I was returning from work on my bike (having gone a day early by mistake). The sun was rising over the Thames beyond Oday Hill and the sky was overcast and orange.
Rain was beginning to fall, and over the old dog walking field a rainbow formed. Since the start of the year, notices have appeared to say this field is Private Land. Before that there were notices to warn that it was being closed for dog walking.
Soon a full rainbow had grown.
My phone could not get all of it in at once and so here are two pictures – combined. The houses of Masefield Crescent are at the end of the rainbow.
Last year there was a monthly picture report from Barton Fields. This year I hope to visit Abbey Fishponds every month.
The main entrance is from the Radley Road. There are three other entrances, and houses surround the area.
Abbey Fishponds is a local nature reserve managed by the Earth Trust, and looked after with the help of local volunteers. Marjorie White was warden for many years.
A brook runs the length of the nature reserve. The area gets its name from the earthworks that people once thought damned the brook to make fishponds for the monks of the Abbey.
I believe the brook is otherwise known as Radley Park Ditch, and begins its short journey to the River Thames above Radley College. It is culverted for a short way before Radley Road and reappears in Abbey Fishponds.
There are two paths that cross in the middle. One follows the brook from northwest to south east. The other cuts across and joins the Radley Road opposite St Peters Drive. Another small stream from that direction ends in the brook.
There are also a number of ponds – some permanent and some seasonal. January is wet and the main path is very muddy at the moment, and almost a pond itself.
The main areas are meadow, reedbeds, sedge beds and woodland.
There are piles of wood, left to rot, where some of the trees had been recently cut. On the logs I managed to photograph this blackbird near some ivy berries. A robin pecking for bugs in the wood was too quick for me to photograph. There is a lot of birdlife.
The Abingdon one way system continues to confuse drivers from other places. On the High Street a lorry stopped to ask directions.
Meanwhile on the Market Place the Christmas decorations had been taken down and were about to be taken away for another year.
Along Bridge Street there were police cars and ambulances near the Old Gaol. In other times I might have gone to have a look.
But today I seemed to be following a bread lorry. It was now stopped near Waitrose and a local man was giving clear directions to help it find the Co-op.
The UK Bread Marketing Report says the lockdown has provided opportunities to the bread industry. More people are making their breakfast and lunch at home and could be using bread.
Alone I wander by the Thames
beside the Anchor inn and
in the space between deep
night and effervescent break of day
ghostly and grey
dawn the shadows of Brick Alley
over the broad flags
next to St Helen’s church.
Across the river
birdsong greets the dawn,
indifferent to my solitude,
needing only small
glimmerings of light
dappling pearlescent water to
orchestrate yet one more time
new life in Abingdon.
Thanks to Paul for an entry. A book of poems with pictures will be produced in the autumn – to be called Ten Poems About Abingdon.