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Across the river, the white goat is in it's winter quarters; a stable. It looks out over the stable door, framed in the doorway like an announcer on a widescreen television. Come to think of it, it's probably more interesting than anything you could watch on widescreen television.
No sign of the Sparrowhawk on its ledge today, just a single downy grey feather stuck to a cobweb. I notice that one of the bricks bears the stamp 'CRAVEN'. In the medieval period, when certain disputes were settled with a fight to the death, 'to cry craven' meant to acknowledge defeat. In a contest using batons, the accused had either to kill his adversary or fight until sundown, in which case he would be acquitted.
The Craven District is a mountain limestone area in the Pennine Dales.
Sallow or Pussy Willow, has the scientific name Salix caprea, the 'goat willow'. It's bud scales have opened and the furry white catkins are beginning to show.
On the flooded field a pair of Mallards are swimming between the clumps of rushes, while on the open water a Coot proceeds in menacing fashion, head down level with the water, like a miniature nuclear submarine cruising along. A pair of Mute Swans are preening peacefully on the canal. Twelve Mistle Thrushes are perching on the power lines nearby.