The travels, musings and thoughts of a man and his camera.

SANKEY VALLEY. Balsam And Berries.

SANKEY VALLEY. Dew specked Himalayan Balsam growing down by the remains of the Sankey Canal.

I’ve written about the Sankey Valley before, the canal and the history that’s threaded along it.

It’s an easy walk for me to get to it and the web of paths and access points means that there is always a variety of walking that you can do. On this day I just fancied a couple of hours out of the house away from the computer screen. I’m trying to clear a bit of an editing backlog for the various photo projects that I have on the go which of course involves a lot of staring into the near distance. Either editing or discarding or trying to decide between editing or discarding.

I was out of the house quite early. The sun was up on what later turned into a glorious day but the air still had a crisp freshness about it. The Sankey Canal passes around the town of Earlestown, I’ve written about the Friday market there, at a lower level, you access the towpath down a couple of tree sheltered pathways. As I dropped down to the canal the surface of the water was still kissed by the remnants of the early morning mist, though it soon faded as the sun rose high enough to clear the surrounding trees.

The area is relatively unspoiled, it’s popular with anglers and the local wildlife thrives quite well. As I walked the towpath I passed the soft pink flowers of the Himalayan Balsam, a tall, gangly cousin to the Busy Lizzie plant. While the flowers are popular with the bees, there was a clutch of them circling and dive bombing the plants, the plants themselves are now considered something of a pest. They gain a foothold and them swamp the area leaving other plants struggling literally in the shade.

Passing thought, what is the proper collective noun for bees? Must look that one up.

SANKEY VALLEY. Autumn is announcing its arrival a little sooner this year. The blossom has bloomed and faded and the berries ripen themselves against the arrival of shorter days and cooler times.

Elderberries also grow along the canal bank. Already their sour green colour is ripening into a rich and inviting dark purple, wonder if I should make some elderberry wine this year? Better make my mind up or the best of the berries will be gone either to other wine makers or to the birds as they start to fatten themselves against the coming Autumn and Winter.

Categories: England, Food, history, Nature, Photography, travel, Uncategorized, United Kingdom

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