It’s still September

If I’m not careful I’ll catch up with myself, blogging at this rate.

Tuesday 20th September ’16

A “Grade ‘A’, grey day”* on the pond. What’s the correct spelling of GREY (or GRAY) anyhow? Apparently gray is used more in the U.S of A. but grey elsewhere although either is OK wherever you are. see herelink.
Ivy flowers have pollen covered stamens to coat wasps, bees, flies and hoverflies when they come for the nectar.
The seeds of the sycamore spiral slowly down helicoptering as they go. The low speed of descent allows the wind to carry them far afield. I hate sycamores. They spring up any- and every-where and grow so fast that other trees have little chance to compete. Continue reading

Keeping on with June

As you, gentle reader will be aware, I walk along the canal towpath most days. What won’t be so obvious, to those who know me as a surly old curmudgeon, is that I have many a happy word for those I pass.

Generally folk will greet each other and me with a fairly cheery “Hi” or comment on the weather. Some will pause with a comment, often about my camera or something they’ve seen that they think was worthy of a snap. Added bonus is meeting people walking dogs. Much fuss can be made of our four legged friends.

I know quite a few anglers because they are often at or near the same place on so many occasions. My usual greeting to them is “Doin’ owt?”. This usually brings either a lament: “Nar, it’s rubbish. They’re not bitin’.” or “Just lost a big ‘un.” or, quite rarely, “Great – twelve in t’ last hour.”

Cyclists are a different kettle of fish. Most are OK – tingling their bells at a reasonable distance and thanking you as they pass. Some just sneak up, the first you know is their tyres hissing on the gravel as they near your heels.

It’s a sign of the times that single women usually pass in silence often with eyes cast down. Can’t blame ’em – there’s a whole load of yobs round here and nothing to mark me as an exception.
Continue reading

Last week of October

Done very little:

Friday 25 October 2013

The grebes are still plodding around the pond. I’m sure that the constant “chweep; chweep; …”* of the youngsters would be enough to drive a human parent mad.Grebe chick speeding to parent


Most amusing is to see the chicks speeding towards a newly surfaced adult who hopefully has a fish. Their double footed swimming action leaves a considerable wake.
*(Translates as: “gimme fish; gimme fish; …”)

Up the canal towards Sandy Lane bridge there’s a weir. Not obvious to the casual walker when the vegetation is high, there’s a paddle raising gear to the side of the towpath. I don’t know what this controls …Paddle lifting gear at Sandy Lane Weir


… but it must be connected with the culvert that joins the bottom of the weir.DSC_3837culvert


As the mechanism is apparently rusted shut any guesses must be just that – guesses. My own opinion is that it’s to drain the Stret lock to Morse lock pound – for maintaining the bridge?

A short while ago there was a fire which lasted a week and more in the “reclamation centre” (aka “tip”) just west of Sandy Lane. Coincidentally fish died in The Canch* about a mile away t’other side of town.


watertocanchThis map shows how water from the fire could run down to the dike running from the railway to the R. Ryton and hence down to The Canch. I don’t know if the paddle and culvert are connected with the dike but it must pass under the canal at almost exactly that point. I’ll possibly try to look up towards the head of the dike sometime in the future. I suppose it’s the kind of thing every local lad and lass knows about but I’m an offcumden.

*Presumed derivation (?):
CANCH or CAUNCH (N.): That part of the roof of an underground roadway, which has to be taken down, or of the floor to be broken up, in order to equalize the gradient of such roadway;
A sloping slice removed from the roof or floor of a mine roadway to adjust the gradient between adjacent workings.
(Don’t really see how this matches, but it’s all I can find on t’net and this was a major mining area.)

DSC_3894CrowUnlike some, I find the crow family quite fascinating. They’re such large birds to be so common.

Cloudy skies always fascinate me. There’s always such a variety of shapes and as a backdrop to trees they can’t be beaten.

DSC_3900DragonflyOne of my final dragonfly pictures of the year, this red common darter was on the towpath near the winding hole.

DSC_3918LadybirdHarlequin ladybird on a post which was …

DSC_3922Ladybird… accompanied by a larva when I returned

DSC_3925Grass Just a grass flowerhead beside the towpath

DSC_3934GrebeOne of the juvenile grebes

DSC_3956KesA rather distant Kestrel.


