Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Battersby Bank

Battersby Bank

Damn, I wish I had dug my skis out of the loft. The only trouble with ‘skil√łping in this country is the extreme variation we get in the snow conditions. Down in the valley, there is just a¬†‘flindrikin¬†or smattering of snow that fell yesterday and froze overnight, but high on the moors, a crust had formed over the excellent covering. But it means either carrying your skis up or like¬†this chap had done, driving up to a high point which is dicey given the road conditions.

It looks like the skier was accompanied by his dog. In addition, plenty of rabbit tracks have broken the pristine snow. As a species, they don’t seem to be suffering from myxomatosis.¬†Maybe they’ve acquired herd immunity. Or should that be fluffle immunity? Individual rabbits of course suffer an awful death. In the summer, it was quite common to come across carcasses with the telltale bloated eyes of the disease.

Myxomatosis¬†is native in South and Central America and was introduced into Australia in 1950 as a biological control for the feral rabbits there. Two years later, a pair of rabbits were injected in France which spread through western Europe including the UK. There’s a lesson here against tampering with nature and the suppression of predators such as foxes and raptors.


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