Just a late summer morning walk . . .

After a couple of weeks of mostly excellent weather while the London 2012 Olympics were taking place, it has been quite iffy since then, and we’ve even had some torrential downpours from slow-moving storms. We’re back to the Jet Stream hovering just south of the country allowing North Atlantic weather systems to blow in and give us quite unseasonable weather.

But today has been different. Although it’s been breezy at times, we’ve had a bright sunny morning, and quite warm, thanks to a weak ridge of high pressure shown in the map above.

Not having had chance to get out and about for my (almost) daily walk recently, I relished the opportunity today of walking along the local Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Whatever the weather, it’s a great walk – from just a mile or so, to upwards of a dozen or more, to and from where we often park the car. In both directions (north and south) one eventually comes to tunnels, and the towpath then winds it way up and over to join the canal on the other end of the tunnels.

Today, Steph and I just made a short walk of about three miles, from Whitford Bridge (just near the Queen’s Head pub), to one of the local access roads, Upper Gambolds Lane.

Just after we started our walk we saw four buzzards flying over head (photo courtesy of Barry Boswell), seeking the thermals and wheeling ever upwards until we could hardly make them out. But even though they were hard to see we could hear them mewling to each other. (Just a few days ago I’d seen four other buzzards quite close to the centre of Bromsgrove, calling to each other, and displaying the tumbling flight which is one of their characteristics.)

At first we were rather surprised that there were so few other folks out walking, and the canal traffic itself was also quiet even though it’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. However, we finally came across about five narrowboats that were following each other up the Tardebigge flight of 30 locks, one after the other.

On a walk like today it gives me chance to hone some of my digital photographic skills. I’m finally getting to grips with my Nikon DSLR. Here are just a few of the photos I took this morning.

Even though the flowers are dying off there’s the glory of developing fruits and seed heads. There was definitely a whiff of autumn in the air today. The nights are drawing in quite rapidly, and it won’t be too long, I guess, before we get the early morning mists developing over the waters of the canal. And eventually those first frosty mornings, with a weak sun forcing its rays through the mist. It’s definitely a canal for all seasons.

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