Pond & canal is all:
DSC_4049FlockNot sure if these were crows or starlings.

DSC_4058CanalMy favourite canal view around Worksop. St. John’s church spire reflected in the water with fifty shades of green to the side.

DSC_4063SunriseSun rising over the pond.

DSC_4086BirdA Dunnock: showing how a bit of ‘shopping can bring out some detail.


DSC_4113GrebeGrebe parent reflected in the calm water.

DSC_4130Grebe Juvenile grebe scurrying to see if parent has brought food. Interesting the way they use both feet together, I think ducks generally alternate feet.

DSC_4135GrebeGullYoung grebe near a gull. Gulls will dive at surfacing grebes to try to snaffle any fish they have.

DSC_4147MallardThis mallard was having a bath for about ten minutes.

DSC_4169BirdsaerialTelevision aerial a bit overloaded.


DSC_4181GrebeLooking a bit ragged, having a flap after a dive. There’s a fish in the beak that you can barely see.

DSC_4189GrebeFishHere’s the fish …

DSC_4196GrebeFish … and here’s junior coming for dinner.

DSC_4224MoonThought this was quite good for a hand held daytime snap.

DSC_4241RipplesI’ve taken pictures of ripples loads of times. Must be how they make bathroom window glass.

Walked down to The Canch, there’s a small rose garden; although it’s not really as good as it was, there’s still a few blooms


DSC_4904HawthornDunno why I took this but I like it.
DSC_4934CanalSeen this view before?
DSC_5002TuftiesTufted ducks have returned for the winter.
DSC_5009HeronI almost stood on this heron as I rounded a bramble bush.


Nothing exciting:

A red admiral sunning itself on graffiti for a final time before finding somewhere to hibernate for the winter:DSC_5070RedAdmiralDSC_5094RedAdmiral

DSC_5107ShaggyInkCapThere’s a small patch of shaggy ink cap fungi just west of Morse lock. They slowly dissolve away as the black inky spores develop.

DSC_5260LichenLichen patches on canalside stones.

Kestrel …
DSC_5217Kes … passing by …

DSC_5328Kes … almost overhead …

DSC_5365WindHover … and hovering distantly.

DSC_5440KesMag Magpies will mob kestrels …

DSC_5444MagpieKes … given half a chance.


Birds, birds, birds …
DSC_5574Swans Pair o’ swans

DSC_5627SwanOne of the swans curious about possible food source – me.

DSC_5609GimmeParent and child.

DSC_5679RobinHiding in a thorn bush,

DSC_5715Robinand tweeting territorially.

DSC_5721CrowStrange beak!

DSC_5756RGBRGB colours all used.

DSC_5809Ducks Flypast

DSC_5849HeronHeron on the mallards’ feeding place.

DSC_5873HeronAnd closer.

DSC_5962GrebeJuvenile grebe scooting up the lake.

Friday 31st October

DSC_5987RobinCaptioned for twitter as:
Oy! You lookin’ at my bird?

DSC_5996RobinHere’s looking at you!

DSC_6006birdDistant bird as photographed …DSC_6006YelllowBird


… and after a bit of ‘shopping. I’m told (twitter) it’s a green finch.

DSC_6016ChaffHad this as a chaffinch but twitter tells me it’s a bullfinch: a new bird to me.

DSC_6081DucksAnother pair of mallards doing a flypast.

DSC_6094CowParsleyQuite architectural against the sky: cow parsley seed head.

DSC_6113TrackMy track in the morning dew

DSC_6116NemoReally spiky hawthorn twig. Captioned as “nemo me impune lacessit”.

DSC_6125BirdSilhouetted bird – what bird I’m not sure.

DSC_6129TreeGraceful tree against a stormy sky.

DSC_6300MallardTouching down.

Trying videos:

That’s a four second quickie.

And a five seconds’ worth of leaves in the wind.

I’ll get the hang of videoing with the Nikon eventually.
Anyhow. That’s October done.
November’s started wet so far. – see you later!

October arrives …

… not with a bang but with a squelch.

Please click pics to see ’em bigger.
A lot of the pics have captions visible when you “mouse” over.

Did that thing today: blanked someone I’d often seen. The lady from the mews who’d asked me for pics of the house greeted me in B&M – hadn’t a clue who she was until she said. She always seems taller when seen across the canal for some reason.

