Westport mist

Sunset over Westport Lake. We drove there through a cold fog and emerged into a thin mist hanging over the lake. The wildfowl came towards us wanting food but we had gone there on the spur of the moment so had no food. The visitor centre had just closed so we couldn’t get a warm drink. Westport Lake now has parking machines so we had to pay for the privilege of going for a walk. We took a short flat walk around the lake its not far, but far enough for me at the moment. I got left behind a few times but I managed to get round. It’s a start to the new year.

Westport Lake

While we were at the Waiting Room gallery in Longport we decided to go for a walk round the lake. The local council has bought in parking charges at the lake (I’m not sure if they have started taking money yet), but rather than driving there we left our car on the street and walked a few hundred yards along the canal to the lake.

As you walk along you see the sad dereliction of the industrial heritage of Stoke-on-Trent. Buildings that used to use the canals for transport are falling to rack and ruin. Firms buy them up then instead of restoring them and perhaps nurturing the buildings and creating museums or even apartments like they have in Manchester or Birmingham, let them fall down or burn down!

Leaving the sad buildings behind, we walked along the canal towpath to the lake. We bought a bag of bird food and fed the wild fowl around the lake. Worryingly we did see a Canada goose with what looked like mucus hanging from its beak. There is bird flu in the country which is very harmful to the birds. Once round the lake and then back along the canal. A good walk.

Waterbird

Silhouette of a waterbird taken a couple of days ago on a walk round Westport Lake. I liked the way the small rock in the water looks like a birds head with a beak. It made me look twice because the actual birds head was looking forwards, towards me. It does give the illusion that the head is turned in profile in the reflection.

wet water bird

waiting in the drizzle

reflected sorrow

for a little food

your mind stretches

to a new tomorrow

where sun follows rain

and warmth

replaces shivers

Autumn colours

This was a real leaf today. Its a bit blurred, but the colours are accurate. I walked around a local lake today, only a week later than I intended, but it did me good. It was grey and overcast, there were not many bright leaves, but right at the end of the walk I saw this. Half disintegrated, but colourful and cheerful on a gloomy day, it bought a smile to my face.

Hollyhocks!

Unusual to see hollyhocks on a walk round a nature reserve like Westport Lake. I guess the seeds may have been dropped by someone feeding the birds? It’s more the plant you would find in a cottage garden?

I’m glad it hadn’t been grubbed up. It suddenly reared up about six foot high next to the low hedge of the maze that has been created at the far end of the lake. It definitely is a hollyhock plant, my mum used to grow them in our garden. When the flowers fade they make big round seed heads that easily break into flat seeds, shaped a bit like orange or satsuma segments.

Scones

Our tea at Westport lake cafe was coffee and scones with jam and clotted cream.

I put jam on first, then cream on top. Some people do it the other way round (cream first) how?

Scones are pronounced scownes rhymes with owns or scons, rhymes with ones. It depends what part of the country you live in… For a small country we have a lot of differences in accents!

Swans protecting Cygnets

We saw this family of Swans on our walk round Westport today. The Cygnets are almost adult size now and are stretching their wings and legs and are starting to change from soft down to white plumage.

As we stood and took photos several people walked past with dogs. The male Swan reacted by hissing loudly. One woman and her friends had three small dogs with them. Her friends walked swiftly by but she was panicking and wouldn’t move so I asked her to hand me the dogs lead and I held it while I stood between the Swan and her dog. The Swan just hissed but didn’t attack. She got past and I carried on with my walk. X