Saturday, 30 January 2010

Over the hills but not too far away

Sat. 30th Jan. 2010.

               Today's been  glorious with a cold northerly wind and a cloudless sky. This is a walk that we generally do in Autumn its not  far away ( about 8 miles) its just over rhe moors in the eastern valleys of the Pennines in Yorkshire, known locally as Hardcastle Crags in the Hebden Dale valley.

   This is Millstone Grit country with deep wooded valleys, acid soils and dark peaty rivers which gives the countryside a harder look.
.In the valleys there's bilberry, sedges  mosses and steep rocky  hillsides with plenty of small waterfalls. This is an area with plenty of Industrial Heritage.

The beauty in a single blade of grass

Gibson Mill

Mosses cling to the branches of a Bilberry Bush.

Hebden Dale

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Time for editing

Sunday 24th Jan. 2010.

                This week in general has been dull damp and raw,  tempatures ... 2-6c. I've had no inspiration to venture out into the countryside other than a few short walks, but I haven't been sitting around hatching eggs I've been busy editing  my latest  video  "Orchids in my Garden" a video about wild ochids in my garden and orchids I find on my travels, the video has to be finished in the next two weeks for the annual competition at my local video club... Burnley Film Makers. This entails a lot of patience and imagination to produce a film to competition standards with all the narration and music, in total I'll probably spend over 100 hours editing the original 5 hours of footage down to the maximum 15 minutes allowed in the competition.

Misty view of Pendle hill

The daily visit of our Pheasant

                                                       The general editing layout

Sunday, 17 January 2010

A slippery walk into Craven Country

Sun. 17th Jan. 2010.
             Nothing remarkable about todays walk of about 8 miles other than the fact that we all got out together.The day was mostly overcast and dull with rain showers temp 6c. This is the second day of the thaw but underfoot it was extremely slippy in places were the water was standing on top of the ice and the ground was still frozen under the surface.The walk started from the village of Gargrave and followed the Pennine Way northwards to Airton firstly over fields and then along the banks of the River Aire then we cut across country to Kirkside Lane (a green lane) which was very wet and icy all the way to Otterburn Beck at Bell Busk. Both the River Aire and Otterburn Beck were running high from the thawing snow higher in the Pennines which were still snow covered .

                     Looking north into Craven country around Malham.                     

The swollen River Aire

   Picnic at Airton Weir

The swollen Otterburn Beck at Bell Busk

Saturday, 16 January 2010

What a difference a day makes

Sat. 16th Jan. 2010.
                       3 Days ago


                Yesterday there were 9 inches of snow in the garden but after heavy overnight sleet and rain most of the loose snow has been washed away but the surrounding moors are still white. With the ground still being frozen the surface water runoff  from the nearby fields has caused a river to run down our garden path and then down through the gardens lower down the avenue.Looking around the ponds there has unfortunately been some casualties,the top pond which is only 1ft deep the ice was too thick(several dead adult frogs and minnows) but some have survived.

 . The main pond is deeper so the ice has protected the deeper slightly warmer water from freezing. I know what's caused these fatalities, I had to switch off the circulating water pump because the frogs had crawled up the water pipes to hibernate and blocked them, which caused the filter tank to overflow and start emptying the pond (left on this would have prevented  the ice from becoming too thick in the top pond) these pipes supply the stream and top pond with a continuous supply of circulated water which runs down into the main pond and the cycle is continued back into the filter.

The pebbled beach and open water

Some of the casualities

 The flower stalk of one of last years Common Spotted Orchids


After more than 4 weeks under the snow the Snowdrops have come to no harm.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Wed 13th jan. 2010.

      We've had lying snow now for 28 days and that's a bit unusual even for us up here in the Pennines. I think the novelty of the Christmas Card scene is now wearing a little thin.

           I've just been out into the garden on yet another raw, cold, cloudy, day and have taken a few photos to compare the garden now to what it will look like in the summer. I never cease to be amazed how nature regenerates itself  through the seasons.

My Alpine Trough , only the dead orchid flower stalks of last years orchids protrude through the snow.

The Alphine trough in late June with Common Spotted and Marsh orchids, all the flowers have germinated from orchid seeds that have been carried here on the wind, both in the trough and around the garden.

Monday, 11 January 2010

A winter walk in Pendleside

Sunday 10th Jan.2010.

                      The cold weather persists but there is a hint of slightly warmer air this morning only -1c. With the roads being bad we've had a local walkof about 6 miles today into our local pendleside country (Pendle Witch Country)

The small white building to the lower right in the mid. distance is Clarion House.

We called in at the Clarion House I.L.P.(independent labour party), It was built in1912 to help people of limited means and to promote the world of socialism by people with no personal gain other than the knowledge that they would leave this world a better place than when they entered it.
It's located in a little valley near to Newchurch -in- Pendle and is opened every Sunday by volunteers , it is used by walkers and cyclists, just buy a drink of  tea or coffee and eat your own sandwiches, everyone is made very welcome. Clarion house now holds a place in our local history.


                                                           Roughlee waterfall