This morning started out very dreary after a disturbed night of thunderstorms and rain, but it did brighten eventually, so we headed out to Exminister marshes and the canal.
It was quite peaceful, not too many people around, and calm, no wind, so we set off along the canal path.
The canal was looking beautiful edged with purple silky reeds, and covered in pond weed like green lacy mats..there was a nice clump of wild marjoram as well, which the bees were enjoying..
The hedging on the other side of the canal path was full of Autumn`s bounty too...with a tree full of rosy apples...and a Hawthorn full of bright red berries...
Across the marshes we could see the cows grazing, and from the river the fluting of the waders was the only sound that disturbed the peace...we had nice glimpses of Topsham in the distance too, above the reeds on the further bank, the little church and the pastel houses ..
Large blue Dragonflies darted backwards and forwards over the river, and a small Tortoiseshell butterfly settled on the nettles beside the path..
We eventually reached the little bridge that crossed the canal and led to the ferry crossing, beside the path was a lovely hedge of ivy with its shiny leaves and yellow flower heads which the bees were buzzing around, over the far bank Topsham beetled along the river bank, and yachts lined the river.
The path wound down to the Lock Keepers cottage, a delightful little place, now used as a tea room in the summer where you can have pots of tea in pretty china mugs and delicious cake and day dream beside the river. It`s also a holiday let all year round and must be a lovely place to stay, especially at night laying in bed, listening to the lap, lap of the water and hearing the waders fluting on the river.
There was still a splash of colour in the garden in this old metal tank where pink Cosmos and yellow daisies flowered.
At the back of the cottage is the lock, no longer used, and there are still the remains of the old wooden lock gates and rusty machinery used to operate them.
We walked back to the canal path, there was a huge patch of brambles there, full of juicy blackberries, so we picked some and put them in a plastic box I`d taken with me..with apple and blackberry pie in mind.
There`s also an information board beside the bridge showing the Exe Estuary trail which runs from the sea all the way back to Exeter Quay..
We decided to walk back to the car park, then head down the canal the other way, there was a lovely pale Comfrey beside the path, and a patch of bright daisies..
We picked blackberries as we went, and enjoyed the views over the canal, the Meadowsweet was still in flower with its lovely sweet honey scent..
Across the marsh young Pheasants were running about, they looked half dressed without their full feathered plumage.
At the foot of the hedging creamy umbellifers were still flowering, in flat lacy mats, and beside them these leaves eaten into lovely lacy patterns by tiny blue beetles...
Having picked enough blackberries for a pie, we turned and headed back to the car, a light wind had sprung up, and the reeds beside the path shook and rustled and the silky heads nodded in the breeze..