Beside the river at the Tower

Today brought the annual Ride London event in which a number of streets are closed in Central London and bus routes are disrupted. Nonetheless, we managed to travel as far as London Bridge where we dismounted and followed the path along the north bank of the Thames, eastwards towards the Tower of London.

Cormorant
Cormorant

This photo shows one of the cormorants that inhabit this reach of the river. Their presence is a good sign, if one be needed, of the river’s health. Cormorants live by fishing and if there were no fish, there would be no cormorants.

This one has not been fishing recently or s/he would be standing with wings spread to dry them, a hieratic posture that immediately identifies the species.

Cormorants fascinate me. There is something antique about them as though they come from an earlier age of the earth’s history. To fish, they settle on the water and then dive from this position. They may stay under water for half a minute or more and then pop up far away from their entry point.

They can take flight from the water and when they do they leave a double trail of splashes where their wing tips touch the surface.

All Hallows by the Tower
All Hallows by the Tower

This is All Hallows by the Tower. Reputedly founded in AD 675 on the site of a Roman building, it still retains vestiges of its early history. It was restored in the 19th century and again after being gutted by enemy bombs during WWII.

This is not the optimum angle for a photo but this was as close as we came to it today. I used the trees to screen out the ugly modern buildings that are its upstart neighbours.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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