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Down Under

by wilvir

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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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Sunday Sundown

Slimbridge 17Feb13.

The views from wilvir late this afternoon.

The skyscapes that have greeted us here as the sun sinks to the west over the last week have been breathtaking. Stippled with flocks of birds swooping and wheeling in the dying embers of the sun, the horizon blazes with colour as the last of the sunlight appears to burst along the horizon.
22nd Feb 2013, 00:00   comments (2)

To Boldly Go

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Slimbridge 16Feb13.

1. This is the western sky the ISS came out of this evening.
2. And the darker sky to the east of the previous shot, with the setting sun reflecting off the ISS as it passed 200 miles overhead at 17500mph.

We've been fortunate to see the International Space Station pass overhead here this evening. I say fortunate because although we watched her transit across the sky just a few evenings ago too, these two occasions have been the first we have seen of her for months due to the vagaries of cloud cover. Our futures are tied up in the work that continues above our heads, in more ways than one.

With two asteroids making considerable news since yesterday, it's a shame that we weren't taught a much tougher lesson on how we should all put our differences aside and work together to bring change to planet earth that would benefit us all. The cause of Armageddon mustn't be man.
16th Feb 2013, 20:07   comments (4)

So Far This Week....

Frampton-on-Severn 06Feb13

1. On the march.
2. Wind-lass on the tiller.
3. Straight down the middle.
4. Clear astern.
5. The view from the galley.

Snow-drops are rising from their slumbers beneath the hedgerows and at the waters edge as they bathe in the light of days growing longer by the week.

The sun has been doing its utmost to warm the land but a cold SW wind has kept the air temperature decidedly cool. Today it is even colder as the wind is coming from the NW.

Birds and small mammals are becoming recklessly bold in their search for food, with Barn Owls, Buzzards and Kestrels maintaining a weather eye over their domain to catch the unaware. Then there's the top predator blasting away with shotguns at near tame quarry while daylight lasts, and then 'lampers' take over with rifles throughout the night to decimate the local fox population and occasionally shooting someone's cat that has strayed from a cottage or boat.

We've moved on from Quedgeley and tied up at 'The Splatt', just SW of Frampton. We'll be moving a short distance tomorrow to tie-up a stones throw from Slimbridge Wild Fowl Trust for a few days.

Just so long as the sun stays with us we'll be fine in both mind and spirit. The sunsets here are beautiful.
6th Feb 2013, 19:04   comments (0)

Our Little Wilderness

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Quedgeley 03Feb13

Yet again the end to a perfect day.
3rd Feb 2013, 18:22   comments (2)

Going, Going, Gone!

Quedegely 02Feb13

These photos were taken while out walking with Gunner along the banks of the River Severn and from the higher ground above the floodplain as we made our way back to the canal in the fading light.

The countryside is very wet underfoot, even on high ground. Water is just below the surface wherever you walk. That bodes well for maintaining river and canal levels but, it will and does have an adverse impact on farmland, livestock and wildlife. Please report any animals in distress or where they are being over-wintered in the open where conditions are causing them harm.
2nd Feb 2013, 19:45   comments (2)

Today in the Life of....

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Quedgeley 01Feb13

1. A convenient perch.
2. A break in the 'weather'.
3. Our little piece of wilderness.

The past few days have been quite windy with gusts to 40mph, so 'wilvir' has been wandering about her mooring lines riding the rise and fall of the wind-driven swell. Coupled with grey overcast skies and bouts of heavy rain the sky seemed to be falling in on itself. Then last night the wind abated and this mornings bright sunshine brought the hedgerows to life as the birds came out to search for food.

I'd hung bird-feeders in the hedgerow prior to the wind arriving but the robins, long-tailed tits, blue tits, great tits and coal tits that have returned this morning were unable to feed at them due to the strength of the South Westerly that had the feeders flying like flags as the wind blew them near horizontal.

It's great to see calm restored to our little 'wilderness' and to enjoy the spectacle of swan formations passing by the boat as they over-fly, come in to land or take-off level with the windows.

There's so much to be said for the way we live, and walkers often stop to ask about the boat or comment on the aroma of wood-smoke curling from the chimney that evokes so many memories amongst those of us of a certain age. I just love this way of life and look forward to the signs of spring approaching with just a little anticipation as it means we'll be nearing the time to resume our never-ending journey exploring the heritage that earns my respect for those who've gone before without whom England wouldn't be what it is.
1st Feb 2013, 16:24   comments (0)

The White Stuff

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Quedgeley 18Jan13

1. This is us this morning after the snow finally arrived overnight.
2. The view across the canal.
18th Jan 2013, 20:06   comments (5)

Up She Comes

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Quedgeley 18Jan13

1. At Quedgeley Wharf this buoy is all that has been visible since early December to mark where a narrowboat went down.
2. River Canal Rescue gather resources to bring her up.
3. She rises stern first.
4. Nearly done.

Leading on from the rumours of a narrowboat having been left to sink, it seems that narrowboat 'MoJo' was actually trapped by the wharf structure as heavy rain raised the water level and eventually flooded the boat, causing it to sink.

Over two days this week River Canal Rescue ( managed to bring her back up, much to the delight of her owner I should imagine, who had apparently only recently purchased her. I didn't envy the divers as temperatures hovered close to zero.
18th Jan 2013, 16:12   comments (0)