Eel Dipper Tomato

An eel, a dipper, a tomato, a kingfisher or a heron, is there an odd one out on a stretch of the River
For a very brief time I saw an eel, a small, black, viper looking yet harmless eel wriggling across the
shallow river bed out to the middle bed of the low flowing Dodder stretch at Churchtown Road Lower, south Dublin just down from ‘nettle island’ and the big weir this early March (2020).
I must explain my son and I named this small, rectangular land mass (10msq) nettle island after two or three rambles or jumps onto it. Being made of deposit rock, grey earth and hosting a forest-like of 1m tall first arrival vegetation (including nettles), it is a young explorers paradise island.
On one jump to nettle island we had been drawn to a plant which turned out to be a fruiting Piccadilly tomato plant. One solitary tomato was growing which we subsequently had planted, taking some seeds to grandfather’s greenhouse pot.
Now this day before spotting the eel, just across from nettle island, below the weir, a dipper bird had been dipping under the river flow from a rock jutting out. Its white breast being very clear with every lift of its head. It then flew downstream passing the wooden seat bearing its name (Dipper View), passed the elegant grey heron poised and edging forward, calmly in the water, as also a football that had come down from Bushy Park or Firhouse sailed on by.
Out of the blue a kingfisher barrelled low above the water surface in a colourful burst flash down to an overhanging willow and moments later diving into the river from the willow to fly straight back up
possibly with a fish but it was hard to tell before whizzing on downstream. Two track suited walkers
were cameras to the ready for to catch the blue flash.
Following on down, just keeping behind the floating football, I then spotted the wriggle looking shape on the river bed. It wasn’t a trout darting or flipping to the waters surface. It was a small, black, viper
looking but harmless eel writhing quickly and easily along the river bed to a clump of vegetation around a rock in midstream, and under it slid. He must have sensed my gaze to be ducking for cover so fast.
There was no more movement from the eel, it was safe.
The European eel comes from the sea as far away as the Sargasso Sea I once read and then returns all the way back to sea to breed. This little fellow could already be three to six years old and ready to make that long seaward journey soon.
Though he vanished I was reminded it had been fifteen years or more when I had last seen an eel in this spot and he being wrapped around a heron’s bill struggling in vain, close to the elevated foot path side of this river stretch, across from the Arc du Triumph folly.
Today, neither heron nor kingfisher were the wiser of this little eel as it lived to tell another tale.