Saturday, 24 November 2012

Autumn Floods

 The bench , trees and lamp show where the bank usually is.
I seem to have had one of those weeks where I haven't really felt like doing much, and curling up with a book seemed much the best option to pass the time, so I haven't got round to writing anything for several days. But I stirred myself into activity this morning, wrapped up warmly in my new winter coat (an early Christmas pressie from my wonderful daughters) and was out bright and early - by which I mean I was bright, but the weather wasn't. It wasn't raining, but it was very dull and foggy, although it cleared by the time I walked down to the Castle Grounds to look at the floods. The light wasn't good, but I've taken some pictures for this week's  Saturday Snapshot to give you an idea what it looked like.
This shot, taken from a bridge, gives some idea of the extent
of the flooding.
The Anker had burst its banks, and there was no way I could walk alongside the river, like I do normally, but I went as far as I could, and gazed at the transformed landscape. Really the river isn't all that wide, but the land on either side is very flat, and very low lying, so there are always floods when the weather is bad - and today was as bad as I've ever seen it. Grassland looked like a marsh, while trees were growing out of the water, and the the benches along the bank had almost disappeared. 
This beautiful flowers were growing on the unsubmerged part of the
bank, and brought a welcome touch of colour to a bleak day.
It looked spectacular, and the force of the water swirling and rushing along in the main course of the river was frightening. The water was a kind of chocolate brown, with trails of creamy coloured, frothy bubbles on the top, and I could hear it burbling and gurgling.
This may look like a river, or pool...
Normally there are dozens of ducks, geese and swans there, as well as coots and moorhens, but today most of them had vanished. There were a pair of swans swimming in the calmer water, above a footpath, and a few mallards and moorhens a bit further off - too far away to get a clear picture, and I certainly wasn't going to risk splashing through the flood water, although it didn't look very deep at that point. And six geese (just like in the song, but they were not a-laying) stood on a patch of bank that was still above water, peering at the torrent in a rather bewildered fashion, as if they were wondering what happened to their normal environment.
....but it's really a footpath!
The town centre is slightly higher, and doesn't flood. I had a good browse and, still on a watery theme, found  two beautiful shells in a charity shop, and snaffled them up so I can hold them against my ear and listen to the sea.
Trees growing in the water!
I got back home just before the rain set in, and have been sitting reading Alice Oswald's 'Dart', because I love her work, and this poem about the River Dart, in Devon, may be about a different river, but somehow it seemed to suit the occasion. 
This is grassland - honestly - and normally you can walk
across it without wearing wellies!
For more Saturday Snapshots see Alice's blog at For more Saturday Snapshots see  Alice's blog at http://athomewithbooks.net/


45 comments:

  1. Bear With Me...it was really foggy this past week and it made me feel as if in a fog, so I know how weather can affect ya...nice outing with good results here♫♪

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    1. Thank you. I think it's particularly depressing because we had such a terrible summer. But it could be worse!

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  2. I hope the flooding doesn't do too much damage. Water is so powerful, it's scary.

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    1. Fortunately there are few houses or businesses alongside the river in Tamworth but several of the car parks flood quite badly, and people in some of the villages are often affected. It's been raining heavily since around mid-day, so things will probably be worse tomorrow, and people in some parts of the UK were flooded out in the summer, and now it's happened to them all over again.

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  3. Wow, that's quite a flood. Interesting photos! I love the one of the swan swimming toward the footpath. ;)

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    1. I like that one Shari. I guess the waterfowl can't swim in fast-moving flood water, so they move to other spots.

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  4. I love the bright yellow flowers - they seem to cheer up and give hope.
    So sorry about the flooding. I do hope there is no major damage. I note you said you walked down to the 'castle grounds.' Do you live near a castle?? That would be cool. :-)

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    1. Martha, I am very lucky because I live within walking distance of Tamworth Castle. It's not very big, but it is a proper castle (not a ruin), which dates back to Norman times. And it has a ghost... I love looking at it from the outside, but haven't been round the inside for a while. Maybe I'll pay a visit and post some photos.

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  5. Beautiful photos of the flooded area. Glad it didn't cause problems for you or your home.

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    1. We are lucky because we live higher up. It's a downhill walk into town, but uphill on the way home, when I'm always tired!

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  6. How terrible for anyone who had their homes ruined by the flood. The photos you captured are very telling.

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    1. There are lots of places where it's much, much worse than this. It makes you realise the power of nature, and the rver can rise ver rapidly.

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  7. I like walking in fog - possibly because the chance doesn't come very often so I enjoy the novelty!

    Sorry about the flooding, though. It's a terrible thing to have your house fill with water and mud. I hope the weather improves.

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    1. Eugenia, I hate driving in the fog, but always enjoy walking in it, because everything is softened. Shapes lose their hard edges and turn into creatures out of fairy tales, and sounds are muffled, and there's a kind of mythic, other worldly quality to it - it always makes me think of Arthurian legends...

