I spent the last few days of my vacation staying with Sarah and wandering near Cambridge.  Sarah is a fantastic tour guide, happily sharing some of her vast knowledge of the area, its history, and its flora and fauna.  Our first stop (after an excellent lunch) was Hayley Wood.  Beautiful, and fascinating to see the different stages of coppiced trees.
The coppices weren’t the most photogenic things, though:IMG_7624

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Such an interesting-looking tree!

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And then, with a discussion of Roman versus Enclosure period roads, we headed to an extinct medieval village called Clopton.

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I saw these kinds of patterns in lots of English fields.  They’re called tram lines, and they’re where the tractors go through for crop maintenance stuff.  This field is just downhill from Clopton.

Clopton

Clopton itself was where this hillside is, with the manor under that clump of trees.  The photos don’t really show it, but in person, we (Sarah, Alison, and I) could get a sense of how the village might have been laid out and a bit of how life might’ve worked.

On Saturday, Alison couldn’t join us, but Sarah, Andy, and I went walking in what used to be the Fens, along the Ouse wash.  It was amazing to think of the canal on one side of the bank we were walking along having been used to drain the entire surrounding area.

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But kinda more amazing to see a seal!

a seal!

(Yeah, I know, the photo doesn’t look like much.)

But after that walk, and an amazing lunch, we went to Ely Cathedral, on one of the fen islands.  (Um, what used to look more like an island and now just looks like a hill.)  Very different style of cathedral from the ones I’d visited the previous week!  Both because it was a few hundred years older and because it was in England rather than Italy–I quite liked the Celtic influences in the ornamentation.

Ely cathedral

And here I shall end my travel-blogging with a photo from Sarah’s garden:

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Maybe I’ll actually post some fibery content (other than Malham sheep and llamas) next week!)

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