Mighty mound appears near pump station. Still wet. Not much done on land mass this week? 20th February 2021
Yet more rain. I swear I'm growing fungus in my feet.
I did a mid-week visit, early on Thursday morning. No sign of anything working on Manor farm. Indeed, the gates across the bailey bridge were firmly closed to vehicular traffic!
I am not sure if Inert worked on the land mass this week. It didn't really look so. I did spy a mighty new mound of spoil between the bailey bridge and pump. Intriguingly, I also spotted more spoil had been added to the already huge spoil that has existed on Chandlers farm since I started this blog.
While Inert may been missing from Manor farm this week, there were lots of banging and crashing on Chandlers farm. I can't see this activity from the south footpath, but it does indicate that Inert are cracking on.
Whether they return to Manor farm this coming week, remains to be seen. I hope they do not stop work until August because of the breeding season. Nothing is going to breed on the mess that is the land mass and infill.
I did not make it to the pump station on Saturday. You see, after visiting the north end of the land mass, I decided to eschew the vehicle track and strike out south east across the flattened infill. The area has had time to settle, and I hoped it would be firm.
Well, in racing parlance, the going was firm to very soft, so long as I kept moving. Unfortunately, just when I got to a slightly more boggy bit, I stopped to photograph a Grey Heron passing overhead, and I began to sink into the mud. Trying to reverse my direction of travel only made matters worse.
I thought, should I spend five minutes, trying to remain upright whilst extracting myself or should I crawl out? I decided to crawl out. I took my hat off, put my camera in it, put the two on the mud, then proceeded to crawl out. It is amazing how little you sink in the mud - barely made a mark on the stuff. Took me all of 30 seconds to crawl to firmer ground. I must have looked ridiculous, but I didn't care as it was effortless.
Only now my hands were muddy. I should have put my gloves on. Anyway, I wiped as much of the mud off as possible, grabbed my camera and set off. The remaining mud on my hands dried very quickly, and transferred itself to my camera and lens. Arrgh! I had to beat a hasty retreat back home to clean the equipment. Sigh.
You may notice a marked improvement in the quality of my photos. I traded in my Tamron 16-300mm lens for a Sigma 18-300mm lens. There was nothing wrong with the Tamron lens. It is just that the zoom ring on the Sigma and Tamron rotate in the opposite direction. I have a Sigma 150-600mm lens and was frustrated in having to remember which direction to twist the zoom ring.
The 18-300mm Sigma gives me sufficient range for wide angle and zoom shots of Manor farm. Thus I needn't use the Panasonic bridge camera - though it did give me an effective 1200mm zoom.
Anyway, enough boring stuff. On with the restoration. I popped by Manor farm on a bitterly cold Wednesday morning, and was quite surprised to see lorries on the land mass. There were at least two tipper lorries and one grab loader, plus a large, red tractor. No idea what that was doing.
I guess the frozen ground was solid enough for lorries to drive on the south vehicle path and reverse onto the land mass.
I did not pay a site visit on the weekend. Partly as it was still bitterly cold, and partly as I was a little lazy - not expecting Inert to do much over the remainder of the week. Famous last words.
I'm not sure what is going to happen when march comes along. There will probably be a lot of pressure from certain members of Moor Green Lakes group for restoration to cease for the breeding season. But honestly. There is so much disruption on Cormorant lakes north and south, I do not think anything will settle down for breeding. Far better to continue the infill of Cormorant lakes north and south, and leave Finch pond for any breeding - especially of the ground nesting birds. There is no cover for them on Cormorant lake infill due to the continued activity.
There is a precedence for this strategy. A couple of years ago, infill continued with Finch pond, leaving Cormorant lakes north and south for breeding.
I paid a site visit on Wednesday, fairly early on in the morning, but I declined Saturday's stomp.
I believe it has rained every day, in some manner, for about a month. There was certainly no let up this past week. Wednesday was raining when I paid a site visit. Large ponds every where on Manor farm and the footpaths. Strangely, the Blackwater was not particularly high.
It's hard to tell if any major work has occurred on Manor farm. The land mass looked a little flatter in some areas, but it might have been my imagination. I found our bulldozer driver working away near the pump station. He was pushing liquid mud (for the most part) from the south vehicle track northward onto what will be Manor lake.
There were no signs of lorry traffic (i.e. tracks) across the bailey bridge. All I could see were one set of bulldozer tracks. This might be due to me arriving quite early, about 8:15am.
As I left the site, and got to the sewage works, I noticed that the bulldozer driver had worked his way westward, and was now pushing mud onto the land mass, somewhere near my mighty mound. I thought, initially, that work had now shifted to the pump station as the land mass was simply too wet and boggy. Seeing the bulldozer neat my mighty mound could suggest I was in error.
Anyway, there is, allegedly, a let up in the rain for about a week. It might be replaced by snow for a while, though nothing fell last night, despite the Beeb and Met Office being adamant that snow would fall. Temperatures, for the following, are expected to be zero or below - and that's during the day.
The last week of January 2021 was wet, wet, wet - with a bit of ice and snow thrown in for good measure. Saturday had wall to wall rain; very heavy in the morning, light by mid afternoon, then heavy again.
Sunday was bright, frosty and cold; with lots of ice warnings from the various met offices. I didn't fancy wading through lots of water and mud, accumulated over the week.
I'll try a mid week site visit this week, but yet more rain is forecast.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.