Thursday, May 07, 2015
At the end of the year it's traditional to make New Years' resolutions - usually people choose to give something up but I also resolve to take some things up. Last year I resolved to spend more time enjoying rivers.
We have lot's of great rivers in Devon, many of which have their origin on Dartmoor and which obviously gives rise to the River Dart. I haven't seen the Dart for a long time so a few weeks ago in one of our unusual hot spells in April I took a couple of buses down to Buckfast, where the famous abbey is, and walked some of the river north of there. This isn't a easy as it's sounds however, as much of the river is on private land and is therefor inaccessible, which is a shame really as it is one of the most beautiful of rivers.
Just after I got off the bus I was greeted to the river by a large Carp, which I took as a good sign. I walked a couple of miles north, round some of the private land and entered the river via some woods. I followed the path for a while until it came to a barbed wired fence which is where it becomes private land again. I climbed over the fence and continued until I eventually came to another fence which I climbed over, only to find some workmen in a field near the river, so I did as I usually do in the woods or being a bit trespassy; if I haven't been seen I either find another way round or head back. This time I headed back, which gave me a good opportunity to just relax my way and take some time to explore and just sit and stare. So quiet out here, just the sound of the river, the birds and the humming of insects. There were Peacock butterflies and Dippers and Yellow Wagtails to see. Just as I was about to leave the river I was sitting on a rock when a Kingfisher flew close by, right over me and disappeared upriver, so the river had greeted me with a fish and said farewell with a Kingfisher.