River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Riverwatch - weather

November 2011

It was a truly beautiful day. There was no wind and a brightness cast giant reflections across the width of the river Wissey. An autumn chill and a mist had lingered in the morning but now it was perfect. How could the forecasters have got it so horribly wrong!

The night before the forecast had been dire. It was so bad I had thought about cancelling my day's fishing but decided to go regardless. The weather predictions are so often wrong that I have very little confidence in the so called experts. The television weather lady may wear a tight pretty dress but alas her technology seems lacking! Overnight should have been the start of gales and torrential rain. All this came with a warning of flooding and structural damage and yet nothing happened. My fishing hardly matters but in a hundred and one other instances it is highly important. So many people are reliant on the weather and time and money can easily be wasted by silly misinformation.

From my riverbank the sky was bold and big - a typical Norfolk sky. There were no clouds just blue everywhere. Thus it was easy to enjoy what was about to happen. Similar strings of events must take place all the time but never before have I noticed them in such a short space of time. The moving picture show started high in the sky with numerous geese in their wavering V's making steady headway. Below them ducks in long lines passed over with loud protest. After the ducks came a flight of rooks returning to their high nests. Then low to the surface of the river came a family of swans following the course. With a loud beating of wings they came and went. Finally even closer to the water a kingfisher skimmed by without any sound at all. Everything was witnessed in the space of two minutes, each at a seperate level of flight and each a joy to watch in its own right.

Our feathered friends were certainly busy and strangely years ago watching the birds was a reliable way by which country folk made their own forecasts. Birds flying high indicated a fine day and those making their nests in the hedgerows higher than normal would suggest the coming of a severe winter. Rooks circling in an anti-clockwise direction would indicate windy weather whilst if they went in the opposite direction the morrow would bring rain. I am sure such predictions and many more were just as accurate as those of today so I suggest our pretty lady should avoid further embarrassment and just look out of the window in future!

Mother natures invariably provides the answers and it is merely for us to find them. However please take note for it is a scientific fact that if you ever see ants coming out of their holes in large numbers an earthquake is imminent!

By Ivor Hook

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