Monday, 13 June 2022

Early Summer's Abundance

Mindful of the ever increasing rise in travel costs, we decided to abandon the car at home and take the steep walk down into one of our valleys. 

'What joy, to receive

from each towpath dragonfly

  it's dismissive glance

The vegetation alongside the canal towpath was lush and verdant. Richard Llewellyn's acclaimed novel 'How Green was my Valley' came to mind.

The pleasing architecture of the traditional heritage humpback bridges are a familiar feature along our canals. Built to a classic design, they have stood the test of time for more than 250 years.

The hedgerows were filled with a bountiful supply of sweet smelling elderflowers. If picked now, they make a delicious summer cordial.
The wild bramble blossom appears to forecast a plentiful supply of blackberries. With luck, they will be ripe and ready for picking towards the end of August.
We came across a fisherman who showed us his catch of three good size Roach -
Rutilus rutilus. A member of the carp family, they live in slow-flowing water. Happily once he had shown them to us, he threw them back into the canal where they jumped up with a splash and dived quickly away, much to the surprise of this passing swan.
We passed beneath another bridge, but soon we must think about making tracks for home - it's qute a long walk back.

A female Swan glided past followed by her seven downy cygnets. 
There is a deepwater weir immediately after one of the bridges and we did wonder how this male Swan would make it up on to the higher level. But he simply hopped out of the water beneath the bridge, and then followed us up the steep pathway. He watched his family glide past, then jumped into the canal and headed off to join them.

Back home we enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea in the garden.

44 comments:

  1. It's a good thing to be coaxed into exploring locally and perhaps if the price of fuel remains high, more of us will do so. It's beneficial for air quality too. There is obviously no lack of appeal right where you live, Rosemary. Between you and John I get to experience, albeit vicariously, the joy of the English countryside.

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    1. We are fortunate to have so much on our doorstep or simply a short drive away. There are five different valleys in all with many pathways and hilltops to explore. We appreciate what surrounds us especially during this very strange period of our lives.

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  2. At this time of year a local walk like that is the equal of any worldwide. Watched the black and white film 'How green was my valley' recently and enjoyed it. Growing up beside a former mining village and industrial hub we were always finding evidence of 'lost world' type structures: old buildings reclaimed by nature and overgrown yet it was also very lush and green with parents who had lived through WWII rationing so they were used to collecting on walks..., fallen leaf compost for the garden for growing veg, collecting crab apples, brambles, and elderberries for making jams and jellies and home baking. As a child going on walks it certainly made life colourful and fun.... and tasty! Things that are making something of a comeback now.

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    1. I am sure that the walks and the things you mentioned that you did as a child have led to your adult life of adventure - climbing mountains and enjoying the friendship of others who are like minded.

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  3. I am not sure about the book, but I remember seeing the film How Green Was My Valley in high school. The tears for strikers, hunger, deaths and unemployment flowed everywhere.

    "Lush and verdant", on the other hand, is full of hope, food, family togetherness and warmth.

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    1. I was thinking solely about the title Hels.... as Huw Morgan was about to leave home forever, he reminisced about the golden days of his youth when South Wales still prospered, when coal dust had not yet blackened his beautiful green valley.
      Long may my green valley remain verdant and lush.

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  4. What a beautiful walk, and I love that haiku! Your own garden in bloom looks gorgeous!

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    1. That particular area of the garden is filled with the scent of the mauve thyme at this particular moment in time.

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  5. I can't tell a male from a female swan...is there noticeable difference? Lovely garden. I enjoyed the canal path...er tow path.

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    1. It is true Barbara you cannot tell a male swan from a female swan normally. However, at this time of year the male swan has a large black protrusion at the top of his beak because he is in season and the female does not.

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  6. With such beautiful sights you could find yourself wandering quite a ways from home. I would so enjoy a walk along the path that runs under the bridge.

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    1. It was peaceful, tranquil, and there were very few people around - I think you would enjoy walking there too.

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  7. What a delightful walk. I hope you came across a lot of dragonflies. Unfortunately, it is years since I have seen one here. We had lots when we were on our 5 acre property further north. Your garden is a lovely peaceful retreat.

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    1. Yes, we did see lots of dragonflies and some small beautiful kingfisher blue damsel flies, but they were flitting around so quickly that I could not catch them with the camera.

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  8. What a gorgeous walk and how lucky you are not to have to drive everywhere. I wonder, do you see canal boats in your neighbourhood?

