From the tranquil fastness of the Home Counties, it may be difficult to comprehend quite what this winter has been like here in Devon. Last week a couple of dry days ( about the only two dry days together!) gave some hope that the endless storms, Atlantic fronts, gales etc., were actually tempering slightly. How wrong we were! Even before storm Imogen gave us today's 80 mph winds and 15 metre waves at sea, last Saturday flooded the village.Trench Foot has now become endemic in Devon, and there are rumours of folks developing webbed feet and gills.
Saturday February 6th saw a day of relentless rain, one Radio Devon weather watcher reporting the highest 24 hour rainfall he had ever recorded in 50 years. The River Lyd peaked at over 11 feet, and was out in the road at Lifton Bridge. The flattened daffodils and scoured banks, exposing stems of flower yet to bloom, say it all.
|The water came about a foot up the telegraph pole.|
|Flood debris in the blackthorn bush on the top of the bank at Silver Doctor pool|
|The high water mark, shown like the tide mark on a beach by a line of woody debris, right out in the field beside Hairy Mary pool on Bottom beat.|
|Note the semi-automatic shotgun. Cormorants still fish the river in high and dirty water, and we have yet to account for this winter's quota.|
|The water level at Tinhay Lake has risen greatly in the past few days. The water beside the willow bush is at welly-top height. However, all is not doom and gloom - whilst trying (unsuccessfully) for a grayling last week, David caught several little salmon parr and a few trout, along with a bright shining silver sea trout smolt. It is seriously early to find the trout smolting up, but this one had obviously already booked his ticket to the English Channel, and we hope to see him again as a school peal in July. All this rain and wind has kept temperatures well above average, and the blush of hawthorn leaves in the hedges is a joy to see. It would all look just a little better if the sun was shining|