Just returned from a fishing trip up into the Galloway hills, where wild brown trout were present in their dozens and the constant skreiking of a family of young peregrine falcons only just managed to cover the cackling of red grouse. There were black throated divers on the loch, and it was a thrill to see red deer hinds rise from a bank of bracken above the shore line when the wind blew our boat in too close. Over two days, I caught more than a dozen little trout, but wasn’t prepared to find an adder bobbing about in the loch without a care in the world.
When I spotted it, it wasn’t swimming. I thought it was a stick of heather being blown around in the wind, but when it moved, I had a closer look. More than fifty yards from the shore of the loch, the little snake was idly passing time in the foamy peat water. I scooped him up in the landing net for a closer look, then slipped him back into the water once I had taken a couple of photographs. It seemed that he actually quite liked being in the net, and was reluctant to leave, but finally slithered away through the waves like a natural.
I’ve got no idea why he should have been out in the water, but I’m sure he had his reasons. I turned back to fishing and spent the rest of the day trying to work it out.