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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

An objective demoted

"Ospreys seen at new site as pair move in”. (8th May).

So says The Westmorland Gazette.

The location, Foulshaw Moss across the bay from Arnside where I live.

A sighting is a long shot - birds will likely be sitting on eggs, not flying back and forth, but off I go having plotted four geocaches on a ten mile tour including part of The Cumbria Way footpath.

Of course there was no sighting, but the first geocache is a good example of geocaching finding mystery locations. A fifty yard diversion from The Cumbria Way leads to a secret, indented grassy terrace on the edge of the bay neatly by-passed by the official footpath. This mini bay is backed by limestone crags and blooming gorse, a delightful haven. The cache involves climbing moves up the rock adding spice to the adventure.

Another diversion takes me into an old magic wood with no public way beyond making exploration otherwise unlikely. Sunlight dapples through on my left with intermittent glimpses across the bright sands and water of the bay. I find the cache and return rejoining The Cumbria Way.

Caches have finding clues. The next one says "San Andreas". I am on the old road replaced by the A 590. Grass grows and the Tarmac has split into longitudinal fissures. The "cache" is a folded A4 plastic sheet inserted into one of the cracks - you were advised to bring a permanent marker, but no clue why. I find a stick to prize out the plastic feeling like a chimp demonstrating use of tools.

Near the car I search for the final cache. GPS pinpoints rear of the ARMCO barrier where the defunct road joins the A590. I get a shock. There is a huge, malevolent looking adder coiled, ready to strike - it starts to rain - I'm off back to the car at speed - that was a resounding DNF (did not find).

Across the bay to Arnside where I live.
 Arnside Knott, a Marilyn, dominates

The old wood, location of second cache. Water and sand of bay on left

There was a gate behind the mound bringing you round to the right hand end of the crag.
Cumbria Way walkers would most likely file past without finding this attractive spot - good place for a picnic

Time to be off before I become another headline in The Westmorland Gazette


The Crow said...

Oh, good lord! There were two adders in that coil of evil! Had I been along, I'd have beat you back to the car by a length and a half, perhaps more. I have a terrible fear of venomous snakes. So glad you weren't a headline!

The Crow said...

PS: despite my fear of venomous snakes, I find them fascinating, these two included. I've never seen two snakes coiled together like that before, so I Googled and found that adders (perhaps all snakes?) will coil together after copulation just like your two did. They lie coiled in that cinnamon-bun fashion for about a hour.

One wonders if it is to savor the afterglow or to keep an eye out for the partner's fangs? I didn't notice any cigarettes, did you?

Anonymous said...

Yes there are two!! Well spotted The Crow.
Fantastic photo Conrad - never mind the Ospreys.

Anonymous said...

Yes there are two!! Well spotted The Crow.
Fantastic photo Conrad - never mind the Ospreys.

Sir Hugh said...

Hi Martha - thanks for your research. You may have been hard pressed to beat me back to the car, but as I was just at the end of a 10 mile walk you may well have done so. Pity I wasn't a bit earlier to hear the heavy breathing and other erotic sounds, but then...


Bowlandclimber - Presumably your dual post is following the twos up theme?

The Crow said...

Yeah, I wouldn't have stuck around for that, either!


Roderick Robinson said...

Meeting the adder, you say, generated retrospective terror. You add: Think of all those meadows I have strode through wearing shorts.

While not forgetting an improvement to adder life-style. How many adders, viewing you via the tapering perspective of your gnarly, surgery-knackered legs, have been shocked into not striking. "Wouldn't want to bite that; who knows where they've been. Or what they are."

As Dr Pangloss said: All's for the best in this best of all possible worlds.