While watching Countryfile on Sunday night, which seems to be neat, clean, and generally cute, it struck me that this was very different to the country life that I know, which is mostly none of those things.
This weekend we nearly got stranded and ended up dirty and smelling of bonfires after clearing up from a tree coming down in the summer. I don’t think either of these would be shown in their actuality on Countryfile.
We attempted a tide flight on Saturday at a new marsh – we wanted to see it in daylight for the first time out. The tide prediction was a very high spring tide, at 13:20. Unfortunately, the morning jobs took longer than expected, and we got out about an hour too late for the ducks to be flying.
It turned out to be a slightly longer walk than expected, but well worth it. There were 4 mallard waiting, but saw us long before we could get close. It’s a lovely little marsh that is fairly remote; we set out some decoys and settled down. For a slightly wild day, the light was beautiful.
While looking around, it was slightly disconcerting to see a fellow wildfowler watching us from the next door marsh! Although well tucked in, a dark head and shoulders was still visible! They say you can’t do anything without being seen, and it was definitely true that morning!
When the water starting lapping at our feet J started to pack up. In my “wisdom” having been around the water my whole life, I questioned whether it was still a little soon. I believed, as it turned out erroneously, that the front of the marsh would be underwater before the inland end (our escape route). However, I followed his lead, packing up swiftly, and we made our way towards the bridge. Which was partly underwater.
As a newish wildfowler, and not being sure whether I’d take to it, I don’t yet own waders. Or even long wellies. But a quick dash, and a slight tug of the boot in the cow churned mud at the edge, and we made it, with just a damp sock where water splashed over the top.
Lesson of the day: even with *cough* years of experience with rivers and tides, being on the water is not the same as not being underwater!