The OS map showed that, from the lochan in the hills above Ockle where we had stopped to have a rest, a small burn flowed southeast to join a larger stream which would take us back to Ockle, so we decided to follow it - see map here.
Had we had the time that day or, even better, a tent and some food, we could have carried on into the vast area of empty hills and lost ourselves for several days. Instead, we followed the burn as it tumbled downhill....
....almost treading on this slow worm, about a foot or so long, and much darker in colour than the ones we see in our garden in Ormsaigbeg. He didn't seem in the least bothered by us, staying still for some time before slowly slithering away.
The lochan burn joins a larger one occupying this grassy, open valley. We've found shieling huts in it, so there was a time when animals were brought up here in the summer. As it was, other than close to Ockle, we saw no domestic animals.
With water levels low after a prolonged dry spell, the banks of the burn made easy walking as we turned north, and gave us a bird's-eye view of its wildlife.
At first we only saw the males of the beautiful demoiselle, as well as....
....several small frogs which were sitting on the bank and, to avoid being trodden on, performed spectacular leaps into the water, swimming to hide under a stone - or rather, to try to. This frog was entirely the wrong colour to blend into its surroundings, and one wonders how he has managed to survive the local herons.
Finally we came across what we took to be the female of the beautiful demoiselle - but there were far fewer of them than the males.