We skirted the bottom of Gorpley Reservoir dam wall and headed off up a lane past this rather impressive tree house.
Then, after yet another drop to road level, we began our second climb of the day, along Back o'th' Edge track towards Higher Woodfield Farm on the shoulder of the hill.
These impressive Highland cattle watched our passing with vague interest.
At least, I think they were both watching. It's hard to be sure under all of that hair!
This Small Tortoiseshell butterfly paused on the path to soak up a little sun. Once replenished, he continued on his way.
The Small Tortoiseshell is one of the most common species seen in the UK and, given a spell of warm weather, it can be seen at any time of the year, even mid-winter. More normally, they awake from hibernation near the end of March, after which they can be seen in a wide range of habitats, particularly favouring places where there are nettles.
Unfortunately, the species has declined in recent years, but it is unclear why this is happening.
Once up the track, the view opened out.. Wind farms are becoming increasingly common on our upland areas and their huge blades can often be seen rotating almost hypnotically. Today, though, these ones were completely motionless as there was hardly a breath of wind.
I'll return to this topic in a later post!
Meanwhile, we walked on past some newly renovated farm buildings towards this ruin at Roundfield Farm. Sad to think that this derelict farm house was once a family home. Look carefully and you can still see the brick built fireplace in the upper room.
But the ponies seemed quite content to call it home.