crack willow

As Wet as it Gets

Thursday, 2nd November 2000, West Yorkshire
mist in the valley AFTER A DULL DAY mainly spent in the studio with rain rolling down the skylight windows, Barbara and I decide that we just have to get out for a short walk around the valley.

Even on a wet grey afternoon it does us good to get out. There's always something surprising - magical even - to lift our spirits; a special moment, or some small aspect of the changing season.

A wisp of vapour hangs amongst the trees in the steep narrow section of Coxley Valley above the dam.

hilltop farm Tall Sycamores planted as a windbreak around a hilltop farm are now stripped of their leaves and stand starkly against a narrow band of clear sky.

A mat of yellow leaves strewn along the towpath shows that the even the placid canal burst its banks after the rains.

flooded paddockflooded paddockflooded paddockflooded paddockmute swans What is normally a neatly mown paddock between the canal and river has now been linked by the floods with the rushy pool on the other side of the fence. Two Mute Swans glide elegantly on the mirror-smooth surface.

The rushy field known as the Strands is now partially awash. At the weekend only a small central pool of water was showing, today perhaps a third of the field is under standing water.

willow clump Blackbirds disturb the peace of dusk with petulant alarm calls as they congregate in an isolated clump of page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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