Locks

Lock at Etruria, steps up to the road and over a bridge at the top. When the snow is thick I actually think its easier to walk in than when it’s like this. Slushy and slippery. But snow doesn’t last that long these days. Last year was as hot as 2016, which was the hottest year on record in the UK.

It would be good to take a long walk along the canal in the summer. Under dappled shade from the trees. Watching canal barges and boats putter past with their gaudily painted castles, and roses painted red, gold and green.

Short walk round Etruria

A few views of the area near Etruria Flint Mill and along the canal towards Shelton. Then we walked along the main road back to our starting point. By then the mist was dropping down and fine flakes of snow had started to fall so I drove us home… At least we fed the geese and I had a short walk. That’s four walks in five days. A couple of years ago I would barely walk a couple of hundred yards. My friend has encouraged me and I’m starting to really enjoy it and feel a lot fitter for it.

Hubby’s mad boat

After struggling for a couple of weeks to get this toy speedboat working the boat was transformed into a combination DIY SOS and Waterworld/MadMax theme. (He’s used up most of my cotton to hold the sails up). He thinks he might put it on the lake in the park or on the canal. I’ve suggested it needs a string adding to the front so if it gets caught in weed he can get it out….. I like the way he’s added sails that rake backwards, but I wouldn’t want to sail in it, especially in a choppy sea!

Cygnet

This cygnet came over to see us while we were by the canal today. Sadly I had nothing to feed it. If I had thought I would have taken some brown bread. You are really supposed to feed them grain, but signs went up a few years ago saying don’t feed birds bread and some birds starved in the winter. I think the important thing is to give birds small bits of bread, if it’s big lums it can swell up in their crops and clog them up, also I guess it might be better if it’s a bit wet? Not sure, but as long as its not mouldy….Next time we visit I will take some bread x

Potbank and canal Roses

Painting, acrylic on canvas, from about three years ago. This is loosly based on the yin yang symbol. The blue is for water, the canal runs next to a lot of potbank, it was used to transport pottery around the country. The flowers are meant to represent canal Roses. They were a design that was used on metal objects on canal barges, like pots and tin watering cans and jugs. They are also painted directly onto the barges as decoration. The potbank shape curves round and is sometimes held in place by metal bands.

Cloud over Barlaston

Soft little clouds

Fluttering like bird feathers

Swirling down the air currents

Darkness falling

Now the moon rises

Shadows lengthen.

Time to stretch our legs,

Head home,

A long, flat walk

Into the dusk.

Bat’s flitter overhead,

Moths race to our torches.

Mistaking them for the rising moon.

Home in time for supper.

Blue sky lost in the dark….

Daliah?

Are they? I think they are. Seen by my friend during a walk. They were in a garden along the canal. These were such a bright colour she took a photo of them.

Flowers are wonderful thing, such amazing structures, with colours outside of the visible spectrum that attract insects to pollinate them. They sometimes use the ultraviolet end of the spectrum to show insects where their nectar is. The trouble with flowers like these is that there are so many petals that the insects can’t get at the nectar. The human intervention of breeding flowers could have a detrimental effect on insect life. There are plants that are advertised as bee friendly, but sometimes that’s all it is, an advert. Single flowered plants are probably best.

Reflected water

From ssummer two years ago. A reflection and mirrored image of the canal surface at Middleport. Taken when we went to see the ceramic poppies that were used to decorate the bottle kiln at Middleport pottery. The art work of thousands of ceramic poppies travelled round Britain in 2018, to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918. If I find a photo of the poppies I will share it.

Homeless…

My hubby just saw lots of people under canal bridges tonight bedding down for the night… Even someone with a mattress on crates. Crazy how people were helped during lockdown are now forgotten. I suppose the hotel owners who were putting them up want their rooms back. But surely the government should have come up with solutions while they were in lockdown? Or am I wrong to think that people are important and should be cared for? Added to that a lot of people whose furlough is ending are soon going to be eligible to have rent arrears action taken against them. Case of apocalypse postponed not averted.