Winter Sun

A crashing noise through the undergrowth breaks the serene silence. This is followed by barking further behind. The noise continues and rises like a crescendo until a Roe Deer bursts through the barrier of scrub and bush 5 metres in front of me and hurtles on down the face of the valley. It is swiftly followed by a small, yapping dog. The dog stops and looks at me, as if to ask me which way its ‘prey’ went. I point in the opposite direction. The dog isn’t buying it. It speeds off down, following the deer’s tracks with me in hot pursuit.

It’s a glorious, sunny day. The kind you dream of when you think of winter. The snow is pure white and gleams bright in the winter sun. We are in La Pedriza; one of the largest granite outcrops in Europe and a haven for rock climbers, trekkers and nature lovers alike. At its highest point lies El Yelmo; a vast granite slab that rises high into the sky resembling, from its southern face, a medieval helmet – hence the name.

El Yelmo - La Pedriza

Eagles and vultures circle the peak, framed beautifully (even from far away) against the deep blue sky. Down below rivers and streams are shaped by ice, wind and snow into bizarre, abstract works of art. I climb a high granite wall, careful to choose the side free of ice and warmed by the sun. On a ledge I find a perfect set of squirrel prints, remarkably human-like in form. Here they will lie preserved until the next snowfall, the mystery of what happened to the squirrel we’ll never know. I hope the eagle decided to skip lunch.

Squirrel prints

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2 comments

  1. Sarah Lloyd-Jones · February 18, 2015

    Wow, what perfect little squirrel prints! And yep, what then happened!?

    Like

  2. anthony · February 20, 2015

    Hey olly,

    check this out: http://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/two-great-jobs-on-offer-in-velebit-rewilding-area/

    this is what you need to get onboard your new life:
    http://www.rewildingeurope.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Rewilding-Coordinator-Velebit-Job-description_Final.pdf

    You can do it man. Get married and then get on with it! Enrol on a course and do some free weekend work, it will take care of itself. and if you think about it, it is only going to become more important in the future, so start establishing yourself now, while setting up a business in the mountains with your family where you can put it all into practice. You could even set up a farm in the mountains where you take in wild animals and care for them and kids from the uk come over and work on it paid experience …

    volunteer:
    http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1142330062399&pagename=PortalJoven/Page/JUVE_contenidoFinal

    posting on here as i aint got yer email. Anyway, that is my motivational badly written babble for the day! have a good one

    Like

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