Heron in snowy larches

Heron in the Compton lock larches

The larches are the trees behind Compton lock, where this heron can often be found on the lookout. These pictures were taken on Boxing Day, when the trees were weighed down with snow and ice.

Heron in the Compton lock larches

Black-poplar catkins

Hybrid black-poplar catkins

This series of pictures of black-poplar catkins was taken yesterday.

Hybrid black-poplar catkins

My reference sources, some 20-30 years old, give the flowering season as March/April.

Hybrid black-poplar catkins

Canal junctions

Canal scene

More from the experiment in black and white. This is Autherley Junction, where the Shropshire Union canal joins the Staffs and Worcs.

Canal scene

Taken yards from the previous picture, but turning round to face to where the Shropshire Union heads off towards Cheshire.

Aldersley Junction

These two are at Aldersley Junction, where the Birmingham canal network meets the Staffs and Worcs.

Aldersley Junction

Candle snuff fungi

Candle snuff fungi

This tiny fungus grows on rotting wood – often on tree stumps, as here. It is named for its supposed resemblance to the wick of a candle which has been snuffed out.

Candle snuff fungi

Canal pictures

Rubbish Incinerator

An experiment in black and white. Pictures taken by the (mostly) frozen Birmingham canal as it drops from the Black Country plateau towards Aldersley Junction. Above is the rubbish incineration plant.

Broad Street Basin

Next is Broad Street basin from Broad Street. Below is the railway viaduct across the canal and Stafford Road.

Frozen canal