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    1. Not on this part of the canal but on the main thoroughfare canal there are lots. I will take a walk down there soon and post some.

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  9. You do live in such a beautiful area, Rosemary. There are many places to explore. We walked along the canal path in Stroud on a very very hot day and under at least one of those pretty arched bridges. The swans are a lovely sight to see on the water. Thank you for sharing this walk with us.

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    1. It would have been really lovely if we had been able to meet then and walk together.

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  10. Very pretty walk and love those swans. The cost of petrol or diesel is expensive these days however still plenty of people driving about down here.

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    1. The cost appears to rise almost daily. However, the same is true here, everyone continues driving around as usual. Many of course have no choice due to their work. However, we have decided to be cautious, as we are also very aware, that travel adds to climatic and polution problems too.

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  11. A lovely post, and a beautiful walk. I like those old bridges. Your garden looks gorgeous. I'm so glad the fisherman put them back. The swan and babies are delightful, clever mr swan.

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    1. We were amused when we looked around and saw him making his way up the path behind us.

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  12. What a beautiful and green walk! Lovely! Wow, your garden...I would love to sit there with a cup of tea :)
    Titti

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    1. Everything has grown like topsy this year Titti including lots and lots of weeds.

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  13. What a lovely walk along the canal, Rosemary! Bountiful lush vegetation, beautiful bridges, the swan family… all are so lovely. Before I read your explanation, I had thought the fish was carp family as I’m familiar with big opened mouth of carp looking for food. When they open their mouth in crowd, a little scary and funny at the same time. Recently my husband I often walk and use public transportation instead of driving.

    Yoko

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    1. We are very conscious of trying to keep our footprint as small as we can whenever possible.

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  14. Dear Rosemary, I see many places for ducklings and cygnets to hide in that beautiful water and and luscious green. Your garden is even more beautiful now that it has had time to grow.

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    1. Dear Gina - sometimes I wish that the walled garden was our only garden. As we get older there seems so much work to do in the garden - thank goodness for the girl who helps keep the weeds at bay and the man who cuts our grass.

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  15. Thanks for the stroll down your inviting canal path. My daughter mentioned to me a few weeks ago that she had decided to take in very local festivals this summer and strive to visit places nearby that somehow she hadn't yet had the pleasure to investigate! During these times of prices rising daily (at least here!) it only makes sense. As mentioned this morning in our french class, another said she had noticed not only have the prices gone up but the quantities have gotten smaller. It pays to read the lables. I now find often buying 2 of the smaller boxes is cheaper and includes more quantity that the larger size (!) maybe the producers haven't produced the larger size yet with smaller quantities?

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    1. Really lovely to hear from you Mary.
      It is exactly the same here, prices are increasing on a daily basis.
      We all thought the Pandemic was an extraordinary time for us to live through, but for many it is now becoming even harder to manage.

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    2. Even though I haven't often written comments, I have been reading and enjoying your blog, Rosemary! Such a photographic eye you have to capture the beauty of your journeys. It is always a joy to view your blog. I just wish I could be there with you to see it in person!

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    3. Oh! how lovely that would be Mary - I am sure that we would enjoy being together.

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    4. I agree, Rosemary! Isn't it amazing to have had so many opportunities (sometimes for even short periods of time) to make acquaintenances with strangers so far from home - and...just with our words on the screen! It is just lovely to have made your acquaintance, my friend!

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    5. What a really lovely message Mary - may be, one of these fine days. we might meet.

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  16. Dear Rosemary, what a beautiful walk along the canal! It made my heart ache with remembrance of all the rides with the narrow boat - the the old humpback bridges are well remembered, and the trillions of locks which had to be served...
    I love the sweet smell of elderflowers, here they mingle with the last wild hedge roses, which sometimes reach a height of more than 3 meters. We too have beautiful summer days at the moment (though a bit hot the last days - weather forecast for today: 36 ° C! )

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    1. Dear Britta - it has been far too hot here - I am unable to function when the humidity is so high. My husand is in the far north of Scotland for four weeks and I am left with the responsibility of watering our many pots of flowers. I was so grateful yesterday when the rain Gods suddenly sent us a very heavy dose of rain.

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  17. Lovely tale of what seems like a perfect day .

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    1. Thank you for visiting Jane and I do hope that all is well with you.

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    2. Thank you Rosemary , all is fine , just spending more time on Facebook . xox

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  18. I loved taking the walk with you. What a beautiful place and such great pictures.

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed the walk - this is such a beautiful time of year for us all.

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