As soon as I saw theses swans and their cygnets I knew we had to moor close by. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such confident friendly swans. But who can blame them wanting to proudly show off their young.
Swans are amazingly attentive parents and clearly work as a team. I’m guessing these cygnets must have been under a week old. I was able to lean right over the water and snap these fluff balls close up.
Even when I saw them on the towpath I was able to get very close without causing any alarm to the parents, who carried on preening rather than hissing at me.
But the babies needed their afternoon nap, so mum called them over and tucked them up under her wings
You’d never have known there were 9 cygnets hiding in there.
Of course it’s not just swans who are proud of their children, and as we cruised on, we dutifully smiled and waved as we become the local attraction.
It’s always nice to meet up with friends on the canal and we took the opportunity to spend some time together. Eric was offered a ride on the stern on NB Tenacity as we cruised in convoy for the day. Eric and I both commented on the water levels on the river Dove aquaduct. The top photo was taken earlier in the week and we’d laughed about having to duck to get through those arches. We’d had some heavy rain but only for a few hours so hadn’t thought it amounted to much. A week later we’d still have struggled due to lack of water. There’s no pleasing some folk. Fortunately the T&M hasn’t suffered to the same extent as the northern canals. Our bridges still remained navigable and pretty as everBack in Burton there’s some good mooring by Shobnall Park. And we took some time to stretch our legs and raise our pulse by climbing up Outwoods Hills.Burton itself was dominated by brewerys. But the view was panoramic and great reminder of the vastness of our countryside. Unseen from this angle is a vast new housing estate being built behind us.Back in Burton, Burnt Oak with John and Martina cruised by, so they moored up next to us. Martina and I had a serious discussion about our spinning exploits as we are part of a team raising money for Air Ambulance through a spinning marathon. (More about Britspin later) I’m not sure if John and Eric are having a serious discussion or not, but it was either about rope or beer.
Our final night in Alrewas was just beyond the water point.At which point lock 12 allows the canal and river merge into one for a whole mile, passing yellow water lilies and young cows at the muddy bank
At Wynchnor, the Trent goes off in its own direction
Allowing us to continue cruising tranquilly through these easy single locks with neat little bridges and desirable lock cottages. What you can’t see is that the canal runs parallel with the A38 roaring towards Burton.
Only to be separated at Branston, by the water park, a disused gravel pit converted into a nature reserve.
There’s lots of mooring here and it’s a very pleasant place to stay.
Of course being me, mooring at a place called Branston, I had to Google it and find out for sure if it’s where the pickle comes from. And yes in 1922 Crosse and Blackwell started to make Branston Pickle here in this once imposing building. It’s now owned by a Japanese company and is made in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk. Having sorted out the sandwiches we moved onto the beer in Burton. Marstons started brewing beer here in 1834 because of the water quality. we did wonder if it was the Hobgoblin hiding behind the bushes that gave the canal it’s colour. Continue reading Branston, a pickle and a pint