The air has a distinct autumnal chill and mist was drifting from the trees and out over the lower part of the pool which was in deep, cold shade as I set off from Holne Weir this morning. I confess I was wondering why exactly I was doing this to myself at 7am morning after morning if I was no longer enjoying it? The simple truth is that the last month has seen a quite dramatic improvement in the tone of my stomach, but this is quite a price to pay.
By the top end of the main pool I was feeling lethargic and the chill was creeping in to my fingertips. As I set off into the gloom where the trees meet overhead I was definitely considering maybe I’d only go up and back once not twice.
Fifteen minutes later and back at the weir, what the hell, I’m here now, so may as well go round again.
There is however a small patch of river just beyond the main pool that catches the early sunshine as the sun clears the trees, but only for a few minutes before the sun swings around and is soon blocked by the trees on the opposite bank. The sun chose this moment to clear the trees and as I puffed my way along with the light directly behind me, each time I breathed out the mist I created filled with a rainbow. It is a rare combination of still water, sunshine and cooler air. It will not last as in a week or two at most as the position and angle of the sunrise will be such that the trees will block it entirely.
The cleavage rock is also in sunshine. A sunbeam has found a gap in the tree cover and has put the rock in the spotlight. I pat the rock gently, but even as I watch for a few seconds I can see the shadow edging across the wet stone.
On the return big fat drops of dew were falling from the branches. Where they fell in the sunshine they were like shooting stars backlit by the sun and creating huge fountains where they hit the water except for a few that hit lower branches and exploded in a cascade of smaller stars. It was all about perspective and as I passed downstream of the patch of sunshine and looked back I could not even see the drops falling or the splash they raised, the only giveaway was the concentric rings of ripples on the water’s surface.
Forty minutes and 3/4 of a mile and I’m back at the weir and the cold has really sunk in deep leaving me shivering almost uncontrollably. Tomorrow I will bring a heavier sweatshirt. Yes, I will be back, who can say what tomorrow will bring, and somehow shivering all the way in to work didn’t seem so bad after that.