Underpass and river

On a sharp March afternoon in the spring of 2018 I took a stroll out of Wadesmill along the path that follows the River Rib to Thundridge Old Church. My walk that day took me on through the Youngsbury Estate where I watched the newly born lambs that gambled amongst the daffodils, not far from the watchful gaze of their mothers. I heard ring-necked parakeets for the first time locally that day and watched a flock of fieldfare feeding on the grassland of the old estate’s south facing slopes on the descent back down to the valley bottom at the end of the walk.

But it was the vibrations of traffic speeding along the A10 bypass, unseen and unknown on the multi-ribbon of tarmac that spans the River Rib here and stretches across the landscape, round and through the contours of this sweet patch of Hertfordshire countryside that remind me most of that day, passing as waves of sound in the low open box below the bridge and juxtaposed against occasional birdsong leaking in from outside.

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