It was the week before Easter, a gusty Sunday. Stormy easterlies continued to sweep across the country. We headed up into the Lammermuirs for the first time, a day hike with a friend.
The view from the summit, hard won in high winds and spindrift. The pylons are regular sized, its the turbines that make them look tiny.
In a way, this is a Frankenstein landscape, a farm for killing - shooting butts dot the moorland, traps set to kill grouse predators, a morbid place. Turbines are the latest in a long story of mechanical extraction.
The control of toothy predators means a surfeit of hares, more than anywhere I've seen except the Monadh Liath. They are incredible creatures. A broken leg means death in hours in these conditions.
There were other consolations, apart from the snowy white hares and a refresher course in the weather's casual brutality. The winds meant sculpted snow
and in the glens and hill clefts, lines of broadleaf trees the sheep can't reach still hang on. A few fragments of an alternate reality, some relief from all the hunting hubris.
There's much to love here, and much to feel unsettled by. I enjoyed the Lammermuirs - the solitude of a man made desert, a great place to see mountain hares, and spring fen traps
. These gentle slopes would be a great place to learn to ski. In the meantime, I'll be back for an overnighter, or a full moon moorland wander.
David's take on the day includes a video, and a map, and is here