Last night was quite cosy as we lit the fire and the sunset was beautiful with the Hints ITV mast in the distance. We didn't watch any TV though.
We set off at the usual time in beautiful weather, again. It is getting very monotonous now. Here is the Hints ITV mast in the day light.
I do like this stretch of the Coventry/Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and in the low yellow light everywhere looks lovely. In a week or two the colours will be stunning.
We pulled up outside the 'Tame Otter' pub as there was a vacant spot on the hard bank and I wanted to wash the side of the boat. It was looking decidedly mucky having scrubbed the roof yesterday. It took a little while and I painted the patches I had also painted yesterday. Helen got very busy with making little muslin bags to hold the chestnuts that we had picked up at Alvecote Priory. These will be hung at the windows and other choice places to deter the spiders colonising the boat over winter. I'm sure that it worked last year. We moved off after an hour or so.
The canal runs through the fringes of Hopwas Wood and next to the River Tame relief channel too. It is always a pleasant trip through the wood but there is little sun so we don't like to moor here.
We moored after Tamhorn Park Bridge and had some lunch before setting off into the woods for a walk.
We followed the edge of the wood after crossing Tamhorn Park Bridge and ended up going a completely different route to that that we have ever taken before. There is a mixed type of trees and the soil must be fantastic with the mulch that has descended each year. Part of the wood was under threat until recently as an aggregates company wanted to exploit the sand and gravel that the wood is sitting upon. It has now been put off, until next time.
At the farthest point from the canal at the edge of the forest was a large free range pig unit. We didn't see any piglets so they must separate the farrowing pigs. There was a funny noise as we watched them snuffling about in the paddocks. It was a little like the sound of the balls clicking together on a snooker or pool table. We watched for a while and realised that the pigs were picking up stones and chewing on them for a while before spitting them out. They noise was them clicking together. You can see the surface of the paddock littered with stones. It seems that it is common and is thought to be because they lack stimulation. Somebody from Hull University has obtained a grant to study this behavior. A pig has been found with 1.2 kg of pebbels in it's stomach on slaughtering. If the stones are sharp it can damage the intestine etc. Free range is not always as good as you may think!
There are some lovelly galdes as we passed from deciduous to conifer parts of the forest. The paths we in good condition but it was a littler confusing with no way marked paths to follow.
As we approached Hopwas village there was a good view across the Tame valley and had a good view of Tamworth in the distance. We popped into the Red Lion for a drink and a sit in the sun for an hour. It was really warm and we are so lucky that the weather has held for our last days out this year. We walked back along the towpath.
It is 'Bake Off' day so I put the aerial up to check the picture. We must be just behind the hill as there is nothing at all despite being so close to the TV masts. Luckily the BBC 'I player' seems to be working well so Helen will still be speaking to me later in the evening.