At midday on Tuesday Karen drove to Nottingham to drop the car off with Catherine. She then had to get a couple of trains and a bus back to Middlewich so Buddy and I went for a long walk alongside the canal and the River Dane. The river was very high after the recent rain and the winds on Monday night had brought down this willow tree across the river.
This part of the canal (north of Middlewich) is very quiet with very few walkers so Buddy and I had the path to ourselves.
The hawthorn blossom is now beginning to go over but it has been wonderful this year. The hawthorn is also known as the May tree as it flowers in May – in some areas of the country the blossom is called May blossom as well.
Buddy has been over this bridge a few times but for some reason is always unsure of it and takes several attempts before he runs across the solid bit.
At one point we came across these old clay truck tram lines jutting into the canal. The left hand one can be seen just above the fern and the right hand one has been bent sideways by the tree. These were used to transport clay from clay pits to the canal when it was constructed. The upturns at the end made it easier to tip the trucks up and pour out the clay. Canals are generally lined with a layer of clay that has been puddled with water to make it water resistant. In some constructions herds of sheep or cattle were used to puddle the clay rather than men.
Buddy and I spent the afternoon outside sawing logs and making kindling. My hope is that this will discourage any more cold weather and the logs and kindling won't be needed until the autumn. We couldn’t believe that we lit a fire on Monday night – the first day of June! Today has felt warmer albeit still windy. After log cutting and chatting to other boaters moored along this spot I enjoyed some of the lemon cake Karen baked yesterday.
We are all looking forward to having some good cruising days as better weather is forecast for the rest of this week. We are planning on getting down to Wheelock and up Heartbreak Hill to Kidsgrove over the next few days. This is a journey of 14 miles and 34 locks and is a bit of the Trent and Mersey we went through a couple of months ago when we joined it at Middlewich from the Shropshire Union and then turned north at Kidsgrove up the Macclesfield canal.