|Moorland pool shrinking in the drought|
As it happens, Saturday was a much better day for photography than on the last visit though I did not hear that plaintive cuckoo. The sky was as clear as crystal and Aegean blue. Meadow pipts bobbed about the bone dry heather and bog cotton as two sheep in their woolly jumpers sought green sustenance under the sun's glare. Again I disturbed a couple of red grouse and a mountain hare.
|Blobs of bog cotton dancing in the breeze|
This time I was not alone. An Asian family snaked up the track to the rocks at Stanage End and a group of lithe rock climbers pitted their wits against Crows Chin - a mighty block of millstone grit that looks out over Moscar Moor towards Hordron Edge and the upper valley of The River Derwent.
|"...lithe rock climbers pitted their wits against Crows Chin"|
A young woman with a red face, desperately grasping a plastic water bottle, plodded after her errant boyfriend saying, "Are you sure it's this way Shane? Can't we have a sit down?" She was terribly overweight but at least she was out in the sunshine, getting some exercise.
|Ruin of a grouse shooters' cabin near Stanage End|
For me it was four miles maximum. I saw water reflecting sunshine two hundred yards away and went over to photograph that moorland pool - now shrinking in the drought and I pottered about the remains of long disused stone quarries at Stanage End.
It felt good to be alive - my bootsteps transporting me smoothly over the rough landscape and my heart feeling light and carefree. Maybe one day - if I get to be a really old man - I will look back upon such rambles, smiling with fond remembrance: how it was in those bygone days.
|Approaching Stanage End|