Standing Wave

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Wednesday 3rd March 1999

wavesBELOW THE TUMBLED BLOCKS of the old weir, there are standing waves on the Calder, which is swollen by recent rain. The smoother area between mainstream and backwater has a more sinister look. It is punctuated by two or three whirlpools no bigger than dinner plates.

litter, flotsamA tattered black bin bag and swathe of grey sacking, snagged on the springy branch of an overhanging sycamore sapling, are animated by the backwash to resemble the shawled heroine of a Dickensian drama, teetering through the flotsam. The water is well up under the arches of the bridge and here, in contrast to the spate midstream, the current eddies in the reverse direction. A plank rocks gently as it floats back upstream close to the bank.

grey wagtailA Grey Wagtail picks its way over the flotsam, then flits up to the bank before making a dipping but direct flight across the river try out the moss-covered boulders on the opposite bank.

Further arrivals in the garden, I count sixteen Frogs sitting spaced around the edge of the pond, it certainly looks as if they are watching and waiting to see who arrives. Still no spawn.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator


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