Friday, 8 January 2010

Frozen Canal

Large parts of the Union Canal are frozen solid enough to walk on and cycle on. Official advice is don't walk on it, but there are places where it is very thickly iced and you can walk on it safely as long as you keep away from under the bridges where the ice thins. There's something surreal about walking down the middle of what should be a flowing canal! It was heartening to see too that we're not the only people leaving food out for the birds, there were scatterings of seeds and other goodies along the edges of paths, on walls etc as well as some well stocked bird feeding stations in gardens. We saw a bullfinch, a redwing, a fieldfare, lots of house sparrows (the canal is one of the Edinburgh strongholds for this species, which is declining rapidly across the country), blue tits, robins and blackbirds, Also some forlorn looking swans, mallards and moorhens (see photos below, both taken by Crafty Green Boyfriend). One of the moorhens was bizarrely sitting in a tree!







35 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous, cold, snowy shadow shots! I love them, particularly the first one and the ducks! Hope you have a great weekend! Stay warm!

Sylvia

PurestGreen said...

The photo of the swans is beautiful. I think the people of this country will appreciate the coming spring more than usual this year. :)

Paula Scott said...

Shots of cold things that still warm my heart! I especially love that first one!

Catherine said...

I am loving looking at all these snowy uk shots - so beautiful - but I am not so sure I actually want to be there right now!!

Jasmine said...

you are brave. Poor swans, they look so cold.

Maggie B said...

Great photo's, I'm seeing moorhens there too I think?
We have a pair of practically tame moor hens on our garden pond here in Normandy.
Happy SSS
Maggie

Bill said...

thin ice warning
a woman whistles
for her dog

Titus said...

Wow! to the swans shot.

Hot Fudge said...

What a beautiful collection of images. Thos poor swans look frozen in time, but they did pose so beautifully. Hope the terrible weather improves for you in the UK - it has made the news here in Australia and we really feel for you.

Poetikat said...

I would still be really careful on that ice. They usually do a measurement of the depth of the ice here for ice-fishing purposes and it takes quite a while to attain a safe depth.
It certainly is a beautiful spot. Is the header photo the same location?

Crafty Green Poet said...

Kat - don't worry, we were really careful and didn't stay on for long...

Serendipity said...

Lovely shadow :) Those poor swans!

Ralph said...

Happily the swans and ducks have enough down to keep warm on the frozen canal. The cold grows old, but the ice on the water's surface has a elegant monochrome white surface, a stylish layer. The gate leaves a shadow that almost looks like flowers - making us know that Spring will arrive in the near future...

Annette F. Tait said...

so glad that people are putting out food there Juliet. My birdfeeder has been getting extra feed! that's good that people care.

...and I have to say that on my way back home yesterday I happened upon a small flock of redwings!! it was wonderful to see them by my feeder!

Michael said...

The weather is certainly throwing up some great photo opportunities recently. Nice pictures. Hope the swans get a swim soon.

Deb said...

Fantastic, CGP. The gate is simply floating and you know I love the birds. (Its the house sparrows that are in decline??!!)

Rabbits' Guy said...

Ice Skaters?

(It's winter here in the US of A Pacific NW - well North of Seattle - too. 57F and sunny today :<) .. we'll take it.)

Jazzbumpa said...

Very nice shadows.

Cheers!
JzB

BLOGitse said...

brrrrrr....I'm so happy here in Egypt - weather is not that bad now! :)
It's incredible how swans hide like they do...
Beautifuls shots!
Have a nice SSS!

Marvin said...

Love the gate shadow. Is is time for spring yet?

bunnygirl said...

The swans look cold! I wonder how the animals stand it? I mean, I understand biology, but it still seems like they'd be too cold to function.

Martin H. said...

Those poor swans do look a little forlorn don't they? If they can't use those elegant necks to feed underwater, I guess they're largely dependent on being fed?

Gena @ thinking aloud said...

Lovely the great shadow that the gorgeous gate creates! PS> love your header pic too!!!
Gena
south africa

Deb G said...

In agreement, the swans are just beautiful. Snow is so hard for some of the birds...

Golden West said...

What a winter it's been in the northern hemisphere, with more to come, it seems. Keep warm there, Juliet!

BlueJayEye said...

what a beautiful contrast to your part of the world (i have to take a mountain drive (6000 ft elevation) to see snow. Enjoy it while it lingers.

Sweet Repose said...

Our part of the mighty Mississippi is totally frozen over, not barge traffic till spring 'round these parts! Back in the day horse drawn wagons would venture out onto the ice to collect ice for the 'ice boxes', some didn't make it home.

I too am feeding the birds, but this is one of the reasons I keep prairie grasses growing lush on my 6 acres, plenty of seed source. Stay warm...and off the ice!

steven said...

hello crafty green - the canal in this town freezes over each winter and is then cleared and opened for skating. hockey games and pleasure skating take place there through january february and march. it's really lovely. steven

oh said...

great pictures! how do the swans (is that what you call them or are those moorhens?) anway, how do they do it, sitting smack on the ice? We have some on a nearby pond doing the very same thing. I'd be likely to fly somewhere warmer, at least more lush than ice, but no, they stick it out, the lovely majectic birds they are.

Oh, yeah, we're heavy into feeding the birds and had the great luck to see two bluebirds the other day. Now, mind you, the bluebird is the state bird of Missouri, but in 15 years, this was my first sighting. They are incredibly blue!!!! It was thrilling and of couse, not one single camera within range. Ah, well.
Happy winter!

FrecklesandDeb said...

Wow! Very cool. Our little creek doesn't get frozen very often, but the water is super cold right now.

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh, the moorhens are the little black birds in the last photo

Paula said...

Watching birds cope with the cold is always inspiring - and instructive. I haven't tried the head tuck but I would if I could. And that's a beautiful gate.

Patti said...

I like the shadows created from the gate in the first photo. Quite pretty!

I feel kinda bad for the swans and the mallards. brrr

Carol said...

Nice shots and shadows. I like the gate...and the swans, crafty green bf did ok.

storyteller said...

Beautiful wintry views and lovely shadows too ;-)
Hugs and blessings,