Saturday, 28 March 2015

Tides Of Change

With the tidal part of a river running alongside our garden, we’re presented with an ever-changing landscape.

There are times when the tide is so low, with so much of the riverbed exposed, that you feel you could walk across to the other bank, if it weren’t for all the mud! At times like this the wading birds congregate, redshanks and sandpipers, scouring the waterline for rich pickings. The odd lapwing or moorhen roam the mudbanks and gulls often congregate too.

When the water’s a little higher, cormorants come to fish, and then bask on the shore drying their wings. A few herons and egrets pause in sentry-like pose, occasionally grabbing a tasty bite, with a sharp stabbing action.

As the water becomes higher still, swans, ducks and the odd Canada goose glide by, but the river can become less peaceful with the arrival of a much less graceful creature – man! People in boats make the most of the opportunity to ride the river, some at alarming speeds in their flash cruisers! I prefer to watch the sailing dinghies and rowing boats – they’re much more sedate.

And then of course there are the really high tides. Fortunately there is a flood plain directly opposite us that spares us the wrath of these higher tides. I have it on good authority that the piece of land housing the ‘glorified shed’ has not been flooded since at least the 1960s. However, we did become a bit concerned when we experienced an unusually high tide the day after the recent solar eclipse. Although the river didn’t actually spill over onto our garden, water did cover the lower walkway that runs just below the garden’s edge, leaving a pile of assorted debris in its wake.

It’s sad how much rubbish, including plastic containers, small pieces of furniture and old tin cans, are washed along with the tides. We do seem to acquire a steady stream (if you’ll pardon the pun) of very clean looking footballs however. Perhaps I could set up a small football shop as a sideline!

Whatever the tides bring, it’s a great source of interest and enjoyment watching the changing landscape.

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