A change from the same views of Benmore Gardens in the rain - more snow/less snow/river high again/river more normal ... This object had me thinking of H G Wells, and the conclusion of The War of the Worlds - a book which I read before I was ten in a childhood plagued by whooping cough and all the ills of a post-war childhood, when houses were cold and sick children stayed in bed until they were better and needed huge stacks of books to ward off boredom.
I've been checking the book again - the very copy of my childhood - and found this description:" A big greyish, rounded bulk, the size perhaps of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder. Two large dark-coloured eyes were regarding me steadfastly. It was rounded, and had, one might say, a face. There was a mouth under the eyes, the lipless brim of which quivered and panted, and dropped saliva. The body heaved and pulsated convulsively. A large tentacular appendage gripped the edge of the cylinder, another swayed in the air."
In the next paragraph Wells describes "the Gorgon groups of tentacles" and "something fungoid in the oily brown skin"... These creatures later appeared mounted in what he later realised were the "harmless tripod towers of shining metal" that they used rather in the manner of the Daleks in recent Doctor Who series.
But this is how I always imagined them in their deaths; the description left such an impression on me.
"Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a million deaths, man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it was still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain."
So here are my dead Martians, felled by the ordinary bacteria of their surroundings, lying in the mud on a chilly, dank afternoon.
But no wonder I was a verbose child ...