The hunting lodge was too good a prospect to miss, perfect for a spooky moorland shot. Little did I know that White Edge Moor had a scary surprise in store for me.
I dumped my rucksack, attached Vlad to my tripod and set off, wading through the cotton grass, one eye on the lodge, calculating where would be the best place to set up my shot. I was half way there when just a footstep ahead something began to move, slithering into view. An adder.
Even if I hadn’t yelled and jumped back, I’d never have got my camera to focus in time, let alone taken a light reading and set the aperture and shutter speed, so you’ll just have to go with me on this one.
But if you close one eye and engage your imagination maybe you’ll be able to see it sliding lazily behind a clump of cotton grass, heading off to find a grouse chick in the nest just out of shot to the right. You’ll have to look closely to see its zigzagged camouflage amongst the heather shoots. It’s out there all right – but as long as you don’t get too close, there’s no need to be afraid.
As to what’s inside the spooky lodge, I can’t tell you. I’d had enough excitement for one day.