5 p.m. Horbury Bridge
There's a beam of sunlight reaching Coxley Beck, down in the old
mill race near the canal bridge. I've been told that there were
trout in the beck here but this is the first time
I remember seeing them. There are three or four, possibly more,
facing upstream as if they were together in a small shoal. They're
six or seven inches long and covered with brown spots, even on the
pectoral fins. The background colour seems quite light to me; I
think of trout as being darker, and perhaps a lot of them are.
A schoolboy friend of mine used to be able to catch a trout from
the beck by tickling it. He'd lean over the bank on a bend in the
stream and carefully feel if there was a trout there - they like
to hang around in such places - and he could gently tickle it and
then make a grab for it and catch it.
This was back in the 1960s and there were some serious pollution
incidents which I assumed had killed off all the trout, but here
they are. Trout were re-introduced to the brook in the 1970s when
Coxley Dam was stocked by fly-fishermen.
No wonder the heron often touches down by the beck.
Slow Start to Summer
Barbara and I have our first meal outside this evening but it soon starts
hawkmoths are about; I get an e-mail from Thwaites Brow, near
Keighley from a couple who were amazed to see one in their garden this
weekend. I haven't heard of any this year except for a report I had from
Driffield, at the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, on the 17th March. I wonder
if they're now overwintering in Britain.
We saw one, just one, in April in Mallorca, they're amazing creatures
and unmistakable when you do see one. Hope we see one in the garden. If
it warms up a bit.
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org