Ilkeston - Down By The Canal
w/e 13 March 2011
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
Encouraged by the spring flowers in Ilkeston's parks and cemeteries
last week, I thought I'd look in the more natural surroundings
along the Erewash Canal at the eastern edge of town to see what
it would yield as winter slowly gives up its grip and spring
begins to take its place.
I accessed the canal towpath off Cantelupe Road midway between
Station Road and Potter's Lock and was almost immediately greeted
by some flowering forsythia although the plastic bottles apparently
growing off the same plant were strictly man made additions.
Heading towards Potter's Lock the dead grasses and partially
decomposed leaves showed little signs of spring and even the
trees either side of the towpath still seemed lifeless.
Closer inspection of the trees though showed that they are indeed
sprouting new growth and the leaf buds are forming well.
Although it was a fine afternoon, the surface of the path was
quite greasy in parts and with Potter's Lock coming into view,
one section in particular needed some careful navigation through
At Potter's Lock I had the option of continuing across the playing
field to the right or crossing the bridge to the opposite side
of the canal. Knowing that the far corner of the playing field
where it rejoins a path along the canal side tends to become
waterlogged, I opted for the latter and crossed over the old
One thing that I noticed whilst walking along the path was the
amount of litter (like the plastic bottles in the forsythia)
that had been carelessly and needlessly discarded and as I joined
the path after crossing the bridge I noticed a patch of white
on the other side that looked for all the world like another
plastic bag caught up in the reeds and grasses.
I quickly found out that the patch of white was created by two
preening swans together with one of last year's brood that has
not yet flown the nest. The only other waterfowl I saw were along
this section were a few coots and three or four mallard ducks.
As the year progresses there will hopefully be an increase in
The coots were swimming noiselessly in the canal and on the other
side of the towpath an engine swooshed (is that a word?)
by almost as quietly southwards along the adjacent railway line.
As I approached Green's Lock there were one or two more birds
in the canal but my quest for more signs of spring had not been
as successful as I had hoped. Nevertheless I had enjoyed a pleasant
walk in the sunshine which, as the canal continued on its journey
to the south, was almost directly ahead. It was also a stark
reminder as to why I normally follow the path in the opposite
direction when out taking photos.