Monthly Archives: April 2017

Sunday 30th April 2017.

Cool but dry for the two-wheeled out and about and a Hogweed ‘shoot’ has been spotted along Daisyfield Greenway. This can only get bigger. (It looks like the UK variety.) Take care along there though Giant Hogweed was there last year. 13065 steamer was up at Bury South smoking, but I give ’em enough free adverts here. (It’s awesome really)
That clever duck was on Elton Res. again. Not a very good pic (Pic Two). (In msm they have pics where you have to find (say) a hidden mountain lion or something. Here it’s a tiny duck – I think it’s a Ruddy Duck – on a huge lake. Good eh?)
Highlander herd were near canal path – with a fishing Heron by Dolly Brook. Busy along there this morning.
But then, back home, a ‘test-ride’ in a BMW i3 electric car. (Pic Four)
When you get in it’s just like any modern-style car. But the road wheels do look a bit big on the outside. Okay. Inside there’s no real ‘dashboard’. Just a couple of ‘screens’ for the driver – one’s a Sat-Nav the other has speed and general running data like how much juice is left in the battery. So there’s plenty of room up front for a passenger. Then, once moving, the weird thing is – no noise. It’s virtually silent inside. No vibration. Nothing – has it actually got an engine? Well, no it hasn’t. But it moves well from traffic-lights and can easily travel 100 miles on a charge. Nipped down to asda, picked stuff up, reasonable boot-space and plenty of rear-seat passenger room. Charging isn’t difficult (I was told) with charge-points increasing in number. Mmm … not a motorway speedster but ideal transport for general road driving. Not bad eh?
And, it’s a beamer.

Saturday 29th April 2017.

Cool and on the dull side (at first) but it has picked-up sun-wise over last hour. Smiley faces on the steamers up at Bury South.
A clever duck on the Res. too. While the Mallards paddled about after bits of (wholemeal, not stodgy white stuff!) bread, the smaller duck with the white sides dived under water, then came up right under the bread and nicked it!
But then, along Banana Walk, shock horror! A Hogweed plant! I’ve a feeling it’s a UK version (Heracleum Sphondylium) rather than the introduced Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazzanium) but hey, who cares what type or name it is if you’ve got second-degree leg or arm burns! The plant spotted is ‘youngish ‘ yet, with the rounded rather than spiky leaves. But take care along the top section of Banana Walk. Walking up it’s on the right.

Friday 28th April 2017.

Much better weather this morning, no rain or drizzle and there was sun and no wind. Blue/Green algaea apart Elton Reservoir was almost picturesque. (There’s the remains of a car in it at the shallow end.)
Pic Three is of Old Hall Farm by Elton Reservoir. It’s spooky of a night around there and those funny cattle don’t help either. (Pic Two)
An easy ride back to (sunny) Radcliffe along the canal and the first Coot chicks were spotted. (Pic Four)
Then, along banana, a massive Thistle plant.
This is about a yard tall and about as wide. You don’t often see ’em that big nowadays as folk just dig ’em up and dump ’em. Nettles, along there, are a metre tall – will get taller and there definitely was a Goldfinch along there this morning. These are too fast for fingers and camera!
One or two very rare black foxes have been photographed in West Yorkshire. Must keep an eye out. You never know.
On the fun front some (probably funded) dingbat has suggested stopping the Old Age Pension for ‘rich’ folk. When they stop lottery-win like pension funds for those in the public the idea might be given thought. But only after all the money those ‘rich’ (Private) workers (don’t forget!) have paid-in, via tax & national insurance (for their pensions) over the years, has been returned with interest. Old Age Pensions are an Investment Return, not a benefit.
In this country an O.A.Pension is one of the lowest, with very modest yearly ‘rises’ based on inflation. (So they’re not rises) Pension Credit, a vital ‘top-up’ for an Old Age Pension, is means-tested! How’s that for archaic?
The eu has shaded-out The UK in its (new) maps of the area.

Thursday 27th April 2017.

Rainy so a very short and sharp out and about earlier. (asda delivery expected …) It’s cold too. Yet Royal Horticultural Society are on about how UK gardens will change due to Globa … sorry, climate change. They picture palm trees etc. The reality might be snow-caps and glaciers with folk growing stuff in igloos!
Pic is from March and of Withins Bridge. Folk go all over, spend a fortune sight-seeing, but that little canal bridge (which is still used) has been on national telly as much as, if not more than, many renowned sights.
On the fun front folk on huge salaries are trying to decide whether to carry-on with, or ditch, the Old Age Pension ‘triple-lock’. This keeps O.A. Pensions up to scratch inflation-wise. It’s currently around 2.5% which costs the place £6,000,000,000.00p a year. Compare with eu costs and/or (say) hs2 (which is already costing a bomb and not a sleeper laid yet) and getting (say) 10,000,000 votes for six billion quid ain’t cheap. Hence the dilemma.
(Latest on this seems to be ‘no action as yet’ by Mrs Maybe. Election eh?)

Wednesday 26th April 2017.

Cold again for the biked eight-miler this morning. (Roll-on global-warming!)
One or two Highlanders were (slightly) interested by the passing bike so didn’t hang about.
Quite a few bikers/walkers out despite a cold wind. Quiet along the canal though.
On the real wildlife front Jeff Goldblum will be in the next Jurassic World film, along with Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Mmm … tame Raptors. Or will it be back to basics, with T-Rexes just eating folk? Will they finally have a feathered T-Rex?

Tuesday 25th April 2017.