Did you know that the devil goes round on the night of September 30th – October 1st and gobbles all the sweetness out of blackberries?

Generally so far it’s been soggy but not really cold this month although you can tell it’s not summer any more.

The grebe chicks are learning to fish for themselves but seem to rely on their parents still. The juveniles follow the adults two on one up and down the pond.

Flying insects are almost done for the year but a few dragonflies and butterflies are making a last showing.

Anyhow, on with the pics:

Tuesday 1st October 2013

The grebes, adult and juvenile, stay as far from the bank as they can – unless I’m on one bank with my camera, in which case they’re within inches of the opposite one.
The swans were really practising for the winter trip south, a couple of days later they did the buggerin’ off.
Ivy looks almost architectural – there’s more to come later ’cause I like ’em.
And a couple of the flying insects. The dragonfly pic is really crap – it was about fifteen feet away and dodging about like a … dragonfly.

Continue reading

Gonna …

… have to stop bloggin’ pics soon, ’cause I’m approaching my free storage limit on WordPress and I don’t rate this blog enough to pay out for it. Reckon I might make it to the end of October and then I’ll just stick ’em on flickr.

Please click pics to see ’em bigger.
A lot of the pics have captions visible when you “mouse” over.

Saturday 21st September 2013

Walked up the lane to the underpass. The river looks beautiful just yards away from the bridge. The feather on the canal caught my eye floating and spinning in the breeze. Spiders are ubiquitous at this time of year, great big bodied fat ones sitting in the centre of their webs, gripping threads waiting for blundering flies. The magpie was a chance capture down near the cricket pitch. Lastly a fairly representative pair of butterflies.
Continue reading

Kiveton Park 12 July

Anyone reading this is likely to be painfully aware that I mostly – like 95% mostly – blog pictures of flora and fauna on Godfrey’s Pond in Worksop and the Chesterfield Canal between Retford and Kiveton park.
This post is no exception. It starts round t’pond and continues with the walk from Kiveton Park back home.
Lens: the 70-300, while bloody good at the 300 end of its throw, is just too slow at focussing to be any good for rapidly moving wildlife. So I’m almost solely using 18-105 which is lovely. Obviously it’s not as much use for distant birds and such so I’ve been playing about with the editing prog “the GIMP” to pull out some pseudo-closeups from distant pics.
The Nikon D7000 on fast repeat is really fast. I’m out for ½ an hour and there’s over 150 pictures all of which have to be looked at before blogging a few. Those that I’m going to use I editlink before uploading.

Just click on any pic to embiggen.
Round the pond meadow browns, gatekeepers and ringlets seem to have taken over from speckled woods. Didn’t notice the spider until I looked at the pic on the computer a lot later.


Fauna: two of a chiffchaff in its customary place over the footpath (I played with GIMP on these two to show what can be pulled out of a distant picture), an unidentified moth, a ringlet butterfly and a couple of blue/green flies. Flora: flower and fruit of a lime tree and some beautiful rose bay willows.

The old path down the eastern side and underneath Dog Kennel bridge shows how it was formerly a turnover or snakelink bridge.
Fauna: waterfowl are quite rare on the top pound so a moorhen chick was worth snapping. There are some bloody big fish – I’ve seen ’em over a foot long. Even sparrows are beautiful and this was one of the first red admirals I’ve seen this year so you can have two pics for the price of one.
The canal itself is really worth seeing up here. Verdant is, I think, the word. The woods drooping over one side and eighteenth century bridges across make it a must visit any time of year.

Herons always do the same: as you approach they up sticks and fly a couple of hundred yards down the water. After a few repetitions they realise that you’re following and change tactics by flying back behind you.

I’ve shown the flights of locks down to Worksop so many times that I’ll not bother my (few) trusty readers again.
Pudding dyke bridge is the last on the top pound. It is named for the small stream that comes down from Thorpe Salvin and continues on from the weir to Lindrick Dale where it joins Anstone Stones Brook to form the River Ryton.
Flora: a fungus (is it flora?) and a couple of pimpernel flowers.
Fauna: Unidentified caterpillar; unidentified small bird up a tree and the tufted female and her two remaining chicks.
Odds: Bertie Basset in a canalside garden.