50 days of 50mm # 24

It’s the Easter weekend and according to local radio reports, the roads are packed with the holiday crowds heading towards the south west, so I decide that I will finally spend some time catching up on that backlog of jobs I have evaded until now but not before an early(ish) start for day #24, another morning stroll by the river.

As I make my way through the city centre at just after six am, the local road sweepers are out in force, clearing the night before’s takeaway debris left by the lazy who have lost the ability to locate and use a bin.
Urban gulls fight like drunkards over a polystyrene box, only dispersed by a passing ambulance, blues and twos turned up to eleven!

My approach to the river, takes me via the subway, a labyrinth of graffiti painted walls, abstract images and messages, I take a couple of shots with the aim of a grunge style edit, ideal for the subject matter.

The river lies still, not a breath of wind in the air, a little overcast with a hint of mist in the distance, I enjoy these conditions to capture the reflections and mood of this Holy Saturday morning.

Only two boats from the local rowing club have the River to themselves, I had expected to see more, I watch, admiring the synchronicity of the rowers as the boat glides gracefully through the water and into the distance.

A little further along, a fly fisherman stands thigh deep in the briskly flowing waters, the first time in my 22 years in Exeter that I have seen anyone fish this spot, I decide to stop here awhile to enjoy a cup of tea from my flask as I watch him cast his line in graceful arcs into the water.

A fellow angler shouts encouragement from the bank, there have been salmon caught a little further down river a couple of days before.
I watch, fascinated by the methodical way in which fly fishermen work the swim, their unwavering optimism that the next cast will find their elusive prey.

I remain here until my flask is empty, sometimes it is good to just sit and watch the world go by, runners on their daily exercise, some unplugged, just the sound of their feet for rhythm, others plugged into their motivational play list, both ‘in the zone’.

My playlist is the sound of the nearby weir, where a heron stands statue still on sentry duty, patiently waiting for his unsuspecting prey, he will find his fish before the fisherman for sure.

I have eked out two or so hours here but I am determined to get back home and tackle that list of jobs, I will only allow myself to look through the morning’s images once I am half way through them, I do better than that, I complete all but two tasks that can be done tomorrow…. or Monday.



An early start

As the year passes by at an alarming rate, the early morning starts I regularly enjoy are getting steadily lighter, with sunrise at around six AM.

Being a Sunday, it is the one day I rarely set an alarm yet I am still awake at just after 4am, this morning however, I manage another hour before deciding to venture out for an early riverside walk.

It has been a week of clear blue skies with an abundance of sunshine, spring has arrived at last but there is still a chill in the early morning air.

The strong winds of the last few days have abated for a while, only a gentle breeze ripples the still waters and as the sun makes its first appearance, its golden rays paint the opposite side of the riverbank in its warm glow.

Early sunlight paints the buildings with a golden glow

But for a couple of anglers, a dog walker and a brace of joggers, the riverside is mine, the peace and solitude only occasionally interrupted by an industrious woodpecker and a stonechat going about their avian business.

Today may not have been the longest of walks, it is more about getting out for a couple hours and grabbing a few snapshots along the way, for me, the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday