Autumn in the Wensum Valley

A fortnight back I took a walk in the Wensum Valley—Taverham to Ringland and back to Taverham, via the flooded gravel-workings of Costessey Pits. Alas, as I got off the bus the heavens opened and, apart from a brief spell, it remained drizzly and overcast for the rest of the day.

This Monday past (28th November) I tried the walk again. This time I took a slightly different route (Taverham to Costessey via Ringland and Ringland Hills). Mostly the day was bright and dry, if a touch cold. There follows a selection of the photos I took. The full collection can be found on Google+ (Crispina Kemp, follow this link). Hope you enjoy . . .

Meadow at Ringland

As I approach the bridge at Ringland the autumnal morning sun, low in the sky, rakes this dew-spangled meadow, casting long shadows from those rill-tracing poplars

Cows graze by the Wensum

Cows graze this meadow beside the Wensum. The scene caught more than my eye; it has something of a ‘Constable’s pastoral’ about it.

Rill-tracing poplars at Ringland

Those same rill-tracing poplars at Ringland while the sun, now gaining in height, shines upon autumnal grasses

Oaks at Ringland

Heading now to Ringland Hills, the lane is richly lined by red-headed oaks

Catkins of spring with autumn oak

The contrariness of nature! This sprinkling of hazel-catkins, usually seen in spring, barely screens the red-headed autumnal oak in the hedgerow beyond it.

Fallen birch at Ringland

One of the reasons for including Ringland Hills in this walk is the abundance there of silver birches. The birch and the oak are usually the first colonisers of health land. Until the turn of the last century Ringland Hills was predominantly gorse covered heath. (The gorse remains to torment summer picnickers)

Silver birch at Ringland Hills

More birch . . . what more needs be said

Tall birches at Ringland Hills

Towering birches, each eager to grab their patch of light

Autumn trees at Ringland Hills

As I said . . . the oak and the birch are the first colonisers

Oak at Ringland Hills

But the oak, even in autumn, casts a dark shad

Bracken in a break at Ringland Hills

Bracken in a break at Ringland hills. Did a young deer perhaps once hide out here?

Bracketed birch at Ringland Hills

The birch is host to several species of fungi. These, a form of bracket-fungi, are scaling the tree, ladder-like

River Wensum at Beehive Cottage

Between Ringland Hills and Costessey the River Wensum flows close to the lane presenting excellent shots for the photographer at any time of year, but particularly now with the autumn colours reflected in its almost-still waters

Autumn trees beside the Wensum

So many photos, it was difficult to decide which to include here (for more see the link above). I chose this one because of its richness

Tree at Costessey Common

With my obsession with trees I couldn’t ignore this specimen at Costessey Common (although by now the light was fading)

Costessey Pits

There are several flooded gravel-workings at Costessey Pits. Anglian Water manages the largest as a reservoir; it doubles as recreation. This one, however, is small, and private. Yet it can be accessed via Costessey Common. I love these reflections, almost blood-coloured.

The full collection can be found on Google+ (Crispina Kemp, follow this link).

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About crimsonprose

After years as a multi-colour octopus in entertainment, now chilling and writing
This entry was posted in On The Door, Photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Autumn in the Wensum Valley

  1. Brian Bixby says:

    Must remember to go take a look at the Google+ collection tomorrow. 🙂

    • crimsonprose says:

      You’ll find several collections there. I’m in process of uploading the best of my photos. A record of the Nokia phone-camera to compare against the New Year’s new camera. I’m so impatient now, and yet the weather will be prohibitive of long walks for the next few months.

      • Brian Bixby says:

        I was wondering why Google+, which normally leaves me alone, was suddenly trying to get me to check in. YOU are the cause, madam! 😉

      • crimsonprose says:

        Sorry. But let’s not forget, I have posts of yours dating back to 2013 littering my home page! 🙂
        BTW, the smiley (quirky?) came through this time.

      • Brian Bixby says:

        MY posts do not litter! (Though they’ve been known to give off a foul fish-like odor after a while. This is because stray thoughts give off stray electrons when displayed on video screens.)

        And just to keep matters confusing, the smiley did NOT come through the other way. 😦

      • crimsonprose says:

        Ah-ha, I see a pattern forming here. I can receive smileys when generated on my blog, but not when coming from yours. You, on the other hand, cannot receive smileys from me. Seems it’s your blog-site that’s blocking them. But I could be wrong.
        And I apologise the use of word ‘litter’. Would you prefer ‘clutter’? Actually, I do intend to read some of the older posts . . . when I get round to it. I used to have so many hours in a day, it was an effort to fill them. And then I got well. Now the hours disappear before I’ve done half of what I planned.

      • Brian Bixby says:

        Hmmm, then why . . . as I have a vanilla-flavored blog. (The fish-flavored version was unavailable in those days.)

        Litter, clutter, mar, occupy, adorn, confuse . . . guess I’ll have to accept any of those terms. “Lay waste” is too extreme, while “enhance with taste and wisdom” is not only overboard but self-contradictory.

        And if the lack of free time is because you have so much you actually do, then yay!

      • crimsonprose says:

        Indeed, that is the cause of lack of time. More energy, more activity. Less time for thinking. Ouch.
        How about ‘Your posts are gracing my Google+’? Am I now forgiven my undue uncouth allusion?

      • Brian Bixby says:

        Yes. I think holding out for “sanctifying” would be a mite arrogant of me. 🙂

      • crimsonprose says:

        Before I met you I would have said so. Now .. . um.

  2. grdtobin says:

    Interesting that Costessey has a Common. I have a hypothesis that Commons were set aside in the High Middle Ages. The legal term for a Common is “vasta”. The distinguishing characteristic of Common land, aside from its being shared, is that it pays no rent and no tax. Therefore short-sighted landlords and governments enclosed (privatised) them.

    Until the enclosure acts of recent centuries, large areas of England were Common land.

    Domesday’s “waste” lands are “vasta”. They paid no tax and no rent.

    Rather than being vast swathes devastated by the dastardly Normans, the “waste” lands may have been, or at least included, large areas of land set aside as Commons.

    • crimsonprose says:

      The ‘commons’ were originally land not suited to cultivation and therefore freely available for the grazing of peasants’ livestock and gathering of firewood and nature’s free harvest. Therefore commons tended to be on either heavy clay or acidic heath. However, as the plough improved, able now to till the heavy clays, so more of the commons were lost to cultivation (and to the lords’ domains). The commons again diminished after the Black Death when the heathlands were taken in for sheep runs. Throughout the high Middle Ages (from C14th on) agreements were formed between peasants and lords for the enclosure of commons. The process was gradual. Then came the so-called Agricultural Revolution of the C18th on, and soon after came the Parliamentary enclosures. The only commons left after that were those thoroughly unsuited to any form of farming.
      Costessey Common once extended from the present-day Costessey Pits (abutting Taverham across the Wensum) through to what is now Costessey Mill (on the road to Drayton). Further, an arm of the common extended through to where the present-day Norwich Road (driven through by the Jerningham-Stafford family) crosses the river Tud. Quite an extensive common. All that is left is an area we kids knew as ‘The Cricket Field’, its grassy swathe now being rapidly eaten be encroaching oaks, birch and hazels. This is what happens when a common is neglected, with no further use by the parishioners.
      And while I tend to agree on the nature of the Northern ‘wastes’, i.e. that they yielded no tax, it is a fact that King William did devastate the north (and parts of the Midlands). This is well recorded in contemporary chronicles.

  3. grdtobin says:

    Apropos the Brian and Crimson comment thread, the emoticons from each of you show fine on my iPhone 6+.

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