Scene in the Valley

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Thursday 13th January 2000

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collared doves sheep TWO COLLARED DOVES sit on the branches of a garden shrub. They look somewhat subdued. The excitement of the nesting season has yet to catch up with them.

The low afternoon sun picks out the ridges on a slope where the sheep are grazing. There's a low step stretching across the landscape which I think may be the result of mining subsidence. The local pit closed about 30 years ago.

Note: I've since been told that these ridges are Victorian drainage. The family who have the farm still have the original invoices for the work.

magpiesmagpie Nine or more Magpies have gathered in a field by the canal. Sunlight on the slope throws a row of pines into dark silhouette.

pines by the canal fence and tip A new fence was constructed last year along the top of the embankment overlooking the canal. With this neat border between garden and countryside established, the house-proud owners can now go about their business of dumping spoil, old timber and plastic sacks on the other side of their fence. It's height ensures that their own litter doesn't blow back into their precious garden; instead it ends up floating in the canal or hangs in tatters in hedges and treetops.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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