A month has gone already this year, so it’s time to mean business!

I allowed myself a lazy Saturday, pottering around the garden being attacked by pyracantha thorns – these have now been dealt with.  I went out for coffee and cake with a friend and we talked about our plans for this year and the future, we came to the conclusion that exciting times (and maybe a little daunting ones) are ahead.

My Sunday was kick-started by actually getting up and seizing the day!

Embracing the weather

Sunlight was pouring in but I knew it was going to be cold.  I dressed accordingly, thick fleece lined trousers and the minimum of four layers plus buff.  8.10 and I was out of the door and onto the fields.  I thought this would be the best plan as the field paths would still be solid.  Previous times I have come back a few inches taller with very heavy boots!  The frosty ground and the early morning light was wonderful.  The newly emerging shoots were sparkling and the winter trees silhouetted as I hid in their shadows.

This path leads across several fields, mainly with recently sown crops appearing, but the last field contained some rather bemused sheep.  They thought at first I was bringing them some food and came towards me, then realised I wasn’t so continued to just stare instead.  On reaching the Oxford Canal it was now the waters turn to sparkle with sunlight.  The towpath along this stretch is angled at about 60º trying to tip you into the canal.  This along with the icy path made it quite ‘interesting’, I decided I’d rather get caught in the hedge than end up in the cut!  I have to be careful as I’m easily distracted by reflections and light.

Oxford Canal on a February Morning

Getting Close To The Water But Not That Close!

Going from the Oxford Canal onto the Grand Union Canal the towpath gets a lot easier to negotiate, and I was no longer walking into the sunlight.  The canal junction is home to a lot of narrow boat marinas but I don’t think too many have been moving recently judging by the state of the ice on the canal.  The patterns the ice formed were incredible, some looked like aerial shots from a drone of a river meandering and others like an oil slick.  The most intact of these were between two sets of locks and I decided to make abstract images of some close-ups.  I did not end up in the water!!!

Abstract Ice

I finally started to meet people, apparently not everyone gets up at this time on a Sunday morning.  A few dog walkers, a couple of fisherman fishing through holes in the ice! and a fellow lone walker without a dog!!!

I have had the boost I needed, to get fresh air, not have to drive to get it and captured some shots I love.  So glad I can find this on my doorstep, as much I like travelling, some days I need a break.

Ice on the Grand Union


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