BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘nine-foot’

#365daysofbiking Hair and gone

March 23rd – Meanwhile, over with the red deer at Chasewater, the seasonal moult has started, and the ladies who looked so healthy and fine a week ago now look like threadbare old rugs. They are also covered in dried mud, which they roll in to try and liberate the irritating cold weather coat.

It’s natural of course, to lose the winter coat, and the scruffiness will soon pass; but my favourite ladies always look so grim at this time of year.

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#365daysofbiking On the up

March 10th – Despite the generally rather dry winter, Chasewater continues to fill after the rain of the last few weeks,  and the slow rise is evident at the Nine-Foot pool.

Elsewhere on the lake, there were no watersports and next to nobody around, and the fierce, indefatigable wind kept all by the hardy away. But for all that the light was beautiful and the air at least made me feel a bit better.

I look forward to calmer, warmer weather.

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#365daysofbiking Rising, steadily rising

January 27th – It’s good to see the water rising again at Chasewater. I noticed today that the level had now reached the balancing culverts at the Nine Foot Pool, and now was probably around a metre off being full.

This is quite good progress considering how low the level was late last year to facilitate anti-erosion work on the causeway.

Of course, to make up that last metre, it takes a lot of rain, but it will be nice to see it full once more.

Tat awful quandary, the needed but unwanted rain…

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June 23rd – Slipping out to catch the sunset after a much needed rest day, and the weather gods didn’t let me down.

I’m experimenting (again) with a new camera to me – a Canon G1X. Liking it so far but I think it may be a bit advanced for this poor snapper.

A gorgeous evening, but the sheer amount of bugs that rose all of a sudden on the dam as night fell were a bit of a trial.

March 5th – Chasewater was a blessed relief, but a mud bath. The North Heath was so wet, I was surprised to see the red deer browsing it over by the railway, seemingly unconcerned that they must have been paddling in the water.

There was a well-dispersed herd of maybe 14 adults, peaceful and in good health. It’s been a while since our paths crossed, so it was a nice reward to see them on such a grim, unpleasant afternoon.

I noted with some amusement that there’s a deer run developing around the fence by the Nine-Foot Pool – I wonder if they’re using the canal bridge on the far side to avoid the toll road?

February 26th – The water level at Chasewater is lower than I’ve seen it for a while. Interestingly, rather than open the valves fully, there’s a good flow into the canal, and the balancing culvert between the Nine-Foot pool and Spillway has been opened, allowing a steady stream of water to flow into the Crane Brook via the drain system under the canal.

I understand why the level is being dropped – with the dam being permeable, if installing drains you want the installation to be as dry as possible – but I’m puzzled by the method. It has, however, been convention since the original dam works to allow the reservoir to overflow every spring, so perhaps this is to irrigate the spillway marsh as it would be normally.

Interesting too to see the white scale around the lowered waterline. It that salt, or something else?

June 25th – Swans are inscrutable, they really are. On the Nine-Foot Pool at Chasewater, with the level still just about overflowing, a pair of birds sleep on the concrete spillway weir, seemingly oblivious to the natural plant detritus around them.

To me, the spot they doze in looks uncomfortable, chilly and precarious, but to them, it’s clearly just the right place to get some shut-eye.

Occasionally, I realise how much I don’t know about wildlife.

March 10th – For the first time in what I think must be two years, Chasewater is overflowing into the spillway again. That means it’s as full as it can now possibly get. From an environmental point of view, this is interesting, as during the wet winter the lake has filled from it’s tributaries, and held back their flow from the rivers Trent and Tame where they would otherwise end up – now the overspill will got into the Crane Brook, and flow several miles downstream to the Tame at Tamworth.

At the moment, the flow is fairly slight, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few days.

It’s something to note that the water is overtopping the weir fairly evenly, which is quite a testament to the engineers who constructed it: the horizontal looks just about spot on!

March 6th – Chasewater is very nearly, almost but not quite full now. I reckon another week to ten days if we have a mild spell of rain.

The authorities seem to let the reservoir overflow once every year or so. Perhaps they’re stress-testing the dam. 

February 7th – A better day, but still grey and showery, with a building wind. I nipped out for a short run to Chasewater, where I noted the water level still rising and the valves still closed. It’ll be interesting to see if the powers that be let the water overflow again this year.

Over at the Chasewater Railway, I noted a new arrival – a rather unusual looking shunting engine with a very continental appearance. It’s carrying the Corus logo – once of course British Steel and now Tata – and from a little Googling I can see it’s come from the former Lackenby Steelworks, which closed a while back.

It’s an interesting thing and I’d love to know more about it. It certainly looks very powerful.