Very cold around Radcliffe/Bury greenbelt areas this morning. Rain, hail, snow, has been forecast, so bike-riding takes-on an adventurous slant today! (Especially with the side-wind along the embankment and canal).
Not to mention Buffalo herds. Beyond them (pic Two) is the Metrolink line and then Bury Road. The nearby farmhouse was re-built in 1872 so heaven knows when the original was built. But even then the canal – even the reservoir, were ‘old’; the farm-lanes main-roads for horses, carts, and pony-traps?
Along the lane, over an old brick bridge that spans the canal feeding stream, then another road bridge, leads, eventually to a Metrolink level-crossing. Just before that Giant Hogweeds are growing fast. The leaves on this monster are bike-wheel size and it’s easily three feet tall.
Take care along there – several there this morning were seemingly oblivious.
From there a quiet-ish ride along the canal to Radcliffe – this morning (easily – doh!) ‘paced’ by a lady ‘jogger’ who flew up Banana Walk as if it didn’t exist.
Two Olympic cyclists got CBE’s at Buckingham Palace. (The Kenny’s)
There’s hope yet …

Monday 24th April 2017.

Cooler today with quite a bit of wind from the west. Dry though for the early bike-ride. Pic one taken yesterday and is another ‘Buffalo’ (Bos Taurus) – they were (safely!) in another field today. For a few minutes yesterday the Buffalo in the pic had a Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) stood on its head – really. The bird flew off as I got me camera out.
After Union of South Africa grandeur, just a small diesel shunt engine today up at Bury South. It’s in good nick though.
Cloudy over Elton Reservoir and the nearby rat (Rattus Norvegicus) colony grows ever smaller. Well, the ones that you see. Feeders have been moved. I was hoping for at least an Owl (Strika luco), or Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), mmm … Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) eh?
From the Res. to Hinds (Capreolus capreolus) Lane and a view, from the top, over the river Irwell to the Lattice (Monkey (Macaca mulatta)) Bridge. Where I’m stood will soon be surrounded by eight to ten feet tall Hogweeds (Heracleum Mantegazzianum), so the view will be rare later in the year.
From there along Radcliffe canal to Banana (Musa paradisiaca) Walk and the nettles (Urtica dioca) are growing well. Stings can be relieved a bit by rubbing with a Dock leaf (Rumex obtusifolius) – some massive (one meter tall) Docks down there. Ditto Thistles (Asteraceae). All of these are medicinal and Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) go for Thistle seeds I understand.
Not far from there a few white Bluebells (Hyacinthoides) in the grass (Agrostis palustris). That nice Mr. Attenborough (Homo Mega Sapiens sapiens) – him on the telly – is having trouble remembering the names of plants (etc) so I’ve put the botanical names in where I can.
In Chorley (oh yes) a man (Homo Sapiens Chorlensis Cakus) has been video’d walking an Emu (Dromaius Novaehollandiae) on a lead. (An Emu is more or less a Dinosaur) But the funny thing is the man is called Jack Morris (Homo notquitus sapiensus).
On the really fun front : Watch-out for fake (new type) £ coins – they’re worth far more than the real ones!

Sunday 23rd April 2017.

Quite sunny and warm this morning but first pic taken yesterday along Radcliffe canal near Coney Green.
Pic Two taken from bridge over river Irwell at Warth.
60009 was again backwards up at Bury South.
Loads of midges around Elton Res. embankment and then, along farm lanes, Highlanders were busy eating everything.
A good dry ride this morning with quite a few folk up and out early.

Saturday 22nd April 2017.

A touch of sun this morning and our Tulips look okay.
But then it was a bike-ride to Bury in time to see Union of South Africa up at Bury South. It’s massive. It’s been mended and is running this weekend apparently. But it approached the level-crossing backwards … doh!
Did get a few seconds of movie of it. Awesome lump of mechanical engineering.
Several ‘camera-men’ were taking pics but one hurried-off – he was after pics of a Nuthatch (small bird). Feeders have gorn from trees (too many rats probably) but a few owls might be attracted you never know. Dahn Sarf somewhere they’ve found remains of a deer – a big cat reckoned to be the killer. Mmm … venison? Lucrative?
On the fun front watch-out for mega car-speeding fines. New rules take earnings into account – mmm … p.a.y.e. like that other tax – income. Brexit will give polis carte-blanche with taxes. (‘We need extra cash to fund Brexit {that you voted for}’ etc.)
Like The Med. around Elton. Pity about the Blue/Green Algae.
Nuthatch: Sitta europaea. Like a small woodpecker but with grey top, chestnut chest and black eye-stripe. Uncommon in North of England but fairly common towards South. Occasionally in Scotland.

Friday 21st April 2017.

Dull again this morning and, for a few minutes, spots of rain fell as huge dark clouds covered Radcliffe … mmm … normality!
Okay for the bike-ride and, up at Bury South, 13065 steamed over the level-crossing while I waited. (Got soaked – again!) I believe 60009 is running but couldn’t hang about; a guy was coming to fit flooring … (which is brill. See Tradesmen page.)
I think 60009 runs tomorrow too. I’ll oil me camera.
From there a Daisyfield bike-route to Elton Reservoir and a windy, cloudy embankment ride. A few folk were about despite dull weather. Plenty of water in the Res.
From there farm-lanes and canal tow-path were quiet with spots of rain.
On the fun front several polis and even poli assistants (?) are jacking it in.
Banks, in the eu, are having ‘recovery’ problems due to E1,000,000,000,000.00c (one trillion euro) bad debts!
A dormouse bridge, (really!) that cost £190,000.00p to build over a road in Wales, has been weather-damaged and eu folk say we must repair it at £63,000.00p cost. Mmm … of mice and men eh? And they want us to stay in?!?
Away from all that silliness, last year normal folk spent £154,000,000,000.00p on stuff via The Internet. And that doesn’t include Amazon and iTune sales.
Rumour pervades that a large contributor to this was a ‘Mrs C of Radcliffe’!