These are nice moorings. You can tell that without even looking at the view because most of the length of the towpath has been restricted by They Who to forty-eight hours. Not even “allowed” to stay a complete weekend! There is room for perhaps three or four real boats* to squeeze in for the more legal fourteen days maximum (the restrictions aren’t just the bit with the picnic tables and ready-made “bar-beak-oohs”, they extend far past that area). All part of the strident blue plastic touristification (new word) of the canal network by a corporation that hasn’t got Clue One.
[* Space, that is, if you carry a machete with which to hack down the canal-edge weeds in order to be able to see what you may moor to…]
I am moored with tall hedgerow to one side but I still love these moorings because of the open horizon on the offside. Cows and crows. Also moorhens, Canadada da da dada geese, (foul-)swans (ugly bullies of the avian society) and a hawk or two of some kind. There are sheeps (the four-legged kind, not the human kind) on the other side of the hedgerow.
Today – in weather terms – is gloomish, rainful and with an excess of coolth.
These are the eggs of the Lesser-Spotted Artist bird. This species lays its eggs on picnic tables, and is a close relative of the spider species that crochets woollen nests in trees and bushes, and on lock beams. The it of the weather was dry yesterday, and these certainly haven’t been varnished. If it’s poster-paint then they may well not hatch and might return to being simply stones.
We are fortunate indeed that the Lesser-Spotted artist bird does not sit upon its eggs to hatch them.
As far as I know.
Lots of things are building nests around here. The Priestman “JCB” is constructing its birthing-mound of mineralised Triassic peri-glacial fractured depositions upon which it will lay perhaps two or three small motor-mowers or a building-site cement mixer.
TBH, Bridge 82 on the Shroppie could do with a young cement-mixer.
The bridge has been like this for many a while. Some say, disingenuously, that the damage is related to the road traffic over the old structure, but I think it more likely – as no doubt will the Canal & River MisTrust – that this is evidence of damage by a high-flying boat, smacking into the parapet well above water-level.
May the Greek and Roman gods help the poor bu*gger that is cruising under when it finally lets go, and may that poor bu*gger not be me.
Those compression “roof-tie” things that were intended to stop the structure bulging are now proud of the brickwork and doing little to stop its glacially-paced collapse.
Boaters (especially live-aboards); they’ve got no respect for anything. Kill ’em all I say, and let Mr God sort them out. Rushing up and down pell-mell, full-tilt, helter-skelter with ne’ery a care for the waggle-stick or the acceleratrix or the dis-velocitator.
The Cardinal and I found a pre-trampled section of un-especially-restricted towpath upon which to fling our ropes. There’s a smidgen of such at either end of the “The Visitor Moorings” nonsense. Finding such is not a tactic that is going to work in winter, methinks, when there’s less of the “busyness” about the moorings. In fact, come springtime the whole system will probably resemble something from one of those documentaries about what Milton Keynes New Town (1946 Act) will look like a few years after the human species disappears.
Yes, that huge out-growth to the lower right of frame is the towpath edge where we are invited to moor up and commune with Father Nature and get Wellyness By-Watered.
That said, once tied up (ooh er Missus!) you can’t beat a good commune with the crows and the cows.
A bit of “greening” of the soul, after the hectic metropolitan hither and thither of Audlem City.
Of course, it might just be mildew…
Talking of long-(brain-)dead things, the The Watery Wellness Trust Ltd took time out to ask me (and nine thousand million other people) to take their online quiz to discover what canal animal best describes my Inner Me. They’ve been running some sort of “appeal to especially thick toddlers” campaign suggesting – and I kid you not – that we all go down to the canal as soon as possible to commune with our “spirit animal”. A chap shuffles along to their official website and answers a few questions about which sort of butterflies are the sexiest and whether he’s ever seen sunshine on a rainy day, that sort of thing, and the official system generates an answer to the creature that typifies his “inner spirit”.
Only the Canal Company Corporate could have taken my answer of ‘Dust Mite’ so seriously…
Apparently I’m the only one.
Scary thing is, do they not know that someone somewhere somewhen will have typed in a finite list of possibilities, or do they actually know that this someone really has entered ‘dust mite’ as one of the spirit animal answers for their customers?
p.s., the actual answer from their system for me was “bat”.
The system didn’t specify soup-, fruit- or ding- …