Blind Beck runs close by Abbot Hall, draining water off Scout Scar, off the limestone and down through the town to the river. After a prolonged period of rain there's an audible rush of water through stone channels between houses, down to the river, a magnet during a brief respite from the rain.
This morning, I spoke with a woman who has volunteered to help pick litter and clean up the river in three weeks time. She's hoping it's not flowing so fast and furious when the time comes. She sat beside the river on a bench, gazing at the turbulent river as it plunged over Stramongate weir in a churn of water and air that spread out below the weir in patterns of sunlit bubbles that slowly burst. She spoke of the rubbish that is thrown onto the river banks and into the water, traffic cones, shopping trolleys, drinks cans. In this wonderful window of autumn sunlight on the river we simply do not understand how there are some who do not value this river that runs through our town, who cannot see its life-giving beauty. I admire her the more because she has yet to learn the life of the river. I told her of goosander who swim with their young on their back. She has seen cormorant- she asks if she has the name right, fishing below the weir.
Photographs merely give a glimpse of the river's power and beauty. They don't show those ephemeral patterns of sunlit bubbles. See the young cyclist, his front wheel on the sodden river bank- he's drawn by the rubble of boulders in the river bed, and the force of water over the weir.