9 February 2018

Emlin

View west from Wet Slack Ridge
Today, Friday, sunshine illuminated the rolling moorland west of Sheffield.  In spite of the brightness, a bitter wind blustered down from the Arctic. I was sensibly attired with lined walking trousers, a thermal hat and gloves as I set off westwards from Mortimer Road.

My first destination was a triangulation pillar on Emlin Ridge. Like all of the other triangulation pillars that are dotted about the British landscape, it was erected to facilitate accurate surveying and mapping. The pillar is not visible from the road and there are no paths there. 

I strode through rough moorland vegetation over knolls and hidden rocks until the old concrete pillar came into view. Very few people have taken photographs of this one so I took several. Then I had to decide whether to carry on westwards across the rough terrain or return to the car. I decided to carry on.
After a mile of yomping, I reached the top of Wet Slack Ridge and surveyed Wet Slack with Hobson Moss beyond. Up there the moorland has a wild kind of beauty, devoid of trees. Today I was surprised by the relative dryness of my route. I had been expecting the going to  be so much tougher because usually at this time of year the hills are soaked with winter precipitation like a giant sponge and every footstep squelches.

I turned back towards Emlin Ridge. Just after passing the triangulation pillar once more, I had a lovely surprise. There was a flash of creamy whiteness. as a beautiful mountain hare left its rocky hiding place and wheeled in front of me, heading for safety.  Even though they are very rare in The Peak District, mountain hares are still occasionally shot by members of the grouse shooting fraternity.

It was a delight to be out in the wild in early February, alone in the moors with clouds scudding overhead and red grouse cackling in the heather. It is on days like this that I feel truly alive.
Mountain hare (Photo: Sheffield Telegraph)

25 comments:

  1. I am always delighted to see a wild animal just going about it's day, no matter how common the animal may be. It sounds like a great walk all around!

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    1. He didn't need to run away. I wouldn't have hurt him. No way.

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  2. Perhaps the hare didn't realise it was still February and was on his way to Alice's tea party. What a treat to see him.

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    1. Oh! I see what you mean Sue...it's not yet March.

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  3. Bonus to see the Mountain hare. It's good to get out and ramble around. The quiet when you're by yourself is awesome.

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    1. I much prefer walking on my own - at my own pace, with my own thoughts.

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    2. Hey, I like to walk , cycle or ski alone.

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  4. Hares and rabbits are a sort of totem to me. When I see one, I always expect good luck to be on the way.

    Great photos, as usual!

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    1. I hope that hare brings me good luck when I look at tonight's Lotto numbers!

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  5. Beautiful view from the pillar. The moorland look lovely, but it must be very cold when the wind blows there.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I was so glad that I had wrapped up sensibly Maria.

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  6. Lovely views and I can feel the bracing wind all the way down here. Reminds me of my recent walk along Beachy Head.

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    1. I think that it is good for one's inner spirit - to sometimes be exposed to the elements.

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  7. Nice photos of the pillars -- they definitely give a good sense of the landscape. And how cool that you got to see the hare! I've never even heard of a mountain hare. They're not London critters, I'm sure. :)

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    1. It's only the third time I have seen a living mountain hare while rambling in The Peak District.

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  8. I know exactly what you mean about most enjoying your walks on your own, feeling truly alive and what it does for you to be exposed (reasonably attired) to the elements. I love company, too, and my hikes with O.K. or walks with my sister are great, but I also need my lone walks for my mental health.

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    1. I agree. I think we have shared this notion before - that walking in Nature gives one's mental health a great lift. Doctors should prescribe it as a therapy.

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  9. Well. I thoroughly enjoyed that little bimble to Emlin ridge. Thank you.

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    1. Bimble? What a lovely word! I had never encountered it before.
      bimble = a leisurely walk or journey.

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    2. It was one of my grandma's along with "wool gathering"
      Which means, to daydream whilst out walking.

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  10. What do the triangulation pillars say on them? I would imagine the heather would hold a lot of moisture. Lovely walk as usual. I love the picture from on top of West Slack Ridge looking over the valley. How is your bum knee holding up these days?

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    1. There are still twinges in the knee PT but sooo much better than last February. The triangulation pillars have identity plaques and on top there are metal grooves intended to hold a surveyor's instruments accurately. You can find out more about triangulation pillars here:-
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-36036561

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  11. I didn't see any mountain hares in the gym yesterday. I really should get out into the hills more often.

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    1. They have gyms on Lewis? Wow! I thought that the only gyms they would have would be Jim McDonald and Jim Cameron etc..

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  12. A family or two of large brown hares live on and around this property upon which this grey-hair lives.

    If I caught anyone trying to shoot them, or any of the birds that also call this area home, it would be the last time they tried to do so!

    What is that pillar, Yorkie...what does it represent and how long, approximately, has it been there?

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