A few days ago I led a group of students on the Goldsmiths MA course in Photography and Urban Cultures along the Ravensbourne River in Deptford, starting at Brookmill Park and ending at the Thames. The river becomes Deptford Creek at Deptford Bridge. It was a damp day and we arrived at the park later than I’d hoped, so the tide was already coming in. This makes the river appear to be flowing backwards (upstream).
While most of the students were off exploring the park, Cati, one of the students, from Portugal, and I struck up a conversation with two men – Terry and Paul – who were sitting on a bench gazing at the river. I’ve met Terry (on the right in the photo) before and know that he’s very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the park and around the river, as it winds through reeds and willow trees. They quickly pointed out a fox, hunting on the opposite bank as a heron also hunted at the water’s edge. A family of ducks swam up and down the river, watchful of the fox. The fox, who had an injured leg, moved slowly towards the heron. But as it came close, the heron took to the air, beating its great wings like a pterodactyl, lifting itself heavily into the air and flying downstream.