Oh, my goodness – Narnia has escaped from the wardrobe again, and as ever, I’ve been out having fun. The cycling was fine on main roads, but side roads and tracks were bad. The snow – falling gently all the time I was out – was being driven by a northeasterly surely crafted on Satan’s back doorstep.
Conditions were therefore a little challenging.
I was really impressed to see that at Chasewater, Pool Road from the A5 had been carefully and conscientiously cleared of snow by two of the ranger team with a mini-tractor, and also shovelling by hand. That’s service beyond the call, lads. Thank you very much.
In the last week, Chasewater has actually reached it’s highest possible water level, is full, and now overflowing into the spillway and drain system I and [Howmuch?] explored last year. To the best of my knowledge, that hasn’t happened for a very long time – the last time I’m aware of being April, 2008.
I notice that the grille we climbed through into the culvert has sensibly been fixed. The whole spillway has become an intriguing half-stream, half marsh. This new wetland is alive, even in the snow, with meadow pipits downed by the weather and pied wagtails, feeding on unseen bugs.
If you’re up to it, do head out that way tomorrow. You’ll never see Chasewater and the commons of Brownhills more beautiful.
This chap was an absolute star. It was a hard job in tough conditions.
Having topped the overflow weir, Chasewater is now full. Water is flowing down the spillway, which is forming an interesting, flowing wetland.
Even the main lake has curious, gravity-defying overhanging ice.
A measure of the easterly wind was the odd angle of the icicles forming on the dam bridge.
The dam path was one long, impressive drift…
The Black Path was hard going.
The exposed, elevated nature of the dam area caused interesting ice sculptures to be made by the wind.
Holland park was unusually deserted.
The north side of the Innovation Centre is slightly inaccessible…
Such a public spirited thing to do.
Love that drift on Watling Street School Roof.
Water flows down the spillway and into the new drain system, built a couple of decades ago. From here, the water flows into the Crane Brook, then the Footherley/Bourne/Black Brook, near Shenstone, and on to the River Tame and Trent. This is the drain I explored last year, when it was bone dry. Since then, they’ve repaired the grille.
This would make a great sledging run, were it not for the watery termination.
The varied textures of the common.
Waterfowl anatomy is brilliant. A heat exchanger arrangement in the arteries at the top of their legs prevents them losing heat from their feet, and lack of nerves stops them feeling cold. They seemed to enjoy the freezing, flowing water.
The stark beauty is incredible.
The brooks around the Nine-Foot are all flowing well.
The Narnia impression was inescapable.
The newly watered marsh is alive with wagtails and pipits. They must be feeding on small, unseen insects.
I haven’t seen snow this bad since the early 1980s.
The Parade was gorgeous, and surprisingly clear.