Sails and Whiskers

Picking myself up from falling full length, face first in a shallow river there were a few expletives - just a few! 

I'd been dipper hunting down in the Forest and walked on the shingle in the river middle just to get a better view downstream. Not being able to cross back onto the bank, retraced my footsteps to a possible exit point. Yes I could see it was muddy with the possibility of a slight sinking in but was quite unprepared for my boot to go rapidly down three-quarters of the way. Trying then to get purchase with my other foot that went right in too. The more I tried to unsuck my boots the deeper in I went. No-one around, feeling a tad helpless, the camera had to be unhooked and put down on the shingle whilst trying to keep calm with both boots completely stuck in mud to the top. It was in the midst of heaving one boot out with nowhere to put it but back into the quagmire that I completely lost it, over balanced, went flat on my face into the thick mud and water. Soaked, dirty, swearing and thoroughly annoyed I managed in the end to get both my boots out. I did look around to see if anyone had clocked all this debacle afterwards and thankfully they hadn't whilst any dipper worth it's salt had long disappeared with the entire riverbank fracas or perhaps it was watching from afar under a tree root just amused. 

There are wild mandarin ducks on this stretch of water however they scooted at the first twig broken underfoot but I did get some mandarins at Cannop Ponds where there are a few pairs. I just love the male orange sails whilst his whiskers were all puffed up with a female being around - very pretty.

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