For a brief moment as we were driving along it looked as though the clouds would prevail but when we eventually pulled in to the quarry car park, after a short and unintentional detour to the reservoir, the sky was clear blue under a low sun with not a breath of breeze.
There is still frost on the ground in the hollows beside the path down towards the river where the bright orange beech leaves dot the grass in ever greater numbers. The tiny bridge is slick underfoot and the river chatters into the pool where more leaves twist and spiral, futilely clinging on before being rushed off downstream through the gorge.
Squelching through the frost softening mud we climb the low bank and the pool is spread out at out feet perfectly reflecting the bare branched trees along the hillside and the lower trees, more beeches, still holding their harvest of golden treasure. There is not a hint of breeze. Also missing are the trees that lined the shoreline of the pool when I was last here. Why cut them down? There is no harm they could possibly have done.
Changing in the sunshine we crunch through fallen leaves to the edge of the water. It’s chill, but it’s okay when you’re in.
No it isn’t, it’s bloody freezing.
It is however idyllic as we ripple the surface by gently making 2 full rounds of the pool, apart from when F. goes for some head down, brain freezing crawl, that crashes against the stillness, throws up glittering splashes and a lasting trail of bubbles.
There comes a moment when no matter how attractive the scenery the chill drives me out of the water to vigorously towel off in the sunshine. It seems though that we had the best of the day and the breeze now blurs the reflections, drives the leaves in to shore and cuts us to the core as we wriggle in to frustratingly clingy clothing.