Ilkeston - March Madness
w/e 13 March 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Cossall Common Photos

Tuesday was a lovely day but I didn't go anywhere to take photos - madness! Wednesday was a wet day and to go anywhere would have been madness. Thursday didn't start too well but it did brighten up in the afternoon. A circular walk around Cossall Common produced a selection of images (examples above) which to describe as underwhelming would be exceedingly generous and to use them for this page would have been another example of madness. So by Friday I was still wondering what to do and where to go. A misty morning gave way to a spring like afternoon and I wandered down to the Erewash Canal for inspiration.

Machine Compound

I also wanted to see how work was progressing with the £500,000 project to improve the towpaths between Potter's Lock and Awsworth Road. The centre of operations appears to be at Potter's Lock where there is a compound full of machinery but on Friday afternoon there was very little activity.
Towpath Closed

Sounds from the work had been heard all week but at this end of the project no improvement to the condition of the towpath could be seen, the only difference being the "Towpath Closed" and "Keep Out" signs.
Under The Bridge

Unable to walk in that direction I turned the opposite way to follow the canal, seen here from under the bridge at Potter's Lock, towards Green's Lock.
Mud & Puddles

The towpath in this direction is not included in the project but the puddles and mud suggest that a little maintenance and TLC would not come amiss here too. "Madness to suggest it" you may say but maybe if there is any of the £500,000 pot left at the end of the project, then some of it could be used here.
Rail & Water

A sweep in the canal takes the towpath close to the railway lines that run through the Erewash Valley. It is the siting of the proposed railway station at Ilkeston Junction that is responsible for the towpath improvement project. Many people think opening the station there is madness too as it would have been better located at the former Trowell Station site but it's too late now as construction has already started.
Sitting Duck

Several birds jumped into the water as I walked along the towpath but this one hardly moved as I walked past. Perhaps another sign of madness as it really was a sitting duck for predators.
Green's Lock

At Green's Lock I crossed over the bridge pausing only to look back along the canal before walking up the left hand side and beyond the lock gates.
Overflow Channel

I couldn't go any further though as this is where the overflow channel diverts excess water around the lock.
Canada Goose

I was joined on the side of the canal by a very vocal Canada Goose. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem Locksley Hall:
"In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast;
In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish'd dove;
In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."

On this lovely Spring day I suspect the goose was issuing either a mating call to other birds swimming nearby or warning me off and I strongly think the former.

It was not only a young man's fancy turning to thoughts of love as the mallards were getting quite frisky too on the other side of the canal where two males were forcing their attention on a female. She was having none of it however and scuttled off down the path leading them a merry dance. It must be that March madness again. All that was missing from this little stroll along the Erewash Canal towpath was a mad March hare - but on the previous day's walk at Cossall we had seen a rabbit on the Nottingham Canal towpath - does that count?

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