An orange tip.
We’re spoilt for choice for places to take a wander in and around Silverdale: the limestone hills of Castlebarrow, Arnside Knott, Warton Crag, Beetham Fell, Cringlebarrow, and Haverbrack, the small cliffs of Jack Scout or Arnside Point, the vast expanses of the Bay, the meres amd reedbeds of Leighton, Silverdale and Hale Mosses, but more and more these days I find myself drawn to the Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve.
The modest route I followed there on this walk takes in some woodland, a lakeshore, wildflower meadows and areas of lowland limestone pavement.
A big bumblebee.
This pheasant was attempting to hide in the grass. It was surprisingly successful, with the naked eye I was almost fooled into thinking that what I could see was a dead branch lying in the field, but something about how the wind flicked the bird’s tail made me wonder and the zoom on my little Olympus confirmed my suspicions.
The pheasant clearly twigged that it was rumbled and went haring away across the field, it’s little legs pumping furiously, to quite comical effect.
Gait Barrows nearly always provides me with something to puzzle over….
On this occasion it was a hole in the ground a few inches across, perhaps a burrow, with a pile of soft, woolly, grey hair and straw beside it, as if bedding had been dragged out to be changed.
The limestone pavement.
Grass seedheads, I think possibly Mountain Melick which likes limestone – lovely anyway.
The way that trees survive in this apparently not very promising environment never ceases to amaze me. This ash had new leaves appearing in the gaudiest of colours…
Nearby, and not to be outdone, this oak sapling’s new leaves were also striking…
I had hoped to find lily-of-the-valley flowering, but although I found leaves…
…there were no flowers, which left me wondering whether I was too early or too late. The lengthy cold spell has certainly slowed some plants down: there were only a couple of flowers on the lady’s slipper orchids, well behind where they had been at this time last year.