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"Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Chief Seattle (1786–1866) leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes

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A Huckleberry Summer

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1. Saltersford lock approach.
2. A perfect evening.
3. Slowly succumbing.
4. Ignoring the sky.
5. An evening glow.
6. Stars in their own right.
7. A walk with Hannah.
8. A window on the river.
9. Just a whisper....

Clouds, heavy with rain, blurred the hills around about the river this morning, slowly drifting across the landscape, soaking the air with a hanging moisture of mist and drizzle, flower petals bruised and shaken by passing showers.

Setting off down river the rain seemed to turn aside and keep its distance as we pressed on, ignoring the occasional teasing, but fleeting, outburst of a downfall.

Eldest Granddaughter Hannah, on the cusp of thirteen, arrived on Saturday to stay for a fortnight and has settled in more than we could ever have hoped for, taking to our way of life like a duck to water. Despite the rain and drizzle, Hannah has kept me company on the tiller as we've made our way down river calling in on overnight moorings along the way, the river basked in both sunshine and rain as the weather tries to fathom itself. Hannah caught her first ever fish too as we took advantage of the fleeting afternoon and evening sunshine and has even trawled through my reference books to name flowers I've been meaning to identify for ages on my walks with Gunner, head down, despite bringing a cold with her that is now fast disappearing, watered down by copious fresh air.

A kite, affixed to a long thin hazel pole, flies above the boat, brightening the solemnity of a sky grey with cloud, its shadow dancing on the roof in the occasional sunshine. Inquisitive buzzards look down, calling to each other, wondering.

The river wanders by, unhurried, wilvir gently leaning, heavy on her ropes. Occasional rowers and paddlers pull past, competition keen in the club boats as the cox calls the cadence or singletons are encouraged to greater effort by a chase boat. The backdrop of woodland and field beside the river, wide, wild, teeming with life, the warmth of summer slowly ripening harvest fruits, timing everything now.
8th Aug 2015, 13:46