#365daysofbiking Repellent magnetism:
September 22nd – There’s a current fad happening on local canals at the moment that’s really bloody irritating.
Well, perhaps not the activity itself, but the end result. Chancers get hold of very strong magnets on the likes of eBay and then tie them to a line and dredge them along the canals to see what metal they pull out.
I guess they’re looking for interesting stuff, but nobody’s going to pull out gold coins, only ferrous stuff, obviously although I’m not sure the anglers have twigged that yet.
The problem comes when they pull out worthless junk: They just leave it on the towpath for some other poor sod to deal with, where it blocks access and really makes the canals look messy.
To my mind, these people are, at the very least, littering and should be prosecuted if caught.
Thankfully, selfless and dedicated volunteers in collection boats – here seen passing through Tipton – are working to clear up the mess left by these irresponsible, greedy scavengers.
August 9th – The herons are still ubiquitous on the local canals and it’s not hard to see why; the numbers of fish these quiet, urban waterways are host to now is quite amazing – you see shoals of them surfacing and for the comedically shabby, grey expert fishers these must be good times indeed.
This one who seemed fairly elderly was clearly annoyed at me disturbing the catch of the day, and continually flew away, only to land 20 yards further up the towpath and have to move again as I pressed onward to work.
I’ll never understand why herons do that.
December 27th – Crossing Catshill Junction Bridge, the ice was treacherous and I was glad to be on studded tyres. Whilst taking the photograph of Humphries House, I could hear a nearby radio, and was confused where it might be coming from. Coming down the bridge towards Brownhills, I noticed a tent in the darkness; there was a fisherman there on the far side, with all the kit for night fishing.
That’s hardy on a night like this – respect.
July 27th – Pottering along the canal on the way to work through Bentley Bridge, I noticed this juvenile heron; I can’t tell if it’s the same one I spotted a few weeks ago, but it’s clearly hunting well.
Quite bold and determined I wouldn’t disturb it’s fishing activities, the bird kept an eye on me but didn’t flinch when I stopped to take a photo or two.
I love these mad looking birds and like the deer, I can’t believe we have them now; it’s a sight I marvel at as I’d never have seen these on the canals when I was a child. A real sign of environmental improvement.
September 15th – I had to visit Tipton of a hot, humid and hazy afternoon. The traffic was intense and the atmosphere oppressive and thick, but glancing over the canal bridge near Owen Street, the canal looked beautiful in the soft sunshine, and near a disused arm bridge, two young lads were fishing in a scene that couldn’t have changed much for decades.
The Black Country has a knack of showing its beauty when you least expect.
June 14th – I was heading out to Newchurch, to check out the elegant spire I saw across the valley on last week’s ride, but this wee cat, on a garden fishing platform caught my eye at Catshill.
Such determination, but it can’t reach the water without falling in…