Friday, 28 January 2011

My Wilderness

Frid. 28th Jan. 2011
                               I've chosen an area of open country not far from my home which I consider to be the nearest area of wilderness that hasn't been touched by the hand of man. It's an area on top of the Pennines where the scars of the last ice age have left their mark on this wild and unforgiving country. This area is at the back of Boulsworth in an area of wild beautiful moorland around a ridge called the Dove Stones, If you want solitude away from the crowds this area offers that and a wildness that I enjoy. In Spring and Summer this is country reserved for the Golden Plover, Dunlin, Twite and the Red Grouse, but on this bitterly cold morning with a biting easterly wind all we heard  were the sound of the Grouse and the sound of a Jet Airliner as it passed overhead on its final approach to Leeds Bradford International Airport.

                     The shallow U-shaped glaciated valley between
                     Boulsworth and the Dove Stones

                                    The Dove Stones Ridge

                                    The Millstone Grit Outcrops

                     Pendle Hill behind the slopes of Boulsworth

               Final approach to Leeds Bradford  International  Airport

       Looking across to Wuthering Heights .....Charlotte Bronte Country

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

First signs of Sping

Wed 26th Jan.2011
                           The weather has turned colder again this morning 1c early but the first signs of spring are showing in my garden and my first Snowdrops are almost out. The water level in the pond is quite low and its good to see that many of the frogs have survived the winter under the ice but I've had a few casualties earlier in the month.The frogs in my garden bury themselves into the mud and hibernate on the bottom of the pond and I've never found them hibernating under the log and rock piles or in the compost heap.

The frogs can be seen splay legged and some are showing signs of mating the females are plump with the developing spawn.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Another new walk

Sun 23rd January 2011
           I've been a walker for over 50 years and sometimes it's difficult to walk without going over the same old ground, after searching the map I worked out a new walk that took us in fairly familiar country side but in a totally different direction, because of the lay of the land and because of the topography this should give us some good views.
   Nothing in particular to look at but after talking to a local farmer the local moorland streams are good for the Salmon & Sea Trout when they spawn in Nov. & Dec so it's another area to bear in mind at the end of this year.
      The walk starts and finishes at Slaidburn in the Trough of Bowland an area of outstanding natural beauty.

                                  The village of Slaidburn

                                  Making for Easington Fell

This is a tradition in the countryside which I think is a bit macabre. After the (Mole Chap) has visited the farm and laid his mole traps underground in the mole runs he hangs his trophies on the barbed wire to rot, sometimes I've seen as many as a hundred strung out on the fencing.

                             Nearing the top of Easington fell

The top of Near Brown Hill on Easington Fell, surprisingly wild considering it's modest height of only 1150 ft.

                            Looking north towards Pen-y-ghent

                            The view into the Trough of Bowland

The way down was very slippy because the ground just below the surface was still frozen and three of us took a tumble.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

North of the sands

Sat.22nd Jan. 2011
                       On Thurs. it was a  beautiful frosty day, perfect for the 7 miles walk from Arnside on the River Kent estuary, over Arnside Knott and on to Silverdale then back around the coastal path to Arnside, it's an easy walk that I never tire of. The fog rolled in from the sea in the mid-afternoon so on this occasion we missed the wonderful sunsets that occur over Morecambe bay.

                                              Arnside Quay

                                             Arnside Knott



 Morecambe Bay home for thousands of wader birds during the winter months

                    This Robin befriended us on our sandwich break

                   A change in the weather (the sea mist drifts in)

                       Dusk and the welcoming lights of Arnside


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Mist Over Pendle

Tues. 18th Jan 2011
           Got up this morning accessed the weather and thought that with the thick mist in the valley conditions on the top of Pendle Hill could be suitable for the sighting of the Broken spectre, a rare spectacle where the sun casts a shadow of yourself surrounded by a halo onto the mist below. Conditions quickly changed and low cloud advanced from the west, the valley mist dispersed rapidly leaving low cloud on the tops but I did manage to get a few atmospheric shots as the low cloud dispersed when we were descending from the summit.

 This was the Brocken spectre photo that I was after, it was taken on Wild Boar Fell about 3 years ago on a walk from Garsdale Head to Kirby Stephen on a lads day out.

          Back to today

                                          Mist over Pendle

                                  Bad visibility and temp 2c


                                    A lucky break in the cloud

 10 minutes later brilliant sunshine, it's amazing how quickly the weather changes in the Pennines

Monday, 10 January 2011

It's just my garden

Mon. 10th Jan.2011
                  Another section of my new garden on the moor video about John Williams's garden, this section is the last part of the film.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Finished at last

Thurs.6th Jan 2011
I've just finished my new video "It's Just My Garden". Over the past 18 months I've followed John Williams around his garden in a high valley on a north facing slope in the Pennines above Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire I tried to capturing the mood of his garden through the seasons.
The video is 20mins long so I've selected a short section from Springtime.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Pottering around Pendle Hill

Sunday 2nd Jan.2011
   It's cold and cloudy today not very inspirational, but to try and kick start us into action again and regain our fitness the four of us (our friends Jim & Shirley) had about a 5 miles walk around our very local Pendleside paths and lanes.
     Before the walk a quick look around the garden I found the Snowdrops were beginning to grow they've been showing since the beginning of Nov .

            The pond hasn't been free from ice since the 24th Nov.2010

  I'm surprised to see how advanced they are in spite of the very cold December

                                A few images of our Pendle Hill


                         The first Pussy Willows are opening
                                            Blacko Tower
                                On the old road to Barley

                               Pendle Hill from above Roughlee