Friday, 7 August 2009

By Coniston Water

Coniston Water is a bewitching place. Yesterday I got to sit on the shingle there, by the water's edge, making coffee for Karen and me on a meths stove. (I'm rather fond of that stove. It lends a ritual to the act of boiling water that leaves one relaxed and open-minded). There was virtually no wind, the sky was clear and The Old Man of Coniston filled the horizon on the far side of the lake. Its reflection in the water was slightly broken by the light breeze that moved the surface slightly. As I sat there, a heron glided past from left to right. Closer to the shore, small, circular waves kept breaking out on the surface, as if it were raining a little. The stove takes a few minutes to boil two mugs-worth of water, and nothing else seemed to happen for a while.
All of a sudden, the water surface became agitated. Not content with merely touching the surface to make their circular waves, innumerable small fish were suddenly attempting to jump out of the lake, all at the same time. I'd never seen anything like it. I could think of only one reason -later confirmed by a friend who has done some fishing- that a bigger fish like a carp or even a pike was threatening them. After several seconds, the agitation died away as quickly as it had started. Peace was restored: at least, from where I sat. Only a few feet away it was a case of “nature red in tooth and claw” but it was all happening out of sight, under the surface, and all I could see was the reflection of The Old Man.

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15 comments:

patteran said...

Good poem material, Dominic!

Niamh B said...

Thanks for bringing us there, it does sound lovely, and patteran is right, the contrast of peace with life & death struggles, perfect for a poem.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes - I too have seen that phenomena Dominic - I think you are right - it probably was a pike or some such in the vicinity. Glad you had a good day.

Sandra Leigh said...

You've written a beautiful description. I liked that you told me that the heron "glided past from left to right". That little extra detail brought the scene very close.

Frances said...

Perhaps they fancied some of your coffee.

Denise Burden said...

I, too, think it would translate into a poem - so Dominic...

Lyn said...

Nature will always have its way and what a dramatic portrayal you gave us..an adventure! Thank you!

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everybody!

Make a poem of it? Thanks for the suggestion. I'm not sure. I'll have a think.

Sepiru Chris said...

What a pleasant visit, obviously for you, and also for me.

I particularly enjoy that as you waited for one body of water to bubble, and took steps to ensure that that would happen, you were startled by a different body of water started to bubble with activity.

Lovely post.

Sepiru Chris said...

Somehow a "which" managed to pop out of the e-writings in that last line.

Go figure. My brain, or my manual control, must have "gone fishing".

Dominic Rivron said...

Well spotted. I never thought of the two bodies of bubbling water!

Derrick said...

Hello Dominic,

Paying a somewhat overdue visit, for which, sorry! You are obviously a lover of the great outdoors. A seat beside the lake, sipping tea (or coffee in my case) I could probably manage, as long as it had been prepared beforehand and in a thermos! I'm always happy to enjoy a picnic.

Climbing hills and sleeping in tents would bring me rather too close to nature! A beautiful view from the comfort of a cosy room is more in my line!

Your poem about knowing/not knowing someone, I enjoyed very much. The idea of a blogger's relationship didn't occur to me (nothing new there) but I see how well it could fit, whatever your intention.

Dave King said...

Ah, if only I was there now! For a short while I was, thanks to you. Splendid.

Poet in Residence said...

Like Dave King I was almost in the Lakes there for a short time. I also recalled my old man taking me up the Old Man of Coniston when I was but a nipper. Cheers!

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, Derrick, Dave and Poet. (Keeping it brief as I'm very busy! Whenever I have time off I find myself asking the same question: how did I find time to work?)