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Do they smell?

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Well its May, and time to update you on life as seen from my perspective. Something's different at the moment — have any of you noticed? Me and my canine chums haven't quite worked it out but all our people, not just himself and herself, seem to have developed some affliction that stops them getting up close and personal when they meet each other. Have they rolled in something or eaten "past it's best before date" food? — normally the sort of thing themselves offer to me I should add! Everything else seems pretty much the same for spring-time — warm sun, cold rain, fresh grass and so on — but there's definitely something going on. And here's another thing: I don't know how many of you take a walk along the canal but if you do then don't hold your breath waiting to see a passing boat and exchange growls or "close social sniffing" with the canine crew. There are still a few boats about but the people on them scurry inside and peer out of the port-holes as if themselves are carrying some plague.

So where have I been — well the other day I took himself for a walk back from Worleston up to Brickyard Bridge (number 6 if you're into canals, as it were) and back along the canal to Church Minshull. Just after setting off we had to get out of the way of some ladies with a dog, then leaving a farm we got into a field with some frisky Friesian cows and a young bull — breed unknown but he had a dodgy looking piercing in his nose. Himself wouldn't let me run for it and told the cows about social distancing. He added an adjective but it must have been antisocial as the cattle all ran away — or maybe he smelt bad? Well along the canal — we're getting to the bit I wanted to tell you — we found lots of Orange-Tip butterflies. They usually appear in early May, but must have got tricked by the warm April we had, and live only for a very few weeks, so we may not see many more of them until next spring. This link shows them rather better than himself's photgraph! And then we found two swimming monsters. I wanted to dive in and catch them but himself said they were only carp and he didn't have a recipe so he threw me a stick instead. And then in the woods on the way back — where we found the Boris charms last month — someone had hung a swing-stick in a tree for me to chase. The next day himself took me and herself to the swing. He wanted to have a go on it, but herself said something about too many stones and he said what about her kilograms. The walk back was silent .....

So, last month I set you two questions: the narrow area on the canal with me posing by daffodils is "Prescott Bridge narrows #10". Presumably the site of the 10th bridge over the Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch, though who Prescott was is not known. The overgrown bridge is or was known as "Huntsman's Bridge" and crosses Eel Brook just where it comes out of Poolfield Wood north of "CM footpath 1". Congratulations to the reader who got very close to it with her location.

So this month, what is the name of this black and white bridge, and if you were on it what could you be going round? Answers as usual to madaithelabrador@gmail.com — a dog treat to those who get it right, a roll in wild garlic (just coming into flower now in shady areas) to the rest of you.

Madai, your rovering reporter

PS — well some of you encouraged non-readers to read my blog as its circulation went up — a bit. Let's see if you can do better this time around?

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