looking up the canal towards AshtonWe took Jess to the vets today (more about that in another post), but, thinking ahead, i decided to take the camera with me so i could take some photos of local flora for the photo-a-day blogs. I’ve lots of shots which i’ve grouped and will be posting over the next few days (good thing too, cos i need time to recover from the 3.9 miles i’ve walked today!). Photos behind the cut, as usual..

canal high water levelThis particular group are about the canal, which we briefly walked along. its the Manchester to Ashton Canal, and of course we’ve had a great deal of rain yesterday and overnight and the canal flooding failsafes were working, not as we walked up (as we start closer to the Manchester end then walk towards Ashton for the little bit of it that we do walk on), but certainly on the way back. Obviously all the water that had been dumped into the canal was flooding each section, enough that the water fail safes were triggering, and then filling the next section. That particular failsafe was the furthest towards ashton that we walked (along the canal anyway) and it was starting to flood over as we walked there. None of the earlier ones were flooding over – the water level was a good couple of bricks below the failsafe at the lock below this one failsafe on the ashton to Manchester canalwhen we walked there.

On the way back, however, it was a different story. The failsafe on that lock had been triggered, and it was just about to flood over the failsafe on the lock below that one (you can see in the photo how close it is to the edge of the failsafe. We’re fortunate though, that failsafe on the ashton to Manchester canal - below the other twowe’ve not been hit by flooding, as so much of the rest of the UK has, and although i had to dash out to the greenhouse this morning to push the water off the plastic (where it has a tendency to puddle between the roof struts), the rest of the garden seems to be okay so far. the wind has probably caused more damage than the rain.

tree in the canalWe did see, half in and half out, in the water, a tree. It’d obviously been there a while, from the bleaching, and while it might’ve fallen in, i don’t think so, because there was no stump near by. It was probably pushed in by idiots (we saw last winter how, when the canal drains/freezes, the amount of rubbish gets pushed in there). Quite sad really. Although Jess spotted the top of a bit of metal sticking out of the water, just sticking out, and she stood there for ages on the canal bank, looking at this non-moving bit of metal (red with rust) for ages, head cocked to one side, quizzically trying to figure out what it was. Even when BP pulled her on you could still see her watching it, waiting for it to move, thinking about jumping on it.. silly mutt. (wish i’d got a photo of it.)

looking down the canal towards ManchesterThe weather was extremely changeable. between taking the first photo at the top of this entry (which is looking down the canal towards Ashton under Lyne), and taking this photo (>>), was a matter of seconds – as i was standing on a bridge over the canal, taking these two photos, all i had to do was to turn to take the two views. Amazing really. If you click on this photo you can see, in the distance, the struts for the Manchester City Football ground (which was built as the Commonwealth games stadium way back when that was on – 2002 i think?) and which the canal runs past.

pub by the canalWhere we crossed the canal was a pretty pub. Might go there for a drink sometime, unless of course it turns out to be a rowdy pub like so many round here do. I can imagine the beer garden is very popular on hot summer evenings! the beer garden is behind the white picket fence, which you can see better in the photo looking down from the bridge into the beer garden of the pub.

standing on the bridge over the canalThe canals are great for people like us, because it means we can walk Jess along the networks away from the roads. She really doesn’t like heavy traffic and i want to explore them some more. So far i’ve only walked along the little bit we walked along today – it’d be nice to explore a little further towards Ashton and also the other way, towards Manchester (i’m told its possible to walk along the canal all the way from Manchester to Ashton – i think Michiel’s ridden quite a lot of the path on a bike before now). Anyway. More tomorrow!