Tollhouse or ornamental lodge

Tixall turnpike toll house

This octagonal building is by the road at Tixall. There is some doubt whether it is a former turnpike road tollhouse, or an ornamental lodge for the one-time stately home.

Wild garlic flowering

Wild garlic

Not exactly a stereotypical floral smell. Instead it smells of garlic. Where it grows in profusion the smell can be overpowering on a warm spring day.

Wild garlic

The ones below were just about to flower.

Wild garlic

Canal scenes

Great Hayward junction

The northern end of the Staffs & Worcs canal where it meets the Trent and Mersey canal at Great Hayward Junction.

Trent aqueduct, Staffs and Worcs canal

Just yards before the junction this aqueduct carries the Staffs & Worcs (foreground) over the river Trent.

More canal scenes

Sandstone cliff with door

More views by the Staffs & Worcs canal. Within sight of the aqueduct where the canal crosses the river Stour a sandstone cliff has been cut to allow the canal to pass. At the base of the cliff there is a mysterious black door.

River Stour aqueduct

The aqueduct itself, pictured from the bank of the Stour.

Canal junction

Further along towards Stewponey, the junction where the Stourbridge canal heads uphill from its junction with the Staffs and Worcs.

Speckled wood butterfly

Speckled wood

This species of butterfly is very aggressive in defending or attacking territories. This individual has no signs of damage in its wings, so may well just have emerged.

Danish scurvy grass

Danish scurvy grass flowering

This salt-loving plant presumably originated in northern Europe. It has now spread along the margins of main roads in the countryside, where the splashes of salt-rich spray from winter gritting saturate roadside soil.

Danish scurvy grass flowering

It forms a low and narrow band which starts at the very edge of the road, a few inches wide. Best seen in spring when it is in flower. These pictures taken on April 23rd, by the A513 outside Shugborough Park, but the plant seemed to be flowering on all the local A-roads outside built up areas.