Black Middens, as you will know if you have been following my recent pieces, is just across the Tarset Burn from Sidwood. I travelled up the valley towards Comb, at the end of the metalled lane where the forestry tracks begin. Someone had told me I might expect to find dragonflies in one of the lane-side fields. As I approached the field, my attention was distracted by animal activity at the side of the lane ahead of me. And then, after a moment and walking down the lane towards me, was a young badger. It was about five in the afternoon.
I stopped, hardly able to believe what I was seeing. Perhaps I should have just taken its picture through the car windscreen and hoped for the best. I reached for my camera, however, and gently opened the car door. By this time the badger was sitting at the side of the lane, its head raised as if sniffing me out. On putting a first foot outside of the car, it disappeared into the undergrowth and down the bank towards the burn.
There were no dragonflies in the field but the sighting of the badger more than made up for their absence. Later, I stopped to photograph a Small Tortoiseshell, basking in the sun ...
And this Pied Wagtail, standing on a fence post, finished off a good afternoon.