This was privileged viewing.
Less sluggish than last week, thanks to a few sunny days terraced together, most initially departed at my footfall. But within five minutes they were back. Tentatively, at first...
Slightly dazed, I wandered back towards my car. A lithe shape caught my eye. It was a Slowworm, basking in the semi-open. I very rarely see this legless lizard away from tins or felts, so I lapped up this contextual experience of newly emerged reptile in the shelter of heather. Splendid.
Where there were eight males entwined together last week, affording my best-ever views, there were now nine or perhaps ten.
... but then with increasing confidence...
The problem with winter is that there are no Adders. As spring beckons, I yearn for sufficient wan sun to coax slumbering males out from their hibernacula. After last week's amazing experience at a local heathland, a spark of morning sunshine two days ago coaxed me out again.
After a glorious late-morning hour, I left them be. At least temporarily, my add(er)iction was sated.
... until they were all back in position. In perpetually wriggling, writhing, slithering 'position'. This was a Medusa of Adders.
In a very recently published book with which readers of this blog may be familiar, I confess to an obsession: "if there is one animal featured in this book that gets my heart pounding and juices flowing like no other, it is the adder. Britain's sole venomous snake, a string of diamonds chaining its length and a devilish vertical papercut of a pupil, bewitches me beyond all else."