A Pit top walk – On a sunny day

Beneath my feet I feel the intense heat. Absorbed by the coal shale debris, undulating mounds run high and low.

Young butterflies emerge, settling onto the bare patches of grey before heading towards the bright yellow goodness of the Birds-foot trefoil and Vetch. Flashes of blue flutter across my vision, flickering left and right to find the perfect cocktail of nectar my pit top has to offer.

Behind, I hear the laughing of woody – perhaps he’s just heard a joke (I wonder) or is he just happy to see me?!

The midday sun is hot, and the beating of Grasshoppers resonate through my ears.

“A little bit of bread and no cheese” the Yellowhammer calls, perhaps he just hasn’t tried it yet, I reply.

A chaffinches’ long-winded song is heard many trees away, interrupted by woody calling before changing treetops to find where I sit. Without binoculars I cannot see his striking plumage, red throat, and piercing eyes – but I’m on him now.

The breeze picks up, swaying grasses from side to side, seedy tops in pendulum motion. In easing change, they decelerate and become fixed as a picture still, once again. Calm.

Even with the weight of half a dozen Buff-tailed bumblebees, the striking royal blue florets of the Vipers bugloss stand tall, supported by a strong core, rooted with dark green fleshy leaves.

It’s almost blinding to look up, but the sun intense skies soon become busy. Two, three Swifts start to stream kiting perfectly along the mini convection currants – screaming high pitched “hellos” and “goodbyes” before moving on.

Carpets pink five petalled Centaury flowers graffiti the ground. They tower the floor hugging BFT and cinquefoil beneath.

From the shrub dense copse, I feel a presence, something stalking me. It’s larger than a bird, on foot. One of my pit top animals perchance? Fox, Deer, Brown hare; moving through, stepping, breaking twigs, but not clumsily. The sound isn’t that far away, no more than seven metres. I’m not scared, I sense no danger from it, therefore it is no human to spoil my fun or harm. I just wished the animal would venture out, so that we can talk. A few minutes pass, it watches me as I wonder away.

Heading to the stream, see what I can find there today. No rain has fallen for over a month, the stream has a slow mull, an inch or two deep. There some footprints left in the soft bank. Indents of hooves, a Deer stopped here to take a drink not so long ago. Towards the other side, a protective barrier Bramble, Nettles and dense Willowherb is enough to ward off the human predator, I only hope. It’s much darker down here, the air is damp and cool, but slithers of light beam down illuminating pockets of vegetation. Where the air is warm, swarms of Midges pack together as one.

Away from the stream, up the incline; “12 o’clock”, my stalker Hare. It stops to look, then trots at leisure – a secret Hello at least. I salute in reply.

Two hours is rapid when you are at peace with the sunshine in nature. Do I really have to go back home for tea? shower and comply to household jobs?

If the weather is nice tomorrow, I will come back to see who and what I find.


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