Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Ratty and Badger (and Jiminy too)

After yesterday's tick, it seemed only proper to investigate the River Mite, which flows into the Esk not far below Boot. We were helped by the famous and invaluable Little Ratty railway, seen here with the Charles Darwin doll which is symbolising these few days of  walking and incidental nature investigation in the Lakes.

Caterpillars though - nix. After two days of having to tread carefully to avoid Fox moth woolly bears and what - thanks to Worm's comment in the post below - I now know to be Broom moth larvae, we didn't see one on a long and beautiful hike back up the dale from Ratty's terminus at Ravenglass. This included what seemed to be their ideal conditions - boggy and soaking - on parts of Muncaster Fell, and also the exotic flora of the Edwardian Japanese garden in Giggle Alley, Eskdale Green. Volunteers are slowly bringing this back to its original startling state. I'm continuing to research the fine name.

There was a dead badger, though, the second in four days. We passed the other on the roadside near Ulpha. Sad, but a small sign of how common Brock has become, thanks to effective animal protection laws. And this cricket (above) - a much more vivid, limey green than the picture suggests, which leapt out of our group's way into a puddle, but managed to leap again, to safety.

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