A stag had been shot by poachers at Rusland Pool, we discovered. So those notices alerting us to poachers highlighted a current problem. The only poaching we encountered was attributed to cattle, more anon. Fog lingered all day and vistas closed down. The atmosphere was full of moisture and vegetation was drenched, with some spectacular effects. Gorse bushes were full of spiders’ webs and they showed up in the golden autumn grasses of Rusland Moss.
So a motif of rain-drenched vegetation and spiders’ webs. Rusland Moss is a delight, with tussocky golden grasses and tiny shrubs of bog myrtle with autumn leaves still faintly fragrant, then taller shrubs stripped of leaves.
We had lunch beneath a majestic oak smothered in soft green lichens.
After the lovely Rusland Moss experience we found our way back to Colton Church across fields poached by cattle. Ankle-twisting clumps of grass pocked with deep and pits where cattle had sunk in the mud.
Jan Wiltshire is a writer and naturalist living in Cumbria. She take photographs.