SNOW covers the higher ground, but on the valley slopes it soon melts, turning the streams brown with muddy run-off. The river has risen a little, thankfully blotting out the silt island, which since last November's littered with discarded tyres, washed up there after the floods.
Last year there were often Goosanders on the rapids. I've seen them there only once this year. This afternoon a single goosander, a female, dives on the canal, which is also brownish with the melt, near the basin.