Of Swans and Eggs

Having, somewhat pruriently, watched the swans mating, I was hopeful that they were going to stay on the pond.



A couple of rather ‘arty’ portraits of the pair.


I must confess that I didn’t take much notice of them for a while until I caught them ‘at it’ again:

Cob ‘treading’ pen

Him on the nest again

The cob was behaving quite triumphantly on the nest. Note the coot’s nest just beyond.


Things carried on much as hitherto:

although I thought there might be eggs visible in the first of the above pictures.


On the 26th April there were definitely eggs!



The nest site was in the reeds under the steep bank below Redlands School. The reeds were still not grown enough to hide the nest from the other bank.


Winterfylleð continues

Winterfylleð* was the Old English name for the month which became October. It apparently means winter filling or possibly winter full moon. It was nicked by J.R.R. Tolkien for use in Lord of the Rings.
*ð was pronounced very like ‘th’ so it was winterfilth
Tolkien‘s biography, for the interested.
I read a lot of books, not so many now – t’internet takes up an awful lot of my attention. I recall waaaaay back in Sheffield Central Library picking a book and being scorned by my father: “What do you want that for? Elves and dwarves are kids stuff.” It was, of course, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. That probably marks the beginning of my lifelong fascination with science fiction and especially with fantasy.
‡or is it dwarfs?
More on my reading matter later.

Meanwhile to carry on in October in this two thousand and sixteenth year of the Common Era:

Sunday 9th October 2016

I love skies so here’s a couple. The first is a view of the pond with a patch of blue above. In the second there’s rather more sky but considerably less blue; it’s taken looking almost due south from ‘Lady Lee Bridge’ on the canal.
Did I mention the alder beetle? Once thought to be extinct in UK, plentiful round here.
Trees on Shireoaks Woodlands are really turning on the autumn colour.
Given the hour and clear sky I always try to get a shot of the moon. Continue reading

Into May

Still playing catchup
Some old-English dates to liven things up.


Continue reading

The Wazzock’s Back

All the way from China!

All the way from China!

After a while off line – computer refused to acknowledge the existence of the internet for reasons best known to itself, I is back! My pictures are taken on camera (not phone) and are up to ten megabytes and more each so there’s no way I could upload them via the phone. For the last month I’ve been loading and editing them on the computer and downloading them to a terabyte external drive. Now I’ve got a new computer and, after pratting about with de-windozing it (i.e downloading Ubuntu Linux from the net and installing it) and putting Gimp, Shotwell, Chrome etc. etc. … on it, I’m ready to put some pics on t’net again. I thought I’d ordered a machine with Ubuntu already installed but apparently not. Continue reading

Fifth of March – to Pudding Dyke

Saturday 5th March – walked to Pudding Dyke on the summit pound of the Chesterfield canal.
Here’slink the annotated ‘Google Maps’ of the walk.

The walk

Screengrab of the Walk

Don’t forget to click the pics to see ’em bigger.
Pictures on Flickrlink.

Yup! Another pano of the pond – sorry. (not really)
Dunnocks is nice wee birds.
Ubiquitous but not easy to get close to – crow.
Jelly ear fungus. aka Jew’s ear, Judas ear. They preferentially, though not exclusively, grow on elder trees which was the tree on which Judas hanged himself – it ses here. They can look and feel like ears. Oh yes, they’re edible – but bland.


Highground bridge, next to Deep Lock at the Lock Keeper pub. There are deep grooveslink from the horse’s towing ropes in the stones of the bridge.
The hedge between Deep Lock and Wood End (Haggonfields) has quite a lot of Lichen – most of it the yellow/green stuff as here.
Just beyond Tylden Road bridge is the site of several disappeared houses. There’s still the remains of a set of ‘outside lavs’ – I am always reminded of the phrase “he (or she) was built like a brick shithouse” as I pass.


