Saturday, 28 February 2015

Darkness Falls and Possibilities Grow

On increasing air temperatures came rising water levels. Spring on the horizon and springs in peak production

Those bursts of strengthening sunlight, once again blinding in intensity, squeeze moisture as vertically drifting mist pockets from rotting remnants of summer past. The rains strangled from their  reed insulated 
bed of earth

Skylark and reed bunting burst-out their wildly contrasting pleasure at the seasonal change afoot. Their brethren in the knowledge that they would need their own space in which to bring forth the populace of future grass and sedge

The occasional optimistic and ever-enthused dace breaks surface, and a brief circling sign of its excitement smooths back into the surging, rolling flow

Small whirlpools slowly swizzle down the torrent seeking compatriots to combine to a larger vortex but as the approaching deepening bend pulls them into an accelerating glide, magical, mystical and short-lived, they shrink and close

Overhead the hoarsely kronking jet black raven flaps and flops through the heavy cloud, into which the sun does boldly beam through low trajectory, and on drifting breeze he is taken-off over hawthorn and out of sight.

A ripplet in the margins. First here, then there and further too. Tiny indentations and evidences of movement against the silty, here steady, high water. Below I imagine an oblivious pike, masked by the turbidity, slumbering in wait of clarity of view and ambition. It may be some days. The inundated grasses twitch and twang as though plucked by a subsurface picker. Then a foot, a head, a muzzle. The water shrew pops its foraging face through the stems to view the onlooker square in the eye and he too is gone, beset by fear

A twang, a flinch but then no more

Turning to view the scene a splashing, sploshing swirl of power and spray moulds a shocked expression and a search in the gloom with focused beam. The true controller of the stream, flushed from it's evening hunt in terror, re-emerges beneath the tunnel of arched, looming far bank growth, its eye gleaming in, now, bright moonlight pushing like an illuminated OO loco against the flow and it too, like the shrew, was gone. The otter, elusive, exclusive and demonstrative of a recovering world, was on the prowl but caught-out by the ultimate predator; though on this day, some eight hours' effort resulting in one average capture, but one of valour against the odds, once again confirmed fulfilment by the water meadows

The stream may ebb and flow, it may twist and turn and, in devastation, alter its course, but here is the truest reality of the modern world. The water cares not for the interference of man, its indefatigable motion restating its own form and community year upon year; decade after decade; millennium in, millennium out

River is king, make no mistake


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