1 Dec 2017

1st December 2017 As if through a glass, brightly.


Friday 1st 33-38F, 1-3C, calm with heavy cloud. Another overnight frost with early hail and sleet showers. 

A distant view of a landmark catching the early morning sunshine.  An 80m [260'] high, concrete tower, built in 1953 on a local high point near the crossroads at Vissenbjerg, has been used for years as a TV aerial mast.

Full zoom and cropping, with typical misty haze, has done my image no good at all. It looked far sharper through my binoculars. The tower usually appears rather dark and much more distant. So it was interesting to see the landmark standing out so clearly from the familiar, undulating landscape.

The tower's appearance has changed over time as different antennae are attached or removed.  Most recently the emphasis is on mobile telephony. I have just discovered, for the first time, that there is a lift inside for the public to reach the observation galleries.

At 111 meters [364'] Vissenbjerg is already the highest inhabited village on Fyn and has a long history going back to 8300BC and the earliest archaeological remains of human beings in Denmark. It was once the hideout of notorious robbers who lived in the surrounding woods in the 1100s.

Reaching the village by road involves some of the best cycling climbs around. There is a video online of The Tour of Denmark leaders coming over the summit faster than I can easily manage on the flat!

The local hills were apparently formed by the land rising when the ice burden was removed from once, deeply buried lakes. Since the rest of the landscape had already been scraped flat the lakes rose into unexpected prominence as a range of low hills.

I have often been grateful for a sight of the familiar tower while riding the sparse rural lanes when approaching the area from the north on my trike. It was very handy to have a clear idea of location and orientation and the remaining distance to reach home. A bypass and motorway now run past Vissenbjerg to reduce the burden of traffic. The cycle shop finally closed a couple of years ago.

Hundreds of new drivers banned for mobile phone use - BBC News

Cold, wet and grey with icy surfaces on my walk. It soon began to rain but I plodded on, while trying to avoid the heavy tyre spray. Returned after half an hour as the rain petered out. It is now brightening to weak sunshine with light, wintry showers. Rode to the shops in changeable weather under a heavy sky with blue and some sunshine. There were a few thin patches of snow in the deep shadows near the woods. Only 7 miles.

Saturday 2nd 32-38F, 0-3C, calm with a white frost. Ice on the puddles and ponds and the grass was crisp and noisy underfoot. Bright, early sunshine and pretty clouds tempted me to take a few pictures. Though they didn't have the sharpness I was hoping for.

A flock of Redwings was moving between berry laden hedges. These winter visitors are similar to thrushes and have 'fierce' eyes. The low sun, breaking over the more distant trees, made them almost appear to glow with reddish-orange chests. Though it was only an illusion.

A farmer was moving a vast stack of big hay bales with a special, hydraulic attachment on the arms of a digger. I thought it would have made better sense to have loaded them straight onto a trailer to avoid double handling. Rather than placing them on the ground beside the road. I had previously imagined it would have taken a telescopic loader but the machine was quite capable of reaching the top layer.

Rode into a cold headwind to Assens. My hands were getting sweaty again in the scooterist's gloves. So I bought a pair Grip Grab 'lobster' winter gloves at a nice discount. Wearing them home proved they worked without getting sweaty though temperatures had risen to 38F by then. Claimed to work best between 0C and -10C. I'll report further on my experiences at different temperatures. Nicely light and flexible in use for gear changing and braking. Only 20 miles as early sun turned to heavy grey overcast. Still going quite well considering my reduced mileage. I passed the big bale moving exercise to see a large lorry had arrived and was being loaded.

Sunday 3rd 40-43F, 4.6C, light winds, wet start and cloudy. Late walk to avoid early rain. Treated to an airshow by swirling gulls mixed with jackdaws. Then well over a thousand Redwings moving around the local landscape. Busy, so no ride today.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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