Hot dry weather, and with limited weed growth, the river is low. Hatches of midday olives have been the best for some years and rising fish are guaranteed throughout the afternoon. The river is stuffed with fish and with limited growth of marginal fringe and gin clear water, are easily spooked; disturb one fish and he may charge upstream and skitter another dozen. There are some huge shoals of Minnows in the streams around the garden and a podgy Brown Trout of five pounds or more hangs lazily in the slack water on the millstream in front of the house, the first few Mayflies have started to appear which may herald his imminent downfall.
After last years dearth of Swallows Martins and Swifts, the few that have turned up this year have gorged themselves on Olives in the afternoon, and, despite their late arrival should result in them bringing off a couple of broods at least. Some trees are still breaking bud, the Mulberry particularly stubborn in its refusal to join in the early summer festivities.
Some friends of ours on the other side of the river have recently completed an impressive pond project in their back garden. Three feet deep and full of natural goodness it teems with wildlife. Throughout a boozy late afternoon barbecue, Mayflies climbed clear of the water, frogs sang their song in the fading light and unfortunately a grass snake put in an appearance, sending “mien host” screaming to the kitchen. Keenly averse to snakes, a request has been put in for the triumph of a pond to be filled in, unless a plan for ridding the area of snakes is implemented immediately. The search is on for St Patrick’s mobile number, or at the very least some bloke with a mongoose. I couldn’t come up with an answer other than getting rid of the frogs which is almost impossible. Any ideas let me know.