Skip to main content

A walk up the hill in the mist and down to the river

 I needed to recharge batteries today (the ones in my head I should probably specify, not in any device!) so I took my friend's spaniel up the hill at the back of my town. The track leads up to Mellor which is on the Derbyshire - Cheshire border, overlooking the Cheshire plain. It was a wet, misty day but I love walking in the winter mist, with the bare branches, it is like walking through a pencil sketch that is constantly being rubbed out and redrawn again ahead of you.

We reached a small pond which doesn't usually catch much of my attention but today the mist gave it a greater presence. I am still familiarising myself with a new, compact camera - a Lumix Z70 - so part of my purpose today was having a play with the camera. Some photos through the mist:





Then we dropped down the hill towards the river and went through a farm that has a wonderful, tumbling down out-building, the sort that is being taken back by bramble and lichen and has enticing wooden doors. I got the obligatory lock-shot but the light was fading and it really needed a tripod for longer exposures. I shall return.

Down by the River Goyt now and this is a shot of the filtration reed bed that the water from the old mineworks runs through before entering the river. These reeds make fine wagglers - I have caught lots of carp on floats made from these.

By the river now. This is a spot just downstream from a falling-down weir and it always looks incredibly fishy to me. But I have never caught anything of significance here. Usually I would put that down to my own angling limitations but a few people have said the same, one being my mate John and he is a bit useful. So I am not sure why. That is a fast flow and it is deep up against that far wall. I suspect the decent fish are lying deep and we are not reaching them quickly enough. I don't know. maybe next season, eh?

And I couldn't leave without a gratuitous shot of Flo the Spaniel(ish) in this rather photogenic spot. These last two are hand-held at 1/4 sec by the way, and as there is no way my hand is that steady the image stabiliser must be doing its job. The dog isn't quite sharp but I reckon I could get away with saying 'soft focus'. Well it is a portrait. ;) Clever blighters, these cameras.

And to finish, a gratuitous shot of some crows in a tree. This is from the other day actually, but I like it! I'm pleased with this Lumix camera so far, for a compact it gives you a lot of control to play with.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Life is cheap when you’re a fish

I would like you to consider two stories. First, 100,000 litres of slurry leaks into a tributary stream of the River Coly in the Axe catchment which flows through Devon in the south west of England. That is one hundred tonnes of cow shit from the dairy farms which border the rivers in the region gone into the river. Talking to Shaun Leonard, Director of river conservation charity the Wild Trout Trust , he tells me that slurry pretty much suffocates a river. “It can happen incredibly quickly,” he says.  “It moves as a slug. It will kill just about everything in the river. Not just fish, but everything which needs oxygen. So bugs, invertebrates, it will wipe all them out too. It can quite possibly do this overnight, it is a pretty instantaneous effect.” The second story concerns the shooting of a Red Kite in North Yorkshire one month before. I chose this one but it could have been any of a number of killings of birds of prey over the years, from eagles in Scotland, to that lightning rod

The minutes are slipping away

In George Monbiot’s excellent article published today (Wednesday 12th August 2020) he exposes the shocking regulatory failure that has led many of our rivers to lose their hard-won gains in terms of pollution over the last few decades. In that article Monbiot states that: “As an agricultural contractor explained to the Welsh government, some farmers are deliberately spreading muck before high rainfall, so that it washes off their fields and into the rivers. A farm adviser told the same inquiry that only 1% of farm slurry stores in Wales meet the regulations.” To substantiate those claims, he links to a blog post I wrote for Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine, which in turn quoted extensively from the November 2019 minutes of the Wales Land Management Forum’s subgroup on agricultural pollution, hosted by Natural Resources Wales. My blog post can be found here , which links to the minutes in question which can be found here (scroll down). Follow that link and you will see that the l

Podcast: The Trout and the Heron

 This a quick podcast I made down by my local River Goyt, just on the Derbyshire side of the Derbyshire - Cheshire border. It is about a heron hunting where I am pretty sure trout are spawning, but because the water is coloured and the angle is such it is difficult to see what is going on in this river sometimes - it is a mix of detective work and guess work. But I suspect the heron knows. Really it is just me talking to myself for eight minutes from the middle of a tree. I made this for people who are interested in the wildlife they see on and around a river, but may be not so sure about what is going on beneath the surface. If you fancy a listen then click the link below. The Trout and the Heron on Soundcloud And if you are inspired to find out more about trout then there is more information than you can shake a stick at on the excellent Wild Trout Trust site , and if you fancy a bash at kick sampling and becoming a part of the Riverfly Partnership citizen science network I mention i