'Richard, have you ever seen anything like this?!'
A neighbour and his granddaughter and another man are looking over
the bridge into the canal. In the muddy waters we can see three
large carp floating lazily together just below
the surface. The biggest must be 18 inches (45 cm) long and with
such a chunky body I guess that it weighs in excess of 3 lbs. Probably
way in excess of 3 lbs.
The large, crescent-shaped scales are plainly visible on their
should point out that I've vastly increased the colour contrast in these
digital photographs. The original natural colours - light mud against
mid-mud - are shown on the left.
I've never spotted carp in the waters of the valley before. I would imagine
that these have either escaped from a garden pond, perhaps at a time when
the local beck, which has an overflow into the canal, was in flood, or
that they've been deliberately introduced to the canal by fishermen.
Along with the storks, which are still around but not
at the nest site this morning, they bring an Oriental feel to the familiar
watery world of our stretch of the Calder Valley.
Richard Bell, email@example.com