Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Erewash Canal

This morning, Malcolm and I had a short walk along the Erewash Canal towards Potter's Lock before visiting an old friend.
The canal was completed in 1779 at a cost of some £21,000.  It's main use was for the transportation of coal along it's 12 mile length between the town of Langley Mill and the River Trent.
These days, it is still used, but only for leisure purposes. The flora and fauna of the canal is quite rich and the water is full of Yellow and White Water-lilies and the banks are dotted with stands of Rosebay Willowherb.
There are a number of flowers which catch the eye as you walk along. Among the most colourful of these is the Orange Balsam (Impatiens capensis).
Introduced to Britain from North America, it is not to be found all over the country, but where it is found, it can be quite abundant. The origins of it's scientific name 'capensis' comes from a mistake. 'Capensis', means "of the cape" and is actually a misnomer, as Nicolaas Meerburgh - who named the plant - was under the mistaken impression that it was native to the Cape of Good Hope, in southern Africa. We all get thing wrong sometimes!
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