June 5th – This is an urban canal in the Black Country – Between Walsall and Darlaston, at James Bridge.
It runs past the site of what was one of the most polluting factories in Europe: James Bridge Copper Refinery.
The canal is green with water lilies, and dappled with yellow and white blooms from them; flag irises aggravate my hay fever but line the water margins. Two families of Canada geese promenade in the sun.
Not all change is for the worst.
May 14th – At Bentley Bridge, a proud new family – mum and dad and five cute goslings.
The parents hissed at me to be careful, but were tolerant as I greeted and watched the brood they were clearly very proud of. The goslings just acted like I wasn’t there.
A delightful encounter on an urban, industrial Black Country canal bank, and one of the reasons this place is so dear to me.
April 5th – There will be a series of muggings on the canal in coming months.
A pair of familiar criminals met me on my way home – gone for the winter, these fair weather foes appear in the spring every year, and raise a local brood, surviving on the abundant local greens – but also on the tidbits and seed they bully out of passers by whom they harass for treats.
If you’re on the canal between Clayhanger Bridge and The Black Cock, take seed or something to shoo them off with…