Friday, 10 February 2012

In the Bleak Midwinter, Snow had fallen, Snow on Snow, Snow on Snow. (Christina Rossetti's words.)

"Raffles" the dog watches the ducks at Caen Hill.
Scenes from a wonderful walk in the snow from the Corn Exchange in Devizes, down the Caen Hill flight of locks to Sells Green for lunch in "The Three Magpies."  It was still snowing when we set off and feeling very cold, but the brisk walk soon gave us rosy cheeks.  We met Raffles the labrador, watching his owner feeding bread to the ducks.  "He has to be tied up," she said, "Otherwise his throws himself into the canal for a swim."  Rather him than me in these icy conditions!  The towpath walk to the pub is about 4 miles in distance and takes about 1.5 hours.  We took the easy route, down the hill for lunch and then the X72 bus back.
My three friends walk towards lock 44 at the top of the Caen Hill flight of 16 consecutive locks.

Looking up the frozen flight of sixteen locks.  This flight is the 4th Wonder of the British Waterway system.  It was last section to be built and the canal opened for trade in December 1810.  Because millions of bricks were needed for the construction of the locks, brickworks were built alongside the canal.  Here at Caen Hill a little rail track ran on the towpath,  so that wagons drawn by horses could carry the bricks uphill.

Walking past the willow reeds at Lower Foxhangers.   In the summer months, some parts of  the canal are almost blocked by reeds.  These beds are protected by law to provide nesting sites for Reed Warblers.

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