Total Pageviews

Thursday 6 April 2023

Holes and Niches.

 Predictably after trying to make sure No.1 granddaughter was tired out we did the same to ourselves and we were in bed early and woke up a little late. It was a nice day, little wind and the odd sunny periods.

The Laughing Duck opens at 0930 and there was a steady stream of elderly folk in bright Lycra heading over the speed bumps on their bikes to have a coffee or something edible. Cycling has really become mainstream these days and electric bikes are spreading the age groups too, along with their range

Of course as soon as we were ready to set off, everybody else was too, as well as others coming up the locks. It was a bit of a delay before everything was sorted and we headed off up the locks ourselves. There was other boats arriving from the Coventry Canal too but it gave me a time of sitting and waiting outside the Swan for the almost obligatory photo.

On our way to Fradley on Saturday No.1 daughter saw something that I hadn't noticed in all the times I had passed this way, and I remembered to take a picture on the way back. I hope you can see that there is a hole right through the trunk of this tree. I think it may be a beech tree. Looking around the internet this is called a natural graft (I think).  I can't work out whether it is a tree that has had a split and then regrown into one trunk, or it is two saplings that have grown together.

Unbelievably having pointed out the first just a few metres further on we saw a second! (This was actually the first we saw, but as were are retracing our route is now the second photo!). This one appears to much more clearly two saplings that have grown together as the hole starts at ground level. The width of the trunk above the unification appears to be larger than the single trunk trees nearby. One cause could be that as the surrounding trees develop shade is thrown on these saplings and they then grow in different directions and but into one another. As these pictures are pointing almost north the two trees in question would be facing south across the canal so would be relatively unshaded.

Wood End Lock is becoming a bit of a bind. At the lower approach, where the moorings were on the off side, it has been quite shallow over about half way across the channel. Given there is often a bit of congestion here, if you drift too far over towards the old moorings you are in fear of going aground. We were aware of this and stayed over. As another boat came up astern of us as we were waiting we moved up the lock landing to allow them to hang on the end rather than drift about. When we came to move into the lock we were fast aground! I did the usual things but in the end had to use the pole and a fair bit of effort to get the stern off. I can only think that the mud from the other side has moved across by the passage of boats, or the by-wash has brought silt down from the upper moorings. We had been looking in charity shops to see if we could find anything to leave in the niches in the lock bridge, and we left a couple on the off side. It will be interesting to see how long they stay there.

We swung round to go stern first onto the fueling berth. We had a bit of a wait for somebody came to serve us, but this gave us time to load up the car which was closer than where our mooring was. After 40 odd litres taken on we headed off, swung round to head to our mooring and then did a great reverse into our slot, stern first. The wind was very helpful as there was very little! Whilst Helen and I got the boat empty and readied for leaving the younger generations went off in search of a nesting swan. Perhaps luckily they didn't find it but they did wave to us from opposite the fuel berth. I have often wondered why on earth the marina would put up this sign, to be read from the water, when you would have thought that a boater would know it was deep water. One would have thought that it should have faced the other way to warn people on the land. It is not a new sign and has been changed since Aquavista took over the marina.

We were soon packed up and were off. We had a good run home and it was quite sad to leave our new recruit at her house with little brother, Mum and Dad, but she enjoyed herself so we hope to have her for longer in the summer. It maybe a different kettle of fish when No.1 Grandson can also come along. We will be even old then!

We have no idea when we will be back at the boat due to various factors but we love it so much that hopefully it wont be too long.

No comments: