As the sun is shining I decided to go and spend some time down by the river. It’s a quiet

spot with a path running for about 600 metres alongside the river Tame. I have been there a few times and love it as it’s peaceful and tranquil, gives me time to reflect, come up with new ideas and just chill out. Back in September 2010 The Telegraph newspaper asked the question: “Is The English Countryside The Most Beautiful?” I have to say yes to that. Nearby where I live is the oldest National Park on earth, The Peak District National Park. We have some of this planets most beautiful areas of natural beauty topped up by stunning wildlife and people prepared to keep our green and pleasant land just that.

I sat on one of the benches and looked around, nothing and no one around, only the birds singing their warning calls to each other from their favourite trees. A warning to others to stay off their territory, but to us mere humans a song of beauty, tranquillity and peaceful with its melodramatic mesmerising tones.

I walked down to the river which is only thirty or so feet away. The murky brown

waters of the River Tame ran silently and quickly, following a path cut by countless hundreds of years of water coming down from the nearby hills. Its currents sweep away debris as it follows the route cleansing the water, banksides and ground over which it travels. Two plants are busying themselves along the bankside and now displaying their yellows, purples and candy pinks. I took some pictures which you can see, they looked stunning with the river as a backdrop.

I looked down at the water’s edge. Last time I was here frogs were close to the bank probably looking for nesting spots as now they have been replaced by their offspring. The tadpoles hugged the shoreline of the river in water only just deep enough for them to swim in. They know by instinct if they venture into deeper darker water they are at risk of being swept away in the silent but deadly current. Another problem awaits them in the murky depths, predators lie in wait in every nook and cranny waiting for them and other prey should they venture into their territory.

I walked back and sat on the bench, it seems I am not the only one to use this bench for on the floor are discarded parts of a needle, wrapping and a spoon. I presume that whoever was here had been using heroin or something, what do I know? I know nothing about drugs and their effects, I have enough trouble taking prescribed drugs. Still it’s a sad sign of the times when a place of such beauty is used for something sinister.

Not to be deterred I sit down look and listen to the events around me. No sign of human’s anywhere and that pleases me, I prefer to be alone in situations like this as I can relax and really enjoy the splendours our countryside affords us. I watch as a bee busies itself going from flower to flower to collect the life giving pollen that will sustain them and their colonies. 1 in particular catches my eyes as it’s only small but clumsily flies from flower to flower with huge golden orange sacks of pollen attached to its thin legs. It lands on a flower and descends inside. The weight of the bee is too much for the flower and it starts to bend downwards towards the earth as if trying to discard the overweight bee the only way it can. As the bee clumsily flies off, probably back to the hive, the flower shoots back upwards and once again faces the sun where it can bask in the glorious warm rays.

In the air above me house martins fly majestically through the air playing catch me if you can with one another. Their rasping calls shatter the silent still air around me forcing me to look skywards. I watch is awe and glee as these wonderful birds perform their magnificent, majestic movements with ease. They are such wonderful fliers and I can watch them all day, but, sadly it’s time for me to go. I walk past a beautiful wild rose and snap a few

more pictures before hobbling off back home. My hip is killing me as I walk the few hundred metres home, but it can’t wipe away the wonderful hour I have just had by the side of

the River Tame.

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