It would great to see Merlin, the bird that is, not the wizard from Camelot, but I do notice a hunched streaky brown bird of prey sitting on the branch of an Ash that overhangs the river. When I walk to the other side of the tree I discover that it's a Little Owl. It frowns at me then flies off over the river to another tree.
There's a heraldic-looking cross set on the wall of the old woollen mill nearby; it's a wall-tie, designed to stop the wall bowing out over the riverside path. You could make a study of the local wall-ties. I suspect some of them are more than a hundred years old. They're quite varied in design; they can also be target-shaped. I suspect that a wall-tie was something that was made-to-measure in the mill's workshop, rather than bought off-the-peg from an ironmongers. Some of them may have been made as a wooden patten which would be pressed into a bed of sand, then cast in iron.
To complete the Arthurian feel of the afternoon there's a small Round Table set against a background of crouched Elders and dark pines; an abandoned cable drum that has rolled down to the moody, misty edge of the water. You could almost imagine Excalibur being thrust up through the still surface of the canal.
Two Kestrels sit together in the top of a Larch tree.
One final heraldic touch is this star-shape. The parachute seeds of a Dandelion clock have mostly dispersed leaving the dimpled round receptable surrounded by pointed bracts. The botanical name for the tuft of hairs that acts as the parachute for the fruit is Pappus. Apparently the other evening that came up as a question on the television quiz Who Want's to be a Millionaire. If the contestant had been up to speed on his botanical terms he would have won an additional £125,000!