Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Haw Frost Replaces Snow

Thickest frost I've seen in years lasting all day as the previous night's low of -8C only decreased to -1C even with some early and late sunshine.

All photos © J Reed

Friday, 26 November 2010

Bracing Breckland part 2

Face freezing but snow free, the clouds looked menacing but blue broke through before blackness beckoned now that we under a month away from the shortest day. 

All photos © J Reed
Darkness fell over the turbines by the Bernard Matthews' turkey sheds as news of its founder's demise yesterday was released. My recently departed neighbour told me that her father, a farmer in my village, knew Bernard when he had his '20 eggs and a second-hand incubator'. He laughed that no one would eat turkey except as a whole bird at Christmas. The group turned over £330 million of its turkey based convenience food in 2008!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Bracing Breckland

The weather was deceiving. Walking out of the house, secluded of any wind, the weather seemed quite clement. Experience led me to don five layers of above the waist clothing, three below and two pairs of socks.

The lunchtime sunshine highlighted the freshly sprouting winter wheat, the clouds reflecting in the wet, muddy roads where the sugar beet traffic have trundled from early morn to dark evening time.

A couple of miles from home and the sun is losing the battle with the snow laden sky.

The skies over Shipdham look awfully ominous but usually the weather comes from the opposite direction.

Walking the formalised field edge permissive ways, Bertie and I reach the Lower Road which, at its other end, cuts into the road to Necton just below Holme Hale. Closed since the weekend when a smouldering roof fire gutted a period house. The property is amongst a handful in a hamlet along what is a quiet single track road, even to Norfolk standards. 

The incident very sadly took the lives of two elderly ladies. The property, externally almost intact, belies apparent internal devastation. One of the sisters is believed to have been a landlady and wife of owner Frederick Charles Rowland of the Blue Lion, North Pickenham in the mid 1960s. The snow had already started just after a dusk like darkness came across the already grey sky. The flakes where light and fluffy, happily settling on any but the smoothest clothing.

The walk from Holme Hale to its sister Station Road was really rather unpleasant. The snow had become hard and wet, driven directly into my exposed face. Turning left up to King's Row Farm, the wind became kinder but the evening light came on prematurely.

The snow, all of a sudden, refused to melt on reaching the sod. For the first time this year, autumn landscape had succumbed to winter.

All photos © J Reed

One man and his dog, thankfully close to the warmth of home.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Beautiful Breckland

Well, I managed to capture a little of the week long autumnal colour before the wind and rain turn everything quite wintry. 

This is becoming a more and more unusual sight now, a tree with leaves still attached.

The ferns stay beautifully fractal even whilst losing there greenness.

Now the sun and once warm ground no longer evaporate the night time's rain, most paths are slippery underfoot all day long.

All photos © J Reed

The fields are all but bare. Only stubble, beet and sprouting winter wheat sprigs lie in the fields. That and the waves of propagated winged wildfowl pending shotgun silencing by the well shod civilless servanted callous carnivores. 

Friday, 22 October 2010

Chisellers, Councillors, School Children and Incumbent Conservative

North Pickenhams' new village sign was unveiled today by Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman amongst crowds of young and old, and very splendid it is indeed. The effigy, not our representative.

The sunny autumnal light doesn't give justice to the superb carving by Mr.Yorke, expect a few more photos soon with a fuller story on the statue and how this project came to be.

All photos © J Reed

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Black and White Breckland

One of those days when knowing what to wear whilst walking warrants the wits a work out. The sun was strong enough to temper the overnight chill and make two light weight layers welcomingly luxuriant by lunchtime.

Breckland offers wide vistas and big skies at any time of year ...

... but autumn adds a low sun for luscious laboured light likenesses.

All photos © J Reed

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Beet, Berney, Burning and Build Ban

With the mild and dry weather set to continue, the annual sugar beet harvest race has started in Norfolk. Rude awakenings for the next month or so as the huge lorries thunder around the rural highways with or without their sweet load.

A new Norfolk forum, the Norfolk Mardler (that's Norfolk Gossiper to outsiders), led me to what must be the smallest railway station in the country.

Berney Arms railway station is 3.5 miles from the nearest road and is the most remote station in Norfolk. It is only accessible by rail, boat, on foot or on horseback and is 5 miles west of Great Yarmouth. Trains will only stop on request for you to visit the English Heritage windmill or the RSPB nature reserve.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service had another busy day, so did the reporter who posted this riveting story.

Good news for the nearby Dunhams with a planning reprieve for the huge sub station next to this small settlement, that I reported on in March, to connect the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm to the National Grid. Warwick Energy may well appeal, the associated cable laying was given approval.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

10 4 10-10-10

Well the idea was to go and take some autumnal photographs but nature had its own ideas.

With poppies still in bloom, it was a struggle to find any golden brown leaves at all.

Oak leaves are so stunning, especially against a cloudless sky.

The t-shirt and shorts 19 Celsius demanded a longer than usual walk past the green lane which goes up to St.Mary's ...

... down towards South Pickenham and the road section of Peddars Way ...

... towards the traditional Norfolk road sign with the updated Houghton on the Hill direction board.

After startling what may, or may not, have been an escaped fir farm mink, the hedgerows show signs of last year's tree cull from our unusually long winter.

Only the silver birches show any sign of being really ready to shed their leaves.

One sure sign of autumn in East Anglia is the sweet smell of sugar beet harvesting, but the machinery here is still dormant ...

... unlike the local kids on their bikes enjoying the sunshine denied them during the school holidays.

.All photos © J Reed

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Stop Taking the Peas, Pinched Pony Poo and Phony Potato PC

Well, not strictly all NFN but typical East Anglian headline news.

After the bad news earlier this year that Bird's Eye were to stop buying from the Anglian Pea Growers, the good news this week is that the 15,000 tonnes are to be bought and processed by Ardo in Lowestoft before being packed in Kent.

'Where there's muck there's brass' goes the saying, well it's true if you steal the trailer transporting the manure too. 'Where there's poo there's a pun' is a journalist's motto, and the EDP doesn't disappoint with 'Thieves in Dersingham have dung a runner'. Classic.

Buyer beware, or caveat emptor for the educated amongst you, should be heeded especially when buying a mobile computer from a mysterious merchant coercing monies in the main marketplace. You might say the couple who forked out £650 for a laptop, from a stranger in the street, and got a sack of spuds were a little unwise. No need to have a chip on the shoulder over any police roasting. Sorry for the puns, I'll get my jacket.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Bald Bandit Barbers Break-in

Never wanting to condone crime, a crafty convict confiscates cosmetics in a comical custom.

Naughty Norwich nicking in a Normal For Norfolk nature.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Painterly Poppies

Poppies in September, is that normal?

All photos © J Reed