Hatching week

We have been travelling the Peak Forest Canal this week, a sidearm off the Macclesfield, that was used originally for transporting limestone from the Peak District quarries. These days the industry has gone and it is very beautiful as it clings to the sides of steep hills, with far views across the national park. As we travelled towards the end at Bugsworth Basin, we noticed a number of ducks and geese sitting on their nests. We also saw one goose with four new baby goslings, which were cute.

Just a few days later we returned along the canal and were astonished to find maybe fifty families of geese and ducks with goslings and ducklings. It made me wonder how they all hatch at once. I understand the principle that hatching in late spring gives the best chance of survival, but for so many to arrive within a few days is pretty incredible.

It reminds me of a holiday we once had at a house in Islay, an island off the West Coast of Scotland. When we arrived we asked if there would be many midges, the infamous biting insects of that part of the world. The property owner said that they would come the following Thursday, which we guessed was a random date, plucked from the air. But no, we had no insects till the Thursday, when clouds of them suddenly arrived.

Nature is a wonderful thing.

Not a bad way to spend our retirement.

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