Sunday, 22 April 2012

Contrasting conditions in Wensleydale

Mon. 23rd April 2012

                                     I've just arrived back from Wensleydale from a short walking holiday and it's been a few days of contrasts with the weather, we've had frosty mornings, bright sunshine, rain and hail showers and on the higher summits of the Pennines snow showers,the temp.only 2c centigrade in the snow showers. But in spite of all this contrasty weather some of our summer migrants  arrived during the week. The Sand Martins and Swallows numbers grew as the week proceeded and they were joined by lots of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs by the middle of the week, and on the higher hills Wheater. On the Pennine tops the frogs had just finished their spawning this is around 7 weeks later than than my frogs back home in our garden
         So this has been a week of extremes with snow showers on the summits and the first orchids of the season flowering in the hay meadows of Wensleydale.

           Wensleydale cheeses from the local cheese factory in Hawes

        Hawes the small market town near to the head of Wensleydale

Gayle Beck runs through Hawes after passing through the village of Gayle


 Our first walk, the long slog along the Pennine Way to the summit of Great Shunner Fell 2350ft

The wet areas and small tarns near to the summit were full of frog spawn this spawning is 7 weeks later than my own garden pond back home

                           Still some ice from the overnight frost

                               Summit of Great Shunner Fell

                       A snow shower approaching from Swaledale

                In the passing snow shower the temperature fell to 2c

The north aspect of Ingleborough

                    Nearing the end of the walk back.... Wensleydale

A low level walk from Leyburn to Castle Bolton, on this walk the early spring flowers were starting to open and the air was filled with the calls of the Willow Warbler and Chiffcaff

                  Pen Hill one of several flat topped hills in the area

                 Hybrid .....across between the Primrose and Cowslip

A flower I haven't seen before...  the Small-flowered Buttercup (Ranunculus Parviflorus)  and to my surprise I found it again yesterday growing on a shady bank near to my home

                               Bolton Castle....Castle Bolton

A view of Hawes Church across a flooded stream after one of several thundery downpours

                                 Unloved and abandoned

Cam High Road ....the Roman Road leading to the Roman Fort in the village of Bainbridge

                                           Askrigg Village

And finally on a wet morning in an old hay meadow, cowslips and the first orchids of the year

                                       Green-winged Orchid

                                       Green-winged Orchid

                                     Early Purple Orchid



  1. I didn't realize frogs lived on top of the Pennines. Lovely brought back memories of walking the Herriot Way with my boys many years back:)

  2. Hi David
    Some guy turned up at our house yesterday claiming to have walked with you in the Himalayas! We also have an interest in orchids, so will be following your blog with interest.
    Happy Days!
    Martin and Sue

    1. It's a small world, yes me and my wife did go on a trek in the Himalayas to the Annanpurna Sanctuary in Nov 1999. Did you manage to get his name?
      I will keep dropping into your blog and follow your adventures which are probably a little ambitious for us as our years are advancing.

  3. Your unloved and abandoned photo deserves an award. It is beautifully composed, great color and touching.

    How wonderful that you trek these hills and vales discovering so much and sharing it with your blog friends. Thank you.