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  8. I didn't realize you'd had such flooding over there. (I'm in Nova Scotia). I arrived at your site via Sian's Life on a Small Island.

    Hope things dry out soon.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by. Back in the summer there was so much rain for so long there was widespread flooding in many parts of England. This time around there seems to have been a lot of very heavy rain in a short space of time, coupled with high winds, and there doesn't seem to be anywhere for all the water to go. It's been a bad year for weather in the UK.

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  9. Looks a bit scary, and I think we have a bit more bad weather on the way.

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    1. The river looked more than a bit scary - the current was obviously really strong, and the water must have been pretty deep. What's it like where you are?

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  10. I always get a knot in my stomach thinking of floods. I lived for thirteen years next to a river, and it finally flooded 15 yrs. ago; the town had to evacuate (it was a foothill village). My house was high enough to stay clear of the water, though, for which I was grateful. Thanks for sharing the shots...and for visiting my snapshots.

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    1. Laurel-Rain, that must have been really frightening - things must have been very bad for the whole town to be evacuated. My heart goes out to anyone whose home or business is flooded. They lose so much, and it takes so long to clean up afterwards.

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  11. That's a lot of rain!! We get lots of flooding in Florida too!

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    1. The only thing I can ever remember about Florida from my schooldays is pictures of Mangrove swamps, with water swirling around the tree trunks!

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  12. The flood and its consequences. I used to watch the flooded river when I was a kid without knowing the damage it produced.

    A book can brighten up a gloomy day.

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    1. As a child I don't think you realise how disastrous these things can be. I was brought up in the Thames Valley, and when I started work I crossed the river each day, there and back, and I've seen that flooded, but didn't understand the impact on people.

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  13. With Hurricane Sandy hitting the Northeast I have had my fill of floods recently. It is amazing how powerful Mother Nature can be.

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    1. I suppose that here in the UK we should consider ourselves lucky that the weather (and flooding) this year is not on the scale of Hurricane Sandy - the photos in our newspapers showed widespread devastation.

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  14. I heard about UK flooding on the news. Now I have eye-witness photos. And what a flood! Imagine swans swimming on the street. I hope life will get back to normal soon for you all.

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    1. Thank you Arti. It's not as bad here as in many other places, and looks amazing, but some fine weather would be nice!

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  15. Wow that flood looks terrible. The floods didn't hit London (yet!) That swan looks might comfortable there on that footpath! Great pic of the flowers the colour is lovely.

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    1. Hope it doesn't reach you! Mind you, the Thames has flood defences - just as well, I think!

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    1. Isn't it just! It's stopped raining now, but it's been bucketing down since yesterday lunchtime, so I don't suppose there's much improvement. And it's very, very windy.

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  17. I hadn't heard anything of flooding in the UK on the news, but enjoyed seeing your photos (if you know what I mean). The swan still manages to look serene and regal doesn't it? I hope things are back to normal soon.

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    1. Swans always look serene and regal when they are on the water, but they are very ungainly on land.

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  18. We've been lucky up in north Northumberland as the rain only arrived last night and nowhere nearly as much as elsewhere - so no flooding where we live. We have a stream running through our garden and the water is now getting higher but hasn't overflowed. The River Tweed isn't far away and when we drove by it on Friday it had overflowed its banks in parts, but where we live we're quite a lot higher up and it would have to be a Noah's Ark flood to affect us. The power of water never ceases to amaze me.

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    1. The rain has stopped now, but I think more is forecast. Water is an incredible force - I'm always surprised at how slow, calm rivers and quite small streams can turn into raging torrents and wreak terrible destruction.

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  19. Oh, what a mess. The swans seem happy but then they are equipped for land or sea.

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    1. The swans did seem happy, swimming serenely on the calmer waters - above a footpath!

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  20. Sorry about the floods. You really captured the mess the water left behind.

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    1. Some places are far, far worse than this. I think the problem is that everything is so wet from all the rain we have had this year, there is nowhere for the rain to go. We've reached saturation point!

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  21. Oh my!! That is a lot of rain! I love the photo of the duck swimming in was the footpath!!

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    1. I thought it was supposed to be easing off, but we've still had more rain...

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  22. How long will it take before the land dries? Is this something that happens occasionally or is this the first time? Fantastic pictures.

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    1. Do you know, I have no idea how long it will take for the ground to dry out - the water will drain away gradually once the weather improves, but as I understand it the ground was already waterlogged from earlier rain. The area in the photos tends to flood, but not usually as often and as bad as its been this year.

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  23. I do feel very sorry about the flood. It looks terrible! We had two floods in the Midwest in the U.S. 2008 and 2010. Wrecked university buildings, a destroyed art museum, bridges and trails wiped out, and a public library renovated with $300,000 donated by Garrison Keillor. The damage is still under repair throughout the Midwest.

    It has been gorgeous here much of the time, but then it acts up, not used to these nice warm temperatures...

    So I hope the UK is doing better, but this does not look good! Thank God you're ok. We are, too.

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