

One discarded Magpie feather.

There were loads of blackberries on this section of hedge.  Would have been lovely to have picked some, but unfortunately you had to negotiate a ditch filled with tall nettles to reach them, guess that is why they are still there, lucky birds.

Discarded piece of farm equipment, being swamped by nature.

There is just something about old barns.

The delicate, white with a hint of purple, flower heads of the Yarrow plant.  It belongs to the daisy flower and flowers June to October.  Achilles, from Greek mythology is said to have harnessed the plant's medicinal powers.  It contains essential oils which help wounds heal and can act as an antidote for digestive complaints.

The River Snail, this is the direction I will be walking in.

This is the river running in the other direction.

A shoal of little fish swimming against the current.

The first Sloe bush I came across had very little fruit, a little further on I found a bush with lots.

While you are wandering along the Moor Road you will often have military planes from RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath circling overhead as the pilots clock up there flight hours.  Today was no exception with a Lockheed C-130 Hercules and the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS following each other around the skies.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four engined turbo prop military transport aircraft, they originally entered service for the U.S. back in the 1950's.  I love the sound of their engines.

The Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS is an airborne early warning control aircraft.  They entered into service in 1977.

I love the way the sunlight is breaking through the trees to light up the river gently meandering below.

Luckily I caught a glimpse of a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly flying past and managed to track it to a nearby branch where it sat quite happily soaking up the warm sunshine.  The Migrant Hawker Dragonfly is one of the smallest species of Hawker Dragonfly.  This one is a female, which you can tell by its size and yellowish brown colour where as the males are blue, and also the markings on its body at the base of its wings.

I was now at the stretch of the river where a few days earlier I had caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher, so I decided to perch myself on the same tree root and see if it was about.  Unfortunately there were no signs of it, I wonder if it was because it was quite windy.  However as I sat there I noticed something in the water that seemed to be moving different to the current.  As I looked closer I could see that it was a snake swimming along.  Fortunately it was swimming towards me so I tracked it as it swam quite close to the river bank and then as if it heard me telling it to swim past me, (so glad there was nobody about to hear me talking to a snake) it obliged.  It was really difficult to keep up with it at that point, it is amazing how fast they swim.

The snake I had been photographing was a Grass Snake.  They are also known as a Ringed Snake or Water Snake as they are found near water as they feed on amphibians.  They are an Eurasian, non-venomous snake.  This one was about 2 feet in length, they can grow up to 3 feet.

This year seems to be very plentiful with autumn and winter fruits and the Dog Rose is no exception, it was full of rosehips.  The Dog Rose is part of the rose family and produces aromatic rosehips that can be used in tea or pureed and are rich in Vitamin C.  In Germany, the old German name for the hip was 'butt' which meant 'barrel', short and squat, which describes the shape of the rosehip.  The Germanic people dedicated the Dog Rose to Freya or Frigg, the love goddess, who was the symbol of the soul's life after death.

There were several of these Speckled Wood Butterflies flitting around the grasses which they feed on.  The average wingspan of both males and females is around 2 inches (5.1 cm).  The females markings are more bright and distinctive than the males.

Also flying around was the Small White Butterfly, that had a small nick out of one of its wings.  This is a small to medium sized butterfly also called Small Cabbage White and White Butterfly.  This one appears to be a male as it only has one dot on each wing where as the female has two.  The butterfly was resting on the flower of a large Ivy plant.

This looks like it could be a Woodpecker hole in the trunk of this tree?

Shaggy coated Highland Cattle, not something you expect to see in a field inn Cambridgeshire. These belong to our our local MP.  They originate from the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland and were first mentioned in the 6th Century AD.

Well the clouds have started to roll in, so I think that is enough for today.  Hope you enjoyed our walk, see you next time.

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