The waterways round these ways can be unremarkable and yet evocative at the same time. I meandered in lazy circles trying to find somewhere to try out my new camera lens and ended up in Bennett's Creek Park, a small suburban park with a dock and piers that fall away into a river that I assume is called Bennett's Creek.
As soon as I left the car the heat rushed out to envelop me, and the perspiration started to prick my face. Summers can be brutal round these parts. Summer has been brutal for some time. I find it hard to imagine the great Bayous around New Orleans, the festering swamps that team with all that bites, scratches and scrapes and the sheer oppressive humidity. Is it to surprising the guys who hunt gators seem to have parted company with their brain cells as surely as they have lose their teeth? The heat leaves no room to think, no space to breathe.
Yet at Bennett's Creek they defied the bugs to form a long line of fisherfolk, the lines flaccid in the mud that teemed with tiny crabs, looking for all the world like lice that infest the tidal marshes.
I didn't walk far. The sunset was disappointing as if the sun had too been mugged by the heat but there was a luminous quality to the water and the marshes that offered hope that my pictures wouldn't be flat.
And I took a short path to the trees to the high earth lookout point above the water where the river fell away on three sides and a house twinkled across the shallows. We had been here before. The place had history. Kids were smaller and the days we had visited the play park seemed curiously distant. The swings were now silent in the heavy, mosquito laden air and the half light. The earth bank afforded a wide panorama of the river, but was too expansive for the camera lens. I spied the sandy bank I had climbed down two years ago to be greeted by a tall snake rising from the stubbly beach.
This was not a beautiful place but it has a curious sallow charm. It reminded me of the BBQ here long ago when the darkness crept it and only the car headlights saved us from food poisoning.
Flarford Mill is more beautiful but I have only been there once. I have a picture of a boat under the pollarded willows by the old houses. There were no bugs and no need for a change of shirt, although the clouds moved fast across the meadows in anticipation of the arrival of rain.
Perhaps I was homesick but I couldn't be sure. That would involve thinking and I haven't got round to doing that for some time.