Last nights wind and rain slipped away early leaving a quiet day before the weather turns cold from the East. Walking on the moors it was still,calm and almost spring like. It felt like we were in slack water before a turning tide.
In the calmness I could hear a farm lad pick stone from a John Deere tractor bucket and place it in a wall gap below me.
Just along the path a little mountain hare sat with it’s back to a peat bank soaking up the sun. I saw the wind in it’s coat and it’s eyes half closed. It had no idea I was there until some sixth sense nudged it from it’s sunny reverie and instict took it away in a burst of speed across the peat.
A little further on I caught a glimpse of something fast and white on a peat bank but couldn’t register what it was. Then it reappeared with low quick movements on a large bank of black peat just in front of me. It was a stoat in ermine. It’s beautiful white coat leapt out from the black peat it moved over . Only the black tip on it’s tail matched the surroundings.
Beyond Wrigley’s cabin I headed off into the jig saw of peat hags across the Pennine watershed. I’m up here 3 or 4 times a week at present and probably walked through here 40 or 50 times last year yet I don’t think I’ve covered the same ground twice. Such is the maze of watercourses and groughs.
Standing on a peat hag I looked back and saw the little white mountain hare sat enjoying the sun. Something white and quick leapt out of the heather jump starting the hare into flight again. The stoat!