Purple and gold

The moral right to this illustration is asserted by Hannah FoleyThe fields on the farm are purple and gold with Timothy and Buttercups. If you look closely you find Doves-foot Cranesbill, Common Mouse-ear, and Common Speedwell hidden among the grasses. Beside the river all sorts of wild flowers fill the banks: Fairy Flax, Common Centaury, White Comfrey, Corn Marigolds, Welsh Poppies, Herb Robert, Red Campion, Germander Speedwell, Water Avens, Forget-me-nots, and Herb Bennet. We spotted a Dipper this afternoon. It skitted across the water before alighting on a rock under the bridge, bobbing up and down, regarding us. We’ve heard that a Kingfisher was seen last week on this spot. We keep a beady eye but with Little Owl splashing up and down, pretending she’s the Grand Old Duke of York, he’s probably wisely keeping his distance.

Our river is a spawning river for Salmon. If we keep very still we can spot Salmon Parr gently swimming against the flow so that they appear completely still. They will stay with us for three or four years before heading out to sea. They seem to be enjoying the warm day, collecting in shallow pockets where the sunlight turns the pebbley river bed into a golden treasure trove. Little Owl has a wooden boat on a string that keeps capsizing. We decide to make our own from an old washing up bottle when we get home. If the weather holds we’ll try it out tomorrow.

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