Its only April and yet already the ground is parched, dust dry. The strong breeze that is blowing today sends up little clouds of dirt and grit that make my eyes itch and leave an earthy taste in the mouth.
As I leave the car by the pond and head briefly onto the road I notice that there are twenty or more squashed frogs baking on the tarmac.. They are quite flat. You can still see the speckled markings on some of them. They must have been crossing the road to get to the pond. How odd that on such a quiet road so many of them should have been run over. I recall a valley in the Dark Peak that Malcolm and I stumbled across one hot sultry day a few years ago. It buzzed with insects and the heat was oppressive and stifling. The valley floor was littered with the eviscerated remains of rabbits. Dozens of them. It was a killing ground.
I leave the frogs behind and head off down into the valley. The signs warn of nesting birds but I have a deeper fear. I fear they will close the Moors soon unless we have rain. Already a fire has claimed Wild Moor. The curlews are harder to see and hear this year. I fear the Moors are closed signs are being prepared.
At the bottom of the slope I stop and ponder which way to go, deciding, as I knew I would to take my usual route and feeling with every step my spirits lift. A sense of freedom, of being able to think clearly floods through my mind. I look around. It is all so dry. A sense of dread returns briefly. I fear they will close the Moors soon unless we get some rain. Then where will I go to escape?