Friday, 13 September 2013

Newts and Mink down the Stratford –Thursday 12th September 2013

We awoke to a damp and misty start but this soon cleared and became a warm sunny day.  As Graham leathered his boat down he found 4 tiny Newt/Lizard like creatures clinging to the hand rail. unfortunately they were gone by the time I got the camera.
We left the Rowington embankment and as we passed through Turner’s Green spotted this old beamed farm house sitting just below the canal. (Ivy House Farm)1 Ivy House Farm Turners Green
We motored on to the Tom pub at bridge 63 where they serve some very different Fish Finger Sandwiches, well worth a try. We spotted these goats playing together trying to knock each other off the barrel before filling with water at the tap just beyond the bridge.
2 Goats Playing next Tom of the Wood
We soon came to Kingswood Junction where we made a left turn down the arm to the Stratford Canal and again turned left through the old lock chamber to head towards Stratford.3 Kingswood Jnc
The first few lock gates are very heavy to operate and the locks seem to take an age to fill, a far cry from the rapid and relatively light Hatton flight we had just come up, although they are in a very pretty setting.
4 Locking down Stratford
As we continued are journey we came across the distinctive Stratford Canal barrel roofed lock cottages some of which are now holiday let units. Several boats passed us with a mixture of South African and Australian crews, it seems that this must be a popular time for their visits.
5 Cottages
As it was a nice day we decided to moor up for the day opposite the Fleur de Lys pub well know for its Pies although it is many years since they were made here. I can remember travelling out to the pub to sample the pies and finding the car park bursting with cars, scooters and motor bikes such was its popularity. In those days the canal was not open to boats and you could look into the crystal clear water and see the fish and water creatures swimming lazily about.
6 Fleur de Lye
At the water point below bridge 41, C & RT were unloading their work boat having returned from the work site. There were about 6 or 8 vessels moored here plus several lorries so presumably they have a big job on somewhere along the canal.
8 C& RT Equipment at lowesnord
June decided to do a bit of cleaning as I went across to have a look at the old Fleur de Lys pub so I sneaked this picture of her on the bow.9 June Cleaning the Boat
I spotted this unusual Drip Tray device fitted to the chimney of a boat moored nearby. It would appear that he burns wood and this helps keep the nasty tars off the paintwork.
9a Novel Drip tray for chimney
Jean and Graham phoned to ask where we were as we were mooring up and so came straight over for a coffee and chat and to tell us about their lovely cruise to the Baltic countries.
Just after lunch we heard a commotion outside with a Moorhen and something swimming across the canal to the recently rebuilt overflow, so we rushed out to find a Mink hiding under the towpath tunnels. First he poked his head out then went through to the other side, came back, and eventually made a dash for the stream into the adjoining field.
9c Mink
I did manage to get this close up picture of him still wet from his swim across the canal.
9b Mink
The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing on the towpath enjoying the sunshine.

No comments:

Post a Comment