A Heron on the Hedge

Thursday, 24th February 2006

Looking across the Calder valley over Horbury Bridge with Smithy Brook valley and Thornhill Edge in the distance.


There are flakes of snow at breakfast-time. A heron settles on top of a densely clipped evergreen shrub in next door's garden and looks around as if it's assessing the possibilities of a raid on our neighbour's well-stocked garden pond. It stalks awkwardly across the top of the hedge, like a pantomime villain tiptoeing across the stage. When I go to fill up the kettle at the kitchen sink, it spots me and flies off up the valley. My neighbours carp are safe for this morning.

Home Patch

valleyWe walk across the valley to wish my niece Hannah a happy birthday - my brother's upstairs flat has views south across the Calder valley; part of the valley that includes Addingford, Hartley Bank and the entrance to Coxley Valley. These are the places I wandered as a boy and explored with a sketchbook as a student and struggling artist.

I've never quite got beyond the struggling artist stage but I still sketch the valley when I've got the time, such as while we're sitting chatting with my sister-in-law Michelle over a mug of tea.

Love it or loath it (and it's more the former, despite all my grumbles about what's happening to it), it's my home patch and I have my roots here. Next Page

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk