Ilkeston - At Winter's End
w/e 08 March 2015
All of this week's pictures were
taken with a Kodak DX6490
I hesitate to say that spring is here with a chilly
wind blowing across the town but with a couple of days that,
according to the TV weather presenters are "less cold",
it is perhaps well on the way. I suspect though that there may
be a sting in the tail before we eventually see the back of winter.
There are often daffodils to be found on the Erewash Canal bank
as spring approaches so one bright sunny afternoon we made our
way down to Green's Lock to see if any had flowered this early.
There were one or two surprises waiting for us as we crossed
the footbridge at Green's Lock, the first being to see a narrow
boat moored just south of the bridge. We are used to seeing one
on the opposite side of the canal a little further down but that
is were dredging was taking place - that was the second surprise.
We turned the other way to pass Green's Lock and follow the towpath
towards Potter's Lock. The third surprise was that there were
no birds on the canal here where swans (among others) can often
be found at the by-pass channel carrying water along the other
side of the lock.
A little further along however we did see some ducks sheltering
from the wind under the opposite bank and balancing on the partially
submerged branches of a tree.
Then there was yet another surprise. We have often seen swans,
ducks, coots and moorhens by the canal and sparrows and robins
are also easy to see. A blackbird landed briefly of the towpath
as we walked along but took off immediately and we have been
told previously that kingfishers have been seen although we have
never spotted them ourselves. I think too, that this is the first
time that we have seen Canada geese on this part of the canal.
As we neared Potter's Lock a more familiar sight greeted us when
three young swans almost transformed from the ugly duckling stage
swam gracefully towards us. Two fully grown swans, probably the
parents of these three, were on the canal on the other side of
The following day we were on Cantelupe Road and from near the
entrance to the Chaucer Infants School it was obvious why the
hills and holes caused by mining for minerals many years ago
gave rise to the local name of 'Illy 'Oleys being adopted for
Old Park. But it was here that signs of spring were visible with
purple and white crocuses coming into flower.
But they were overshadowed by the more colourful beds of crocuses
along the edge of Cantelupe Road.
The "hills" and "holes" stretch all the way
up from the River Erewash and the canal through Park Cemetery
and Chaucer Old Park to St Mary's Church on the Market Place.
In the churchyard are several clumps of snowdrops - I'm never
quite sure whether they are classed as a late winter or early
Also, thanks to the Friends of St Mary's Churchyard, there is
a border in the churchyard with a selection of plants and flowers
including primulas and even a few daffodils that are mainly still
Nearby however, is one lonely daffodil in full bloom seen here
backlit by the sun's rays. Hopefully there will be many more
soon but I just wonder if the final surprise will be that sting
in the tail of winter.