Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Purley and Pangbourne

This time a local walk - I am lucky to be able to walk from home and taken in some beautiful river and woodland scenery. It did not start out all that promising, it immediately clouded over after the sun had been out for the previous few hours. I walked down to Purley-on-Thames and joined the Thames Path. Just at this point I saw a plant (possibly a garden escape) alongside the path, it was Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum)

Tutsan,Hypericum androsaemum

For most of my three mile walk along the River Thames there were lovely autumnal views across to the woodland on the Oxfordshire side.

autumn,view

On the edge of a field I spotted a heron (Ardea cinerea) strutting slowly along. There were cattle in the same field and a bullock took exception to the bird and chased it off soon after I took this picture.

heron,Ardea cinerea

Another striking view over the river...

autumn,view

I found Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) at Purley-on-Thames, some plants were in fruit as well as some still in flower.

Black nightshade,Solanum nigrum

The views kept on coming. In this one you might be able to make out alpacas close to the river across the river and a cormorant at the top of the tree.

autumn,view

And there were quite a few boats moored; with the cold windy conditions not a single boat was actually sailing along the river.

thames,boats

A pair of swans were nibbling away at duck weed where a stream joins the Thames.

A marshy patch was home to a large clump of gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus) now in fruit.

gypsywort,Lycopus europaeus

Walking over Pangbourne meadows I came to the Whitchurch toll bridge and decided to make use of the autumn light to visit the church at Whitchurch-on-Thames. This attractive view is of the old mill on the river Thames with the church behind it.

whitchurch

The church has a number of interesting old memorials but it has been tidied up a little too much in the Victorian era (1857 ) - which had taken away some of its original charm. An Anglo-saxon church stood on the site as far back as the 9th century.

whitchurch church

I then took my normal footpath back home to Tilehurst. It passes along a stretch of the River Pang.

River pang

The path climbs up into Sulham Woods. Many of the beech leaves had fallen to give the woods their winter carpet.

autumn woods

I did a short scout around in the woods looking for fungi. I only found one, some form of Lactarius (funnel fungus) I reckon.

fungi

In the middle of the conifer section of the woods the afternoon light was creating a nice sunbeam effect.

That was the end of the walk that ended up taking 8.5 miles - a much longer one than I had originally intended.

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