An early morning Cambridge.

Close up of clock

Close up of the Grasshopper clock Corpus Christi College Cambridge

I  needed to go to Cambridge to take photos when there was sufficient good daylight and an absence of people. Fearing greater activity with the easing of restrictions, I rose and ventured out early, very early in fact. Leaving my house just before 5 am, I was parked up in Cambridge at 5.57, there was just one other car in the car park when I arrived. Using back roads for the journey in I saw probably no more than six vehicles but I did see a black squirrel, it darted across the road in front of me.

Black Squirrel

Black Squirrel from Dash Cam

I had brought two cameras, just in case, I didn’t want to repeat my journey, normally I use the guided bus, parking at St Ives. Given the current state of affairs and the necessity of an early start I used the car. Walking along Emmanual Road beside Christ’s Pieces another squirrel scampered out to cross the road a grey one this time.

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel crossing Emmanuel Road, no traffic fortunately.

Cambridge was the quietest I’ve known it. The combination of a Saturday, the earliness of the hour, lack of students and the lock down all combined to give the place a sense of total abandonment. The destination was the corner of Benet Street and Trumpington Street, to photograph the Grasshopper Clock housed on the wall of the Taylor Library at Corpus Christi College.

Graashopper clock at Corpus Christi College

Graashopper clock at Corpus Christi College

 

It is for me a beautiful piece of work, functional artistry.The clock is mechanical, using principles first developed by John Harrison in the eighteenth century. The grasshopper sitting on top, gobbling the minutes up one second at a time There was just one person I saw sleeping rough a woman in a shop doorway along Trumpington Street. An improvement from the many I have seen in the city at other times. Why can’t we look after people better?

Deserted Trumpington Street looking towards Gonville and Caius College

Deserted Trumpington Street looking towards Gonville and Caius College

I was back in the car and driving away before 6, the walk back to the car park saw market stalls being set up but I didn’t notice one shop that was open. The same car was the sole occupant of the car park when I left for home.

Christ's College entrance

Christ’s College entrance

 

2 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve never seen a black squirrel.
    Looking it up… (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-49328867)
    There are thought to be around 25,000 black squirrels in the UK, with numbers largely concentrated in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

    Black squirrels are the result of “interbreeding” between their grey cousins and the North American fox squirrel. A study by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge says the difference between black and grey squirrels is simply the colour of their fur, emerging from a faulty pigment gene. The first wild black squirrel, recorded in 1912, was believed to have escaped from a private zoo having been imported from the United States.

    Reply

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