Nature’s A Bitch

About 35 years ago I went on my first holiday without parents. A group of school friends camped in the Yorkshire Dales for a week near Settle. We listened to Monty Python and Genesis, we found a pub that ignored the fact we were well under age and served us beer and we spent hours plunging down the waterfalls at the bottom of the field. We also spent hours watching salmon returning to their place of birth jumping up the waterfalls we splashed down.

With my new passion for photography I decided I’d return and watch this peculiar ritual again and capture some award winning National Geographic style pictures, I mean how hard can it be?

Well for a start off its incredibly difficult, its like nailing jelly to a wall using a spanner and a spear gun. The fish never jump in the same place twice and unlike humans would they don’t tell you when they’re about to do it. They should get the crowd clapping along like long jumpers at the Olympics because I guarantee they’ll have a go as soon as you shift your position or scratch your nose or speak to one of the watching crowd. Nor do they respond to the ooo’s and aaah’s of the assembled throng or acknowledge the applause when one of them clears the first hurdle.


And does Mother Nature make it easy for them? Not in the slightest. Further down from these falls the river is quite shallow and some of these fish are big. So they have to wait till there has been sufficient rain to swell the river so they can make progress upstream. And of course all this water means the falls are faster, more powerful and that much more difficult to clear.  And there are three of them in rapid succession (pun intended).

So Mr and Mrs Salmon I salute you, you earned my admiration and you provided more entertainment in a couple of hours than any number of series of reality TV. I know you won’t be back but I hope your offspring are up to the task when they return because I will definitely be back to watch you jump.


  1. nvthelondonlover · October 14, 2014

    Ok so it’s official – my new favourite blogger 😆

    • spugwash · October 14, 2014

      WOW thank you, better write some more

  2. AnnetteM · November 5, 2014

    Wow – I am impressed. Popped over from the photography 101 course to see if you did get any salmon that day. I speak as someone who has spent quite a bit of time trying to get a snap of a salmon leaping at the Falls of Feugh, near Banchory in Scotland. These days I am happy if I just see one , forget the photo! Plants are much easier to specialise in – they mostly stay in one place.

    • spugwash · November 5, 2014

      Yes it was trying to say the least. I think I took 170 pictures and had three I was happy-ish with. Keep at it though its a great buzz when you get one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s