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Down Under

by wilvir

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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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Time Travel

(viewed 1036 times)
A few nights ago I could easily have been persuaded that we'd slipped back in time. Just before midnight, as I shut the boat up for the night, I could actually hear the rhythmic chuff-chuff of a Severn Valley railway steam engine in the distance and an owl 'hooting' close by. A moment in time made all the more captivating by the bright moon reflected in the still water of the canal with its backdrop of ink black trees silhouetted against the moonlit sky and the smell of wood smoke.

And, guess what? Last evening was just as magical, with a bright moon rising behind a darkening deep blue sky and owls calling to each other amongst the trees; though without the chuff-chuff of a steam engine to accompany the 'silence'.
28th Sep 2012, 14:20   comments (8)

Totally Unexpected

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1. A watercolour of an otter.
2. Walking home after sighting 'my' otter I came across this uplifting display of flower baskets adorning the front of a wharf cottage.

I experienced one of those unforgettably rare moments last evening whilst standing above the River Severn on the bank below the fairground at Stourport-on-Severn, contemplating the power and speed of the flood-water rushing past just yards from my feet.

Just below the coffee coloured surface, dotted with tree debris silently streaming past like racing F1 cars, I saw the blurred shape of a drowned four legged animal, but unusually, perfectly splayed out face-down in the water, coming downstream.

In the instant that it drifted level with me, and to my complete surprise, it rolled over and the whiskered face and creamy white bib of an adult otter appeared, staring across at me as it skimmed past on its back, as cool as you like, not ten feet away. In seconds it had porpoised below the surface and was gone. I was so taken aback and delighted I told three passersby of what I'd seen who all said they'd never seen an otter in the wild. How fortunate was I?

It had been a long time since I'd last seen an otter and believe me I stare at and explore water habitats a lot. It was the last thing I expected to see in those flood conditions at that time and place. Sadly no time to ready the camera, but the experience will stay with me forever. Fantastic!
27th Sep 2012, 12:48   comments (2)

Towpath or Dyke?

(viewed 980 times)
Our Location: B10-B9, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

The rising level of the River Stour, just as darkness fell, is now above the level of the canal below Falling Sands Lock.
24th Sep 2012, 20:31   comments (0)

Here Comes the Rain Again

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Our Location: Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, B10-B9
24th Sep 2012, 19:43   comments (4)

Asides - Dunsley Tunnel

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Just 25yds long!
24th Sep 2012, 17:36   comments (0)

Asides - Devil's Den

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A narrowboat house cut into the rock just north of the aqueduct carrying the canal over the River Stour between Prestwood and Stewponey
24th Sep 2012, 17:33   comments (0)

Asides - Hyde Lock Cottage Gates

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North, above Kinver Lock, Hyde Lock cottage has continued the lock theme right up to the front door.
24th Sep 2012, 17:24   comments (0)

Asides - Another Sorry Sight

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This wooden barge is full of water and lying on the bottom above Kinver. Alledgedly the owner is the very same who was trying to refloat another barge he owns in similar circumstances on the Grand Union Canal near Wolfhampcote, just west of Braunston, when we were there last.
23rd Sep 2012, 11:34   comments (3)