Birds dart across the river, chasing midges in the morning sun, while here and there a leaf glides down to land softly on the water, joined by another and another. Kingfishers buzz past, electric blue and copper against the dark jade of the river board, picking up insects and tiny fish before sitting very still on a rock or a branch.
The river is as changeable as the weather, so still at times, like a pool of emerald, only disrupted by the jumping of a fish, but a few yards on it gurgles and chatters away over rocks, spinning its tale, bouncing and jumping like the otter cub, out fishing with the parents on this sunny autumn morning.
Spending time by the river, quiet and still like the birds, opens the senses to this secretive world, until bird and mammal gift you with their oblivion to your intrusion, and you’re a part of it all.
I’ve tried to absorb the sounds and smells of moist leaves, listen to the birds’ chatter in the rushes, and after spending some hours under a weeping willow’s branches that trail the quiet surface of the river like a water nymph’s fingers, two deer traipse across the ford, hoof by careful hoof.