Cycled with Dad to Embankment Repairs (15th May 2010)

The water level has been lowered by about a metre along a 2 mile stretch of Basingstoke Canal. The downstream end is at Crookham Wharf, which is easy riding distance. We found the far end beneath a road bridge.

There are two room-sized Diesel pumps at the Wharf. Only 1 of them was running and was surprisingly quiet. The level seems to be constant because at the far end, water is gushing into the blocked section.

While heading home we stopped on the bridge which overlooks the Wharf. An echeolon of young ducks were storming down the lowered section towards the barrier. Lots of debris, small and large, had accumulated by it. We thought they would stop and go back but no, they plough straight!

Their beaks were zipping back and forth just beneath the surface, like the way crabs process entire beaches of sand. We guess there’s some sort of food trapped beneath it but are mystified by how they knew from so far away that it would be there. Maybe they found it some days ago and revist it every evening?

Either way, they were entirely comfortable being near the throbbing of a large pump and beneath the occassional traffic going over the bridge.

The sun was starting to set, setting the horizon alight with rich yellow and orange. A variety of scattered clouds reflected different segments of the rainbow, as if an artist were practising in the sky.