A Week Photographing the Local Patch

I'm very fortunate in being able to divide my non-travelling time between houses in Shetland and in Oxford.  One thing I've noticed is that around Shetland I usually work quite hard at finding photographs, but in Oxford the pictures I take tend to be grabbed as I'm doing other things.

In some ways this is a function of the how I have, until recently, used the two places.

Oxford was where I spent my commuting and desk time, so inevitably photography needed to fit around other activities.  Shetland was mostly down-time. It was where I came for R&R, and there was always time to find, and take or make, photographs.  Maybe it's also true that I was more energised by the wildness of the Shetland landscapes and seascapes than by the rural and urban landscapes around Oxfordshire.

This week, in Oxford, has been a bit different. 
Sunday: Dramatic start to the week
I made the optimistic decision, perhaps encouraged by last Sunday's dramatic sunrise, that I was going to seek out photo opportunities rather than just hope that something would turn up each day.  

Monday: Talking about my pictures at the Jam Factory
The weather around Oxford certainly co-operated with my decision. Lots of heavy rain transformed Oxford into something more like Venice, but the heavy rain almost completely avoided the daylight hours and some bright winter sunshine gave every incentive to get out with camera in hand.  The floods around Oxford have transformed many of the familiar scenes of fields and roads into lakes and canals, and provided new perspectives on familiar places.

Tuesday: Oxford Botanics and the overflowing River Cherwell
Tuesday: Paddling on the Thames
Tuesday: Abingdon Road
I've walked, and waded, familiar paths but seen them very differently.  I've walked through parts of Christ Church Meadow, and seen the Cherwell spread way beyond it's normal boundaries.  I've looked down at the Thames as it spreads it's way around Iffley Lock.  I've also seen the chaos around the Abingdon and Botley Roads in Oxford as normal business gets put completely on hold.
Wednesday: River Thames looking to Iffley
Wednesday: Annie's Tearoom car park, Thrupp
A little bit further out of town I've got to places where there has been some flooding, but not quite the same disruption.  Annie's tearoom at Thrupp, just north of Oxford, stayed in business but was advising against using the car park.  
Thursday: Botley Road
Thursday: Allotments beside Botley Road
Port Meadow has flooded, as it is supposed to do, but at least the council car park was still usable, even if the picture area looked a bit damp.
Friday: Port Meadow
Friday: Port Meadow
My final stop of the week was to out to Otmoor, to see what all the rain had done to the water levels there.  As you might expect, the fields around the RSPB reserve had been transformed into shallow lakes, but under blue skies looked very dramatic, and I was even rewarded by an evening display from 50,000 roosting starlings.
Saturday: RSPB Reserve at Otmoor
Saturday: Starling Murmuration over the Otmoor reedbeds
And to round out the week, another Sunday Sunrise.
Sunday: Another lovely sunrise
Some of these images have already appeared in my blip daily photo  (www.blipfoto.com/rossmackenzie), and if you want to see more from pictures from this week, there others on my flickr account. (www.flickr.com/rossmackenzie).

One interesting suggestion was to retake the watery images once things have dried out - I'll be doing that, but I suspect it'll be a few weeks before it's possible.

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