This weekend had to be split between two of my favourite pastimes, gardening and boating. We are lucky to own a small canal boat, which we moor in Wiltshire. Our mooring is in a little marina on the Kennet and Avon canal, around half way through the 15 mile lock free pound. Saturday was beautifully sunny, although the wind had a sharp bite, so we decided to make the most of the day and set off early morning. We drove our boat along the canal to the local town, took a walk around the shops, enjoyed a home cooked dinner on the boat and then drove back up the canal.
The canal is wonderful for seeing wildlife. We often see variety of birds such as Grey Herons, Kingfishers, Sandmartins, Swans, Birds of Prey and many different species of waterfowl. The area is a Water Vole and Otter friendly habitat. This Saturday the canal banks were littered with the shells of Swan Mussels (eaten perhaps by one of the two furry mammals).
During the warmer months you can also see many different species of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.
If you want to see otters, water voles, red kites, kestrels , crayfish and slow worms, — then the Kennet & Avon Canal is the place to go according to this year’s British Waterways Wildlife.
Sunday the weather had taken a turn for the worst. The wind still had teeth but was accompanied by heavy rain and sleet. However, I was determined to make a start on the allotment’s ‘internal’ paths, so despite the weather, I made the trip and started to tackle the pathway in front of the shed, on which a few members of the family have slipped. Upon first inspection the path looked like it was made of heavy duty plastic bags and compost! Obviously this had to go – it was clearly treacherous to walk on when wet! The pathway proved to be a bit of an onion…made up of many layers! The first few layers were predictable. The top layer was compost, second layer old plastic bags, third layer black polyethylene, then came a few surprises…fifth…glass sheets…sixth….concrete paving stones!! What the heck?? Why would anyone do this? I wasn’t expecting layers five and six! After clearing about two thirds I went home wet to the skin but happy. My ‘Time Team’ type excavation work had revealed a brilliant pathway!
In my haste to pass on my discovery, I forgot to buy my potatoes from the allotment shop. Mr D kindly volunteered to pop up for me – while I warmed up by the log fire.
I now have 4lbs of Rocket (Earlies), 4lbs of Desiree (Early Main) and 4lbs of Cara (main) potatoes chitting on the bedroom window seats plus a trug of shallots sets.
Well, I’m back to work tomorrow so I’m restricted to working on the allotment at weekends! Fingers crossed for some good weather this weekend and ‘roll on the light evenings’…