Caught by the River

Shadows and Reflections: Matthew Shaw

20th December 2020

It’s time for the annual end-of-year musings known as Shadows and Reflections. Since so many of our lives were lived in thematic overlap this year, we’ve asked our contributors and friends to focus on the small, strange and specific as they look back over the last 12 months. Today it’s the turn of Matthew Shaw.

The summer and autumn were spent walking miles and miles of the rivers Stour and Avon from my home in Christchurch Dorset, noting the changes in the natural world, the trees and birdlife especially. I have discovered all kinds of new walks, from the coast at Hengistbury Head, through Stanpit Marsh, even alongside heavy industry and among pylons, warehouses and fork-lift trucks to my left, a Kingfisher illuminated to my right. We even had a Glossy Ibis visit at Stanpit, which is still here and a joy to see most days. The flow of the river, a whole summer cycle closely observed and experienced.

Read an extract from Matthew Shaw’s ‘Atmosphere of Mona’, published in September, here. You can buy a copy here.

Visit Matthew’s website here.