"its an ugly scar cutting its way through the valley" was how the Towy was once described to me by a prominent fly fisherman. At the time I thought that was a harsh description of what is to many one of the finest rivers in Wales. But after reflecting on the comments a few years later, the river almost seems to enjoy showing its dark side.
The plovers each year will be sure to loose their young when the river once again returns to spate and the ground nests are washed away. The sand martins burrows dug into the steep sided banks will again become submerged. But these birds will return each year to the same spots despite these risks.
Stories of this darkness are being revealed all the time. A recent chance meeting with a man who was until 1972 hunting Otters and fishing along its banks, told one such story. He described how a poacher tried to snare a large Salmon near to Dryslwyn Bridge, but was himself dragged under the water into the submerged tangled roots of a tree by his mighty prey after he had become entangled within the snare, never to be seen again.
In more recent times we have many sad stories of children playing near to our rivers and lakes never returning home.
I have spent most of my life fishing various rivers and know that all too well that it's beauty on the surface often belies its many imperfections and dangers beneath. This ugliness occasionally surfacing to show us its bones. Years of rubbish and junk once thrown in, and forgotten, at some point will once again reappear, washed up on the shingle beaches for all to see.
This project does not aim to photo the obvious beauty of the river, but tries to capture its darker side and its characteristics, but in itself this has an inherent beauty.
Gallery here - Rivers Scars
All images Copyright - David Rice
David is a photographer based in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. When not with his family, he enjoys capturing images of the beautiful Towy valley. His work can be seen at www.towyphotography.com and on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/towyphotography or a regular tweeter on twitter @caerwynt_loops. He can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.