At Stapleton, the River Frome was much fuller and faster than it has been and looking decidedly mucky from all the snowmelt. Today the dog and I headed down the valley through Eastville Park.
This little waterway seems to go by the unromantic name of 'the second Fishponds brook'.
When we reached Eastville lake, my heart did a little jump. I don't think I've been there in fifty years.
Not that we went there more than once or twice, for a picnic in the summer.
I remember there being paddle boats for hire and a little cafe, and my father taught me about sticklebacks which we scooped up in a jam jar, brought with us for that purpose.
It was very different today, but still familiar somehow.
There were a couple of areas of thin ice on the lake, which were creating atmospheric patches of mist, but otherwise, it was springlike.
Squirrels abounded in a literal sort of way. Ducks were frisking. And the trees and verges were full of long-tailed tits, blue tits, grey wagtails, pied wagtails, bullfinches, chaffinches ... and pigeons.
Has she got any bread? ... Has she got any bread? ... Buggrit!
A heron turned up.
A cormorant shot up the lake and took off. Black-headed gulls made spectacular dives ...
... and then stood about on the ice a bit.
It's water bird heaven.
Back at the head of the lake, the heron was still in the same spot. Ted and I watched him gulp down a little fish - bet those stickles are uncomfortable! - and return to its perch ...
... and then realised we'd spent far too long there and would be late picking up Son the Elder from his appointment.
Cue a big fluster and hurry back through the woods ...
... and across the bridge.
But we won't leave it another fifty years to return.