When we were getting up and getting breakfast this morning, we could hear a knocking sound. Something seemed to be banging the side of the boat. The was a metallic sound but it wasn’t clanging. Sometimes we a boat goes past, the water lapping or a fender hitting the side, as the boat moves, makes a noise but this was not on the bank side and was not as a boat passed.
We looked out and saw a swan tapping is beak along the boat. We couldn’t tell if he was trying to peck something off, explore, or was confused by a reflection on the paintwork. I lifted out the window and it stuck its beak right up to my face I pulled back and perhaps he got as big a fright as me as he didn’t stick his head in the window again.
From inside the boat , the knocking is quite loud. From outside the wind was louder! Normally if someone comes to your canal boat to visit, they don’t knock, as that usually involves stepping on to your boat. They are more likely to call out, or wave at a window. People usually ask permission to step on to your boat. Swans have no such qualms. I’m waiting for one to step on one day!
We made a short journey today. We had excellent views of a kingfisher, flying forwards repeatedly. They fly away when you approach. Of course they don’t associate people with food, like the swans. We were surprised a little while ago when a wagtail landed on the roof of the boat, briefly, while we were moving along.
We soon arrived at the next village. I am not sure how to pronounce Gnosall. When we came in to the moorings, I spotted my narrow boat namesake.
As we were approaching the Gnosall moorings, I had seen a couple of other things I wanted to photograph. I had thought a boat had a bird painted on the side, but as we got nearer, I realised it wasn’t a bird. I walked back to that boat to get a picture, and later I saw the owners arriving and told them I liked the picture and they were happy that I had taken the picture but apologetic that the boat was not looking its best. Being under trees in autumn, inevitably collects leaves on the roof ….well everywhere.
The name reminded me of the other thing I had seen lots of on this canal, that I wanted to share, showing us the history of how the boats used to operate with horses in stead of engines. It’s seen often on canals but was very obvious in Shropshire. Many bridges are reinforced with metal as the ropes or straps attaching the horse to the barge rubbed on the stone and wore it away. But the metal also got heavy wear and you can see it on the posts.
We both like looking at the different names and designs on the boats we pass. Today we are moored opposite this one. I’m sure it was once someone’s pride and joy but the paint needs more than a touch up. It’s still afloat and may have a magnificent makeover soon.
We had a short walk into the village and found a little collection of farm animals and another honesty box. It has a tube to drop your money down and it landed in a bucket on the other side of the fence, so trusting people to pay, but guarding against those who might steal the money. Feeding birds and being fed by birds costs the same.
The goats were very keen to come to see you and falling over each other and trying to get through the fence. I winced bit at sound of clacking horns as they butted each other.
The white geese , on the other hand, showed their reputation as guards by noisily hissing and wagging their tongues at us. They didn’t seem at all pleased to see us!
I don’t know if we’ll be disturbed by any other wildlife in the morning, but we have heard owls hooting tonight already. I don’t expect them to try to get in though.