May 22nd – Turtally awesome!
Spotted at James Bridge, on the canal between Pleck and Darlaston on a bright, warm, sunny day, a female, adult yellow-bellied slider turtle drifting down the canal on some drifting detritus while basking in the sun.
She was probably released into the canal by some idiot who couldn’t keep her any longer having no idea of the size she’d grow to be. Fortunately, this animals will live happily (but not breed) in the UK climate.
This is the urban Black Country, post industrial, inner city in 2018. We have non-native turtles drifting on the cut, enjoying the sun.
Just one of the many reasons I love this place with all my heart. There really is something new every day.
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.
May 14th – A lovely lunchtime ride into Walsall from work, and I took the canal. The sun was warm, bright and welcoming, the canal alive with wildlife and growth, a green motorway for birds, insects and walkers.
The lilac at Pleck, Sallow at James Bridge and just the air of quiet summer growth was wonderful. A real joy to the heart.
And who did I spot on my return to work in the afternoon? Curled up into a comfy black furry circle, Sam the elderly Kings Hill puss, dozing contentedly in a sun dappled spot, no doubt dreaming of his younger days and soothing his bones in the summer warmth.
It doesn’t get much better than this.
February 2nd – I had to leave work and pop to Walsall mid morning, so I hopped on the canal. Passing through James Bridge, I noticed a works compound had been set up, and butties and a utility boat were blocking the canal under the old IMI bridge. From the contents of the compound, it seems a particularly daft folly is about to commence: the tearing up and resurfacing of one of the best canal towpaths in Walsall.
The stretch from here to Walsall is being relaid by the Canal & River Trust, apparently as a cycle route, for reasons I’ve been unable to discern; but one thing I’ll guarantee is the person who decided it was needed was not a cyclist.
The towpaths here are wide, smooth and well made, in contrast to those from Aldridge to Rushall Junction, which are unusable in winter, or those through Pelsall to Goscote. The money spend here will be an unneeded waste.
September 24th – For the first time this week, a really decent day with lots of sunshine, but the cold is creeping in – it barely crept over 16 degrees all day.
The birds on the local canals didn’t mind, though – the Walsall swan family were, as usual, hustling for treats, but the herons – a twtchy young gun in the morning and a more relaxed, slightly mad looking elder hand in the evening – were stubbornly self-sufficient, as ever.
I love to see these guys. They fair made my day.