Monday, 29 September 2014
Signs of Autumn along the Grand Union Canal
D and I went for a stroll along another section of the Grand Union Canal yesterday. We started off at Waterfield Bridge and walked down to Knowle Locks and back.
The Grand Union Canal is 300 miles long and links London to Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham. It was formed on the 1st January 1929 when at least 8 separate canals were linked. The most important of these was the Grand Junction Canal constructed around 1800 by engineer William Jessop. Trade on the canal ceased in 1963 and these days it is used for leisure activities.
There were many signs of autumn as we walked along the towpath.
Black Bryony Berries - these are garlanding hedgerows every where locally. Not to be eaten though as they are poisonous.
I wish we had taken a container as there are still plenty of blackberries to be picked.
Ivy flowers are appearing and they were covered in bees and hoverflies illustrating how important a nectar source they are for insects during the autumn. There were several dragonflies and butterflies (Speckled Wood and Red Admiral) around but none came close enough for a photograph.
Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Tar Spot Fungus on Sycamore
Robin's Pincushion or the Bedeguar Gall - caused by the Gall wasp (Diplolepis rosae) which lays eggs on the leaves or stems of wild roses. One gall can contain several grubs each living in an individual chamber.
Conkers were scattered all over the path.
Green Alkanet was flowering in several places.
This female mallard was very tame - we were feeding her blackberries!
Approaching Knowle Locks
Knowle Locks consist of 5 (originally there were 6) locks that rise 42 feet.
Is this a new name for a loo? I really should have had a look!