1. A perfect twilight.
2. On its way to Oz.
3. A smokey sky .
4. A stubbled path.
5. Nuggets of gold.
6. A 'whispy' sky.
8. The elixir of life.
An angler of undisputed prowess sits across the canal as if poised on a diving board, the sun highlighting a coat of many colours not designed for anyone of a shy or retiring nature, or for that matter, camouflage. The King of Fishers is just that, a monarch of nature's realm.
A big Adder lays idly across the towpath basking in the hot sun before Gunner decides to investigate and disturb it's slumber. A passing cyclist, thinking it was a grass snake, utters an exclamation of near-miss amazement when realising his mistake. Ignorance by others of our only indigenous venomous snake always makes me smile.
Fond memories of watching the television series, 'Out of Town', presented by Jack Hargreaves, taught me much as I sat in front of our rented black and white television in the late 60s. It was a joy to watch and sparked a lasting passion within me for the countryside and ideas of how to make and adapt things I still carry with me today.
Straw bales litter the countryside hereabouts as they wait to be collected and stored. With the remaining stubble comes the realisation that the ground is sorely parched. Cracks visibly large enough to fell the unwary walker zigzag across fields ablaze with sunshine. A thirsty fox unwittingly reveals himself, skulking low to the earth as he makes for a concealed water course. Gunner plucks his scent from the air and looks to me for a nod before making off in pursuit. He brought a young deer to me the last time I gave him the nod recently, then, I was expecting a rabbit to be dropped at my feet. Needless to say the fox ran to ground, leaving Gunner excited and alert for another quarry.
The days are noticeably quickening as the year grows old, yet the best is still to come as the domestic harvest gives way to the wild harvest and the hedgerows once again hang heavy with fruit and nut. Even the weather is at its best, with no expectation for good or bad. Tis the coming of my time of year. The northern and southern hemispheres vie for the suns attention as the autumn and spring equinox approach on opposite sides of the world and migratory instincts take over in a bid to chase the life giving warmth of the sun. Fare well wherever you are my little owl.
10th Aug 2014, 17:25
Recent weeks has seen wilvir bathed in the growing warmth of summer sunlight, and nights bathed in the cool beauty of moonlight.
As the weather settles down, the beginnings of Summer display a whole host of new life as nature takes its course and the windows of my world are filled with the sights and sounds reminding me of summers past, evoking memories of childhood adventures that live within me even today.
The start of the course fishing season in mid June still brings the excitement of expectation, of days spent fishing unencumbered, and the probability of rain receding as every day passes.
New life is beginning at every moment, bringing an abundance of change. Those that work the land can breath again with the prospect of the right weather ahead leading to a good harvest and fat livestock. The raucous behaviour of our wildfowl population, especially duck and wood pigeon, is testament to the old adage of 'making hay as the sun shines' so to speak.
Our home drifts along on the thrust from a propeller driven by an engine hardly ever running above tick-over, offering little disturbance or distraction to anyone or anything who we come upon or that cares to take an interest in us.
Passers-by, hire-crew or gongoozler, stop to pass the time of day, intrigued by our way of life. Locks with room-for-two offer an opportunity for banter and often the chance to make new friends. The offer of a penny-farthing tour of wilvir to anyone interested in living the way we do is often the beginnings of an idea to retire or, as we did, give up work to live an alternative lifestyle.
Finding a place out in the sticks is always our preferred mooring location, undisturbed and non-disturbing. The chance to explore rural villages, footpaths and towpaths is reward enough to anyone who, like me, can't be doing with the pace of life that is often heard as friction, mostly between tyre and tarmac. The chance of a good pint of real ale is usually on the cards too, but only as long as my friend Gunner is welcome to sit with me.
Everyday is an adventure, life is an adventure, love is an adventure, each and every one of our stories is an adventure. Just be sure of a dream and make that an adventure too.
24th Jun 2014, 16:15