Shroppie Autumn Cruise
Calf Heath to High Offley
Friday and Saturday 2nd and 3rd November
The sun shines on the righteous - well that's what they said when I returned to work after a long weekend on the Shroppie with Helen.
Autumn colours at Brewood
The preceding week has been wild and windy and after our return the cold winter weather closed in again, but for the four days of our trip the sun shone from a cloudless sky, and we made the most of it.
Grub Street Cutting
My autumnal sojourn up the Shroppie has become something of a fixture in my boating calendar, and a journey I never tire of. Sure it is so familiar that I know every bridge and corner rendering maps unnecessary but the cuttings and embankments are stunningly beautiful cloaked as they are in autumnal reds and golds. The more exposed woodland may be stripped bare by the first storms of winter but in the shelter of the cuttings time was rolled back a month and we even discovered large quantities of Elderberries.
The snag with our choice of weekend is that falls after the clocks go back so the days are short so our aspirations were curtailed and instead of aiming for Market Drayton we settled on the Anchor at High Offley, just before the Shebdon Embankment which will be closed for weeks for repair.
It was an outbound journey which provided a surprising bounty of Apples, Elderberries and in spite of the widespread crop failure, a goodly haul of sloes all picked from the offside of the canal where only boaters can reach them.
The elusive Kingfisher!
The first night was spent at Wheaton Aston having topped up the diesel tank and then after a pause at Norbury we spent the second at High Offley, a remote an quiet mooring if ever there was one. All along the route we saw Kingfishers, flitting from branch to branch but these little birds are as fast as they are elusive, defying my attempts to get decent photos. My interest in photographing Kingfishers is bordering on the obsessional.