Tuesday, 28 September 2010

To Walk Beside The River

The River Beane near Stapleford

The River Beane rises near Cromer, east of Stevenage in Hertfordshire, it is a tributary of the River Lee. It used to flow through Walkern but the river's upper reaches have been somewhat depleted by over-exploitation of the chalk aquifer, however, south east of Stevenage it is fed by a number of tributaries including the Stevenage Brook, itself a charming stream with several areas of watermeadows and preserved natural habitat and as the Beane flows through Watton-At-Stone and then on through Stapleford and Waterford it becomes much more of a true river until joining the River Lee at Hartham Common near Hertford.

For this walk we join the Beane at Stapleford and amble down to Bullsmill.

To Walk Beside The River

Through the quietude of the old church yard
we make our way beside the graves
then passing through the kissing gate
to the place where the hidden pathway lies

Beside the lush green water-meadows
in Autumn winds that bring forth a shiver
we amble over the humpback bridge
once more to walk beside the river

Himalayan Balsam adorn the banks
among the Hawthorn and Weeping Willows
while Sloe berries attract the birds
Blue Tits, Wren's, Blackbirds & Sparrows

We pass through archways and tunnels green
past meadows with cows gently grazing
while the river sings its timeless song
we slowly walk in silence, listening

Tributary streams run through the woods
cut away the soft chalk, milky white
exposing ancient fossil shells
once more to this day's damp grey light

Softly at first the rain starts to fall
making ringlet patterns on the water's face
we shelter beneath the ancient Oaks
that grow here still in this special place

We tread as softly as we can
paying all due respect and reverence
But the Moorhens dart through undergrowth
somewhat cautious of our presence

In places such as this I feel
Mother Nature is a gracious giver
and I feel awed and privileged
to walk beside the river

1 comment:

  1. Mother Nature is indeed a gracious giver-and a river is a splendid place to head for when the Mudhopping mood is upon you.
    Excellent poem and pics to portray your day and walk us along beside you.