Monday, July 18, 1983

Genius Loci

In the afternoon I went to the library in Easterby and wandered around at a loss. The weather has turned and it was a breezy perfect day.

Dad and I went to Dengates in the evening and collected moss for the amphibians. The marsh field bloomed in all its high summer splendour, a tangle of green nettles intermingled with yellow ragwort and purple thistles that grew three feet high in some places. Dad found a large common toad and two small frogs, but let them all go. I found a newt and, in the long grass under the trees, a number of little frogs that hopped away whenever we approached.

Dengates is idyllic, especially past the gypsy camp where the grass is short and meadow-like. This area is dotted with rocks, and bordered on the lower side by the reedy marsh itself, on the top by the weathered decayed ruins of an ancient stone wall, half-hidden beneath trees and bushes.

Dad and I sat amid the pink grass, admiring the view beyond the stone-walls of the fields across towards Keddon and the dark moors brooding on the horizon. In the foreground was a long low red brick factory with twin chimneys at one end, drifting blue grey smoke across the valley. Dad says the area is called Marystown.

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