Two views from the same point: forward to Duke’s Bridge and Cinderhill; backward to Boundary Lock and the aqueduct over the River Ryton. Trip boat Hugh Henshall was in Boundary Lock – they were on a training session.
Weather was less than congenial I made half-hearted return journey starts before travelling on.
The chaffinch and robin looked as if they were deliberately ignoring each other – which I suppose they were.
Along the path to Brancliffe Grange farm there’s loads of lichen – I rather liked this elder sending new shoots through it.
Fence posts in the moist atmosphere of the north side of the railway embankment grow some lovely mosses.


Brancliffe Grange Farm. A pano from the footpath next to the rail line, the farm and the road with a line of trees.
There were a couple of buzzards overhead for a while. Couldn’t focus fast enough or well enough to get a better pic.
On the road the trees stand against the sky.
A couple more panoramas, one of the farm itself and the other of the small wood at the top of the hill. No idea why the wood is called ‘Moses Seat’ but ‘In a symbolic sense, sitting in Moses’ seat means teaching from the books of Moses, the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible’ from herelink Make of that what you will.


The canal feeder stream passes under the footpath at the far side of Moses’ Seat.
It separates from the Ryton at the weir below Lindrick Golf course.
The golf course is greatly gorsed.
In Lindrick Dale Anston Brook meets Pudding Dyke to form the River Ryton.
Beyond Lindrick Dale the old Rail Bridge is sprinkled with tiny ferns.


The footpath crosses Fan Field Farm to the railway.
The notice at the crossing point exhorts one to ‘Beware of trains’.
The weather wasn’t the best and some of the pathways underfoot were a tad muddy
A couple of great tits in the undergrowth.


The overflow that carries Pudding Dyke across the canal was flowing really full.
Tried a panorama shot to get all the overflow in focus.
There’s a Dept’ of Environment box at the side of the overflow – the cover seems to have fallen off.
The weather was on a bit of a negative swing at the time.
Tiny ‘shrooms on a tree stump.

Down the Locks to Turnerwood:

Three views of Thorpe Top Treble: from the bridge; from the corner on the summit pound and from below through Thorpe Locks Bridge. This lock was the first to be built on the canal.
Then there’s Middle Lock in the distance above Bottom Lock and Lime House Lock with Bottom above.
The weather was by now vile but blue sky was visible to the North, which was where the wind was blowing from. A couple were sheltering under the bridge – I imparted the foregoing wisdom to them (about the blue sky and wind etc.) and later, when the sky cleared and the sun came out, realised that I must have sounded like one of the local yokels being knowledgeable about country matters. Heh! Me, a true townie if ever there was one.


Milestone Lock is so called because it’s adjacent to the 17 mile stone visible in the centre of the first picture.
At Milestone lock in the lessening rain an angler was walking up trailing his bait in the water.
Brickyard Double Lock was so named because the field at the side once hosted brick making kilns using the clay from t’other side of the canal.
I’ve no idea who Brown was or why he gave his name to a lock.
Turnerwood double is usually counted as the first of the Thorpe flight rather that what seems more intuitive – the last of the Turnerwood flight.


By the time I was down towards Cinderhill the weather was glorious, it is March after all, the view across the canal was worth a picture. That’s a field of growing crops – not a manicured meadow.
The cloud in the distance attracted my notice. I have mentioned my liking for clouds, haven’t I?
Daisies blush when they’re young but lose the habit with age – just like people really.


A Long Tailed Tit doin’ the buggerin’ off. The wings are amazing.
You’ll have to take my word for it that this is a goldcrest. I did see it and its crest better but was unable to get a decent snap.
The magpie was on a multi-thousand volt cable high above the canal.
You can see where they got colours for paints way back can’t you? Don’t know whether this is a fungus or a lichen but I’ve plumped for fungus.


Treated myself at M&S at Journey’s End:



Some more of February

Catching up slowly.
Click pics to see ’em bigger. Or you can click the ‘Flickr’ links.

Wednesday 10th


Lone goosander – the flocks of a dozen or more seem to have ceased, leaving the odd singleton or couple to visit.
Not very often a magpie’ll tolerate this close an approach.
Bluetits bobble about all over. Often in the company of long tailed tits.
Accidental catch of a robin’s spread wing.

  Continue reading