Above Sleddale Beck a common toad sat at the side of the track. A handsome toad whose dark warts glistened in the sun. He seemed crusted in jewels. How could anyone fail to see him? But his cryptic colouring is so subtle, warts, blotches and speckles. His warty jewels seem flung at him, haphazard. There is no symmetry in the pattern, those back legs dissolve into stone. Later in the day, someone found a long-legged frog that hopped away into the grasses. Look at this sequence of images, left to right, to see how cryptic colouring hides him.
In the week that poet Seamus Heaney died I recall his fine essays entitled Sense of Place. He writes about his boyhood and the thrill of exploring peat moorland the mosses. Gambling in the moss. Heaney was all for chancing it. He delves the moss in a baptismal rite, an initiation.
These sphagnum images shows the beauty and intricacy of blanket bog. An essential habitat for carbon-storing, slow water-release and flood control.
Thanks to Vic and Eleanor Quaglieni for an excellent walk.
Acknowledgement. Uncertain about these wild bees, I contacted ecologist Jacqui Ogden, Natural England. She is always most helpful and gives me lots of detailed information, points me in the right direction. Today, she passed on my inquiry to a colleague. So thanks to Jon Curson (NE) for identification and information on Bombus lucorum