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Sale Fell in January

The idea was to collect gorse flowers for this month’s wine (see Steve’s Wild Kitchen for recipe). The gorse had other ideas, there wasn’t a flower in sight.

Leaving Ishbel and Jack the Navigator Hound to climb the fell (these being the two energetic members of the triumverate), I turned my attention to a bit of rock flippng in search of overwintering insects for the #JanuaryChallenge (see this month’s European Almanack). Plenty of worms, snails, millipedes and woodlice. Even a spider nursery full of eggs (which I carefully replaced).

Finally, my patience was rewarded with this Black Snail Beetle. They won’t be active for a couple of months yet and then you rarely see them as they are night hunters with a particular fondness for snails. They reach into their shells with their elongated necks (tucked away now) and then spray them with digestive fluid, yuk!

Ishbel and Jack returned with tales of masses of flowers at higher altitudes which she would have picked but for the fact that I had the collecting bag in my pocket.

I returned a couple of days later and climbed the fell. A beautiful, crisp winter’s morning and hardly a flower in sight. The bushes were covered in snow. All was not lost however, it was a magnificent morning for birding with Robins, Dunnocks, Bullfinches and a Raven cronking unmelodically overhead.

That’s all for now but keep following me for latest updates

All the best,

Steve Daniels

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