Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dawn on the Moss

The view from Lilian's hide at 5.45am

I'm so glad I managed to get down to the Moss for sun-rise this morning.
There is a timeless quality to the reserve at dawn. The duck were still snoozing but the red deer were out in numbers around Grisedale hide.
Perhaps the scene would not have looked so very different to some of the earliest people to visit the Moss: the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who arrived more than 6,000 years ago.          

Grisedale deer at dawn 
If I were going to be pedantic -- as I sometimes am -- I'd have to remind myself  that back then the Moss would have been a tidal inlet, directly connected to the sea. Probably there'd be saltmarsh fringed with alder. Dense woodlands of oak and Scots pine beyond.  On the other hand, the wildfowl would still have been here. And the red deer have been a constant for thousands of years. They would have come down to drink at the springs that trickle into the Moss from the surrounding limestone hills. The real miracle is that these magnificent, large, wild animals still manage to find a space between the farms, the houses and the roads to carry on as they always have. Of course, they don't have to cope with wolves any more. Now that would be a great sight at dawn on the Moss...
Morning flight

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