On Saturday I’d started (well, done half of) a big looking series near Fringford, which is within a half hour of home when the traffic isn’t bad. I set off before 8am to beat the morning rush hour and got parked up in a lay-by near Newton Purcell alongside a greasy spoon van. It was tempting to grab a bacon buttie but I resisted and got on with some caching. It was a beautiful clear, bright and sunny morning.
The plan was to walk the top of the Shelswell Loop series by gingko. It looked like about 4 miles walking, and so should be doable in a couple of hours.
It was indeed quite quick walking, and about half an hour in I decided to get my camera out of my bag and take a few snaps. It would be a shame to waste such a pretty morning. The photos are shown below, including a few rather nice spliced together panoramas that I made up using Microsoft ICE. Hopefully I’ve captured the beauty of a cold December morning in England, with that little bit of mist at ground level and the nice mix of textures and colours in the sky. When these first few were taken, at about 9am, it’s really only just about light – the sun is very low in the sky and produces some colours that make it look like an episode of CSI: Miami – all yellow-orange tones. It only turns blue when the sun gets up a bit further, like on the fifth of these panorama shots.
About half way round I encountered the only other person I saw on the morning (apart from the lady at the lard wagon). It was a bloke walking a dog. A little later I was walking up a hill looking for where the footpath went and I decided to go and ask the man at the house at the top of the hill. It turned out to be the same guy, and we had a five minute chat about caching. It’s nice to meet a muggle who is fairly favourable towards us. He’d seen people standing on the road (which is his driveway) a few times and asked what they were doing, but in a friendly way and he seemed genuinely interested. On a lovely morning like this one, any excuse for getting outside is a good excuse.
After finishing this walk I still had the best part of 90 minutes left, so I drove round to the other side of Fringford to attempt a handful more, having got to the car with 17 finds in the bag. This turned out to be the now traditional frustrating end to the morning, involving a few misses, some annoyance and a general feeling of hurriedness. I think this contributed to me deciding the following morning that I really couldn’t be bothered to drive far.
The caches I found on this Tuesday and the preceding Saturday were:
- 2 Stiles: Shelswell Loop
- 3 Ways – Shelswell Loop
- About Turn 2 – Shelswell Loop
- Blackberry Loop – Half way
- Blackberry Loop – Welcome to Fringford
- Fraxinus excelsior: Shelswell Loop
- GAP (not the shop!): Shelswell Loop
- Lark Rise to Candleford Green – Round the Bend
- Lark Rise to Candleford Green-Stoke Lyne 2.5miles
- Newgate!: Shelswell Loop
- On the way to POO Stinks/Sticks!
- Poplar Spinney: Shelswell Loop
- Shelswell Solar Farm View
- Snail’s Pace
- The Old Gate!: Shelswell Loop
- Warin’s Barn View – Shelswell Loop
- Willaston Spinney: Shelswell Loop
- Aesculus hippocastanum reprieve: Shelswell Loop
- Ash -Shelswell loop Extension
- Barney Rubble – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Church – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Cornered: Shelswell Loop
- Cottisford Pond – Can’t see the wood for the trees
- Cottisford Pond – Conkers
- Exhausted – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Field Boundary – Shelswell loop Extension
- Hedge your bets!: Shelswell Loop
- Home Farm Lane – Shelswell loop Extension
- Needled – Shelswell Loop Extension
- NP approach – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Prickles – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Roots: Shelswell Loop
- Sheltered – Shelswell Loop Extension
- Something Fishy – shelswell Loop extension
- The Lake: Shelswell Loop
- Unloved Bridleway! #2
- Willow – Shelswell Loop