I really ought to pay more attention

005bI found a nature reserve on Tuesday that I had no idea existed, less than a mile from the office I have worked in and out of for around a decade.

How could I not know it was there? I even used to work with a lovely man called Ken who used to go out every lunchtime for a stroll to look at the birds. I thought he was just wandering up and down the canal.

On Monday morning the weather was so gorgeous that I grabbed my camera and went out for an early-morning stroll round the lakes. On Tuesday, the weather was meant to be the same so I drove to work at the normal time but, rather than going into the office two hours early like I usually do, I took my camera and went for a stroll along the canal. The Wey Navigation is right next to the old mill building that I work in.

008bI wasn’t quite sure about the camera settings for such a lovely misty morning, but I think these came out ok. See there is maintenance being undertaken in the countryside all over the place.

016bI walked up to Stoke Lock, the oldest lock in Surrey and opened in 1657, according to the National Trust sign on the lock keeper’s cottage.

Then I crossed a bridge with the intention of continuing further along the canal and discovered the Riverside Nature Reserve. Apparently the land for it was given to Guildford Borough Council when farmland was compulsorily purchased to build the A3, so it must have been there a while.

024bIt has a lake and woodland and, although I could hear the traffic from the A3, I couldn’t see it because of the mist. I thought the lake looked nice and atmospheric in the early-morning mist.

028bThere is also wetland and marsh and boardwalks have been constructed for easy access, although some were undergoing maintenance so I couldn’t explore very far. There is a bird hide in there somewhere, apparently. I am sure I shall discover it on another occasion.

046bIt was so peaceful strolling along the canal and through the reserve at that time of the morning (it was about 7am). This little guy was singing merrily on a branch above me, but I didn’t see any people.

052bThe sun started breaking through the mist as I headed back to the office. It really is very pretty around here.

I had only walked 1.37 miles (according to the new iPhone app) but it was a really pleasant way to start the day and I will certainly take more advantage of it now I know it’s there. Although next time I shall bring a change of footwear. The cleaners must have cursed me when they came in because, although I wiped my feet, as the mud in the tread of my boots dried it fell out, so throughout the day, wherever I went I left a nice trail of mud behind me.

Incidentally, everybody else in the office knew the nature reserve was there. “Where do you think Ken went every lunchtime?” many people asked.

I really must pay more attention sometimes.

  1. How lovely the early morning mist makes everything! My favourite is the photo of the ducks on the water and the one of the bridge. Glad you are finding time for your art.

  2. wonderful atmospheric pics… I love misty morning too… we never get them here in NZ…..

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