14 February 2019

An unseasonably glorious St Valentine’s Day: sunshine, blue sky, white clouds, cool breeze. Vague plans for working on my Darwin book were immediately abandoned, and I headed up on to the Moor.

Red grouse were calling from random refuges in the heather. I flushed three as I climbed the rise up to the trig point. I made a brew and spent ten minutes admiring the familiar view. Heading off along the edge, I bumped into another bearded walker who, it turned out, was also skiving off work.


Not much in the way of birdsong yet, but I did hear one little brown job half-heartedly chortling away somewhere. Get a move on, Spring!

A large formation of geese flew overhead as I descended the edge. I heard them long before I spotted them. They didn’t seem to have any clear path in their collective mind, banking suddenly to the north, before heading off east, back the way they’d come. As they dwindled into the distance, they seemed more like a puff of smoke than a flight of birds.


Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is currently working on a book about looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes.Website · Newsletter · Mastodon · Facebook

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