|Reflections; Turning trees in the River Eden|
It was a joy to be out with wonderful, stormy sky-scapes above the open fields.
Very well equipped in my red boots. Note - no green wellies here!
A friendly face. One of the fields is full of heifers in calf.
There are berries everywhere in the hedgerows this year. Country folk-lore says this means a hard winter. I sincerely hope not!
And I found a gigantic wild Verbascum, much, much taller than me, encrusted with seeds.
Then there were trees, leaning precariously out over the water; trees that have died, but not yet been swept away by the floods. Some of them have been colonised by moss and grasses. I wonder if this one will still be there in the spring?
Finally I reach my favourite view - one I've been photographing all year, noting the changes. A shaft of sunlight just illuminates the field as I get out the camera. It may look beautiful, but these fields are unnaturally green in a marginal area of reclaimed land where they would once have been full of rushes and coarse moor grass like the fells behind them. Fertilisers and weed killers create this manicured landscape, and the harmful run-off ends up in the river. It's not so many years ago when a leakage from one of the farms up here killed every single living thing in the river. We're still recovering, though the salmon population has never risen to its original level. It's very sad that even here in this rural paradise we continually have to contend with pollution.
Home again, where the Mill stands on the riverbank with its feet almost in the water. It seems unimaginable that the river, in December 2015, reached half way up the building. Inside, things are still in a ruinous state. Like many others in the Eden valley, we are still waiting for essential repairs to the property. Fingers crossed it won't be too long now! Luckily I live on the top floor.