Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Of Rivers and Dams

Well, we've done this before, but the angle was slightly different. On Sunday Mrs Hickory and I walked out to the reservoir a few miles north of here, crossed over it and walked along the opposite bank to the bridge near, as attentive readers will remember, the old thermal spring and baths.

The difference from the bank we are used to is that the fishermen you look across at are backed by dark rock and bushes, instead of light clay, and the island that many of the birds live on is much closer. To reach it you would still have to swim, but you can see it clearly, and the nests which are shared by vast tribes. There were many young birds, varieties of duck and small herons mainly, trying to get airborne, with mixed success and for no real reason that I could see. Perhaps they just like to spread their wings. There were eagles about, gliding in slowly travelling circles, a deceptively lazy movement which suggests they are just floating along the currents of air to get a bit of a tan on a warm, sunny day, until they spot a mouse or a rabbit that is. And a crane on an electricity pylon. Just one; it's not a place for cranes.

The rock dam at the other end near the bridge was full of Rumanians fishing, again. I don't really know why. Their equipment looked like what keen fishermen use, expensive and copious, and they were teaching their children. Perhaps it is just very big in Rumania and the first impression- that ther is some kind of commercial purpose- may be quite wrong. It would have been simpler just to ask them, but you don't like to talk to fishermen- they always look as though they've left their vocal cords at home. It seems to mean that fishing is the quantum unit of human activity; it is impossible to do less than to fish.

Anyhow, we got the beginninjgs of a suntan, tired our legs and exercised our lungs and our spirits. Today's illustrations are brought to you, therefore, courtesy of the river and the sun.

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