I've visited Dorney Lake on a number occasions over the last few weeks. It's a good place for blowing away the cobwebs, enjoying a big sky and (if there is any) seeing some winter sun.
The cornus (dogwood) shrubs are at their best at this time of year, when the vivid coloured stems brighten up the winter gloom.
Windsor Castle completes the scene.
Even on less sunny days, they brighten the views.
The prunus blossom is early this year. (It was actually in flower two days after Christmas when I was there, although this picture was taken this week.)
Preparations are under way at the lake for the Olympics, and I'm not impressed with the huge security fence that has been erected around the site.
I understand that it will be taken down afterwards - I certainly hope so.
The positioning of the fence seems to have been done in a particularly unsympathetic way.
One of the stunning features of the arboretum that borders the lake is this 'Lime Avenue'.
This is how it looked in March last year - a sweeping corridor of lime and cherry trees. Two imposing granite obelisks frame Windsor Castle in the distance if you are centred exactly between them.
So where did they put the fence?
So much for the 'green' Olympics!
It's still possible to get through the fence in places and these shots are taken from the other side, at the opposite end of the Lime Avenue.
No doubt the whole site will be out of bounds for quite a few weeks during the Olympics - I'll miss my walks there.
Roll on 2013 is all I can say! (Ok, I didn't manage to get tickets to see the rowing at the Olympics, so it's probably a case of 'Sour Grapes'!)