mosswallcowWe start our walk around Semerwater at the hamlet of Stalling Busk. The former school is now the village hall and next door a former garage is the tasting room for Raydale Preserves.

Primroses are fading away but hawthorn blossom is still at its most luxuriant. Northern marsh orchids, ragged robin and yellow rattle grow in a wet flush at the lakeside.

hawthornA song thrush includes a whistle in its repertoire that sounds very like the whistles of a farmer to his (or her) sheepdog. A curlew pipes its agitated call.

A large toad trundles across a shady luxuriant path by a gully near the ruined church.

Luckily for us a thunderstorm struggles to get over the hill from the neighbouring dale. Our friend Roger, a mountain leader, points out the change in the direction of the wind as we walk up Raydale. Although the towering clouds are threatening to come towards us, the winds are sweeping in sideways, then turning back towards the storm, pushing it back.semervale