Shane had made his countdown to Christmas plan for travel. There may be some days when we can not travel and we need to catch that up with an early start or staggered lunches, but today we have done our set distance without an early start and finishing comfortably before sunset.
Shane noticed rubbish and recycling disposal at the stop lock. While operating the lock, a cheery chap chatted to me and advised on where the water was. The post was quite concealed so his confirmation was helpful. While waiting for it to fill, I could see through the fence, a large Archimedes screw shifting shedloads of water. I remembered seeing one like that in The Netherlands operated by a windmill. We happened to go to see it in action on a very windy day (not unlike the strength we have had with storm Barra) and it was moving the water to drain the land and could shift a ton of water a second! What power there is in the wind and in water!
I was mentioning that I loved the bright red berries on the bushes, like hawthorn and rosehips. that are the brightest thing around at this time of year and thought I saw a row of such bushes approaching. It turned out to be a shrub with reddish stalks in stead.
Just after that we noticed an unusual sign for a towpath. No roadworks surely on this grassy country footpath?
As we got closer we realised it was bridge reconstruction with scaffolding that slightly obstructed the path. The sign still seemed redundant as it was a bigger obstruction than the scaffolding pole.
Going through, the substantial scaffolding was obvious on the other side though no men at work were to be seen. Perhaps they are busy clearing things that have fallen down in the storms. We did see a recently fallen tree but it did not obsruct the whole canal, so not a priority to deal with. Shane saw last night that part of our proposed route ( The Macclesfield) had been closed by a fallen tree, but today it has reopened again.
We have covered this area before and when I saw a much more attractive bridge, Shane said he was sure I had taken a picture before. I believe I was unhappy with the picture I got. Perhaps I was driving or using the wrong camera. I think got a better shot this tme.
Later when I was driving I saw a large branch across the canal. I did not know how much was submerged and this canal looks wider than it is, as the water is very shallow on the non-towpath side. Shane went to the front to look and got the boathook ready, while I approached slowly trying to both give a wide berth but not get grounded, and let Shane get close enough to deal with it. He managed to push it sideways and gave me a thumbs up that it was safe to proceed.
We only saw one moving boat today, one that went past very fast and moved us more than the gusts of wind. On a dull day the birds hid a bit but as usual there were lots of moorhens and ducks. We also saw a little grebe twice today and a bird of prey flew across the canal that Shane guessed was a buzzard. None was still enough or near enough for a picture. Shane tried to get some blackbirds in a tree but the berries he took were better than the birds.
No wonder people were prepared to gather Holly for a decoration, despite their prickles! I can’t see me gathering hawthorn or rosehips, both being very thorny, but I might make some more Christmas decorations, as the sight of my wee Christmas tree has made me smile every time I saw it today! I will be a bit slow, one string of tinselly streamer at a time!