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Just Like Fishing…

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In my last post, I confessed that I “lost” some files. And just like fishing, those were the ones that got away… so I raved and raved about how great those photos were and I woefully mourned their loss.

Well, today I found them.

I think they were bigger and better swimming in my memory. But I did get the beautifully made bed photo that I wanted, so I feel a little better after-all.

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Photography Lesson number 2 in 2009… save your files in the correct folders the first time.

Three Mills and the Olympics

The mooring at Three Mills has historically been the home for 20 canal boats and 31 canal boat living people. Until a few months ago when the British Waterways announced that everyone would have to leave for 18 months while the canal undergoes improvements made to transport construction materials for the Olympics. Now the mooring is home for three boats and seven people, who negotiated for special permission to stay.

This documentary project explores the Three Mills community and the people and animals who are positively and negatively affected by the 2012 Olympic canal improvements. The oldest residents of the area do not have a voice, but if they did, I imagine they would have mixed reviews about the changes.

Worms, small and pink, live in the canal mud; the mud that is usually freckled with tires, bikes and other human leftovers. For 30 years the worms have been the prey of not only birds who come to hunt when the tide goes out, but also tropical fish enthusiast Brian, affectionately called the Worm Man, and later joined by his son Darren.

Two days a week for the past 30 years Brian has come to Three Mills to hunt these worms and then sell his catch to tropical fish food buyers. After the canal improvements, the Worm Men will not be able to hunt at Three Mills because the canal, that has historically been tidal, will continuously be floating. Besides being safe from hunting birds and men, it is yet to be determined how the worms will fair being underwater indefinitely.

tropical fish

The narrow boats at Three Mills Mooring sit on the mud twice a day. This gives Brian and his son Darren at least four good hunting hours for the worms, that they sell for tropical fish food. Darren says cloudy days are ideal because the worms rise close to the surface so they don’t have to dig as deep. The boaters say they will miss hearing Brian and Darren swear at each other outside their windows as they rush to finish before the water rises again.

wet feet

Darren says worm work is hardest on your arms and back. Today he has a hole in his waders and his legs are cold and wet. After the canal improvements they will have to try and find somewhere else to hunt but they will keep coming here until the very end. Darren, 28, likes the work and hopes to keep doing it as long as there are places to hunt.

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