This morning, when I took Ruby for our walk along the river to Hey Green, the world had turned all watery. It was a bit of a shock for both of us, as we have had such a dry autumn.
Amazingly, rain doesn’t seem to affect my disability scooter, though I wouldn’t drive it in a swimming pool! The road was wet, which makes it easier for me to hear a car behind me, but, on the down side, makes it more difficult for the drivers to see me.
Deer Hill was invisible in cloud, and mist softened the valley. Everywhere is homogenous, brown, mottled green.
The alder carrs are full of water. They are no longer boggy bits where Ruby gets filthy; now they are black trees standing in a lake, and there are no rabbits to chase.
Alder is a bright orange when it is felled, bright against black winter. It must be good wood for building things like piers and jetties, for it seems quite happy to spend half the year standing in water.
The river has almost doubled its width, and is dark and fast-flowing, except for the places where it has burst its banks, where it lies still and cold.
The sound has changed overnight. What was a high, playful sound, has become a deep, steady rush. The slow erosive power of a relatively small stream like this carves whole valleys from the moor. All of the Colne Valley has been carved from ancient mountains, and when the river is full like this I can almost hear the remorseless wearing away, grain of soil by grain of soil, little stone by little stone.
The ditches are full. Everywhere is the sound of water with its head down, heading for the sea.