It is so easy these days to just glide along, caught up in the obsessions of modern life (<insert your own>) and be oblivious to the simple things in life. Simple things such as where water comes from. “The sky, surely?”. Well yes, of course. But then what? Where does it go between hitting terra firma and emerging from your tap?
There are a million routes of course, but perhaps the most interesting ones are those we cannot see, the ones that travel beneath our feet. Billions of gallons of water flow through the ground every year and not all of it finally emerging somewhere.
This ‘groundwater’ as it is known is of course vital for all sorts of reasons including the maintenance of the river network and, perhaps more selfishly, topping up our boreholes. But when it gushes forth from rock or hillside then it captures our attention and imagination.
I spotted this particular tiny spring while out walking.
Clean, cold water issuing from a crack in the stone. If you looked upwards you would see about 2m (6’) of rock, then a steeply sloping hillside of heather and bracken rising several hundred metres. The little source trickled its water out alongside the stone track and kept it company far down the hill.
How far it had travelled through the ground – and how deep – I have no idea. But, for a few distracted minutes, it was fun to imagine.