Monday, 24 May 2010

Canal

A short walk along the Nottingham Canal this morning, before being treated to a nice lunch by Malcolm's mum.
The sunshine was strong, but the breeze has picked up a little since yesterday, which is a welcome relief. Along the canal, the wild flowers are beginning to show some colour. The bright yellow Flag Iris will be out soon, but for now the Common Vetch (Vicia sativa) is adding it's lovely purple flowers. This plant is extremely useful for nitrogen fixing which is vital for soil fertility. As such, it is often planted by farmers as a green manure to be ploughed in for soil conditioning.
Sitting with it's feet in the water are the Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris). Also known as Kingcup, it is a member of the Buttercup family and probably one of Britain's oldest plants, surviving the last ice age and spreading widely afterwards.
The Common Sedge (Carex nigra) are also flowering along the water's edge, but their flowers are considerably less colourful.
Lastly for today, a general view of the canal. We were a little surprised to see so few ducks and no swans at all on the water. Last year, a walk along the canal showed us ducklings and cygnets, but this year all we saw were a couple of Coot chicks.
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