Thursday, 26 January 2017

Norwood Edge Plantation.

These photos were taken on a quick stop off on my way to Harrogate back in January. I was pleasantly surprised about how the overnight frost was still holding on in the plantation, it made for some interesting patterns and textures. The thing I distinctly remember was how cold it was, by the time I had taken these few snaps, my fingers were frozen.

This winter has been a rather mild one, I can only remember one occasion where we had snow and it stayed overnight. Even then it was only a couple of inches deep. The weather seems to have been very dependant on where you live, many is the time I have left Bradford in blue skies only to be hit by a wall of low cloud and mist by the time I hit the dales. At times it all got very dispiriting but Spring is just about on us now so I'm hoping for better things. The local park is a carpet of crocuses at the moment and the daffodils are just about starting to bloom.

It's now time to spend a bit more time in The Lake District and hopefully for trips further afield to the Highlands. I also have a mind to visit Snowdonia this year, I haven't been down that way for over 20 years and it would be good to go back,

Frozen pine

Sticky buds

Frozen grasses and web

Remains of a spider's web

Spider's web

Ferns,

Norwood Plantation

Norwood Plantation in mist

Norwood Plantation in mist

Frosted ferns

Frosted pine 

Frosted grasses

Seed pods

Seed pod close up

Little Alms Cliff

Little Alms Cliff

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Canal tells you stories.

Canal Life by  Ian McMillan

The canal tells you stories
The canal sings you songs
They hang in that space
Between memory and water


Once saw a narrowboat raised up,
Like it was cutting through the air,
Between two grass walls and the road below
Like it was sliding through history,
And a tiny vole swam across the water
So a tiny vole swam through history.

The canal tells you stories
The canal sings you songs


Once saw a man floating belly up in a canal
Like he was in the bath. He shouted
‘This is the life’ as I passed by on a narrowboat;
The sky was reflected in the surface
And we tied up in the places the map never showed us,
The man floating by, making ripples on the surface.

They hang in that space
Between memory and water
 
Once got waved at by a jogger as I stood gongoozling
On the towpath; her running gave rhythm
To the early afternoon, dog-strollers and kids
Who’d rather be here than sitting in school.
To gongoozle is to stand and watch narrowboats pass
And a canal is a lesson, a water-based school.

The canal tells you stories
The canal sings you songs


Once these canals were information highways
If coal and iron can be information,
And I think they can be. And there are bridges,
Pub gardens, the laughter of children
As they walk by the water; and the canals
Turn us all into curious children.

They hang in that space
Between memory and water


Once is never enough for a canal, I reckon;
You need to go back and see it again,
And sail it again, and smell it again, and
Touch it again; canals run through our veins
Like they stroll through this country
Like blood through our veins.

The canal tells you stories
The canal sings you songs
They hang in that space
Between memory and water



Dowley Gap, Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Dowley Gap, Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Dowley Gap, Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Dowley Gap, Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Saltaire Reform Church reflection

Hirst Wood Lock

Hirst Wood

Towpath View

Towpath View

Leeds-Liverpool Canal

Ducks at Doeley Gap

Friday, 13 January 2017

Snow in Ribblesdale

Yet another one of those days when I leave Bradford in sunshine and, by the time I do the twenty odd miles up to the Dales, the blue skies have disappeared and the cloud has moved in. This has happened to me every time bar one this year. I did manage to see a few glimpses of the sun just outside Horton in Ribblesdale and then just for a fleeting moment at Ribblehead but apart from that it was pretty gloomy. I was very fortunate at Ribblehead as the sun lit up Whernside beautifully.

I parked the car on the edge of Horton and had a walk around the network of country lanes in the vicinity. All lead up to Brackenbottom Farm which is the usual start for walking up Pen y Ghent. There weren't many takers which I thought was a bit strange as the weather would have been ideal. Mind you, it was midweek so I suppose most people will have been working. It was pretty damned cold though and I was glad to get back to the car and head for Ribblehead.

I had thought of going all the way up to Hawes but felt a bit deflated with the weather so I cut my journey short, only going as far as the famous ruin a few miles north of the viaduct and then turning round. All in all though, I think I've still managed to capture some lovely winter shots of the Three Peaks area. Looking back, I've had a lot worse weather in these parts. One year I came up and it was so bad that I couldn't actually see any of the peaks. The thick low cloud hid them from view but, with a bit of guess work, I still took a photo of each one and posted them to Flickr!

Its hard to get a good photo of Ingleborough at this time of year as the sun is low and is directly in line with the hill and you. This makes getting the correct exposure nigh on impossible and also the glaring sun just ruins the shot.

I know I've just cursed the weather but if it had have stayed sunny, the latter few photos wouldn't have been half as good which just goes to prove the old saying that you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't!

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Horton in Ribblesdale

Horton in Ribblesdale

Horton in Ribblesdale

Horton in Ribblesdale

Horton in Ribblesdale

 Ribblesdale

Ribblesdale

Ingleborough from Ribblesdale

Old ruin, Ribblehead

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead

Old ruin, Ribblehead




Wednesday, 4 January 2017

First walk of the year - Ogden Water

A good local walk to start the New Year off.

At Ogden Water, you can make your walk as far or as little as you want with as much exertion as you want as well. I didn't really have any agenda (as usual) so I just kept wandering off the circular reservoir path. I did find an interesting little path which followed one of the becks coming in to the reservoir which, looking at the map afterwards, went up to some old disused quarries but unfortunately my way was halted after about half a mile by a landslide so it was a case of "about turn" and back to the main path.

I also veered off the main path and walked up through the woods to the golf course. How anyone can play golf on that beggars belief. It is right on the top of the moors and is open to all the elements. Even on the sunny day that I was there, there seemed to be no takers and I cant say that I blame them. I changed lenses on my way back to the car in the hope of getting a few wildlife shots but the birds seemed to disappear the moment I fixed it to the camera, does anyone else have that problem as it seems to be a regular occurance with me!

I consoled myself (and warmed myself up) with a cup of supposedly "unsweetened" coffee from the little cafe/information point/shop but I think someone must have mixed the cups up. It was the sweetest "unsweetened" drink I've ever had! Still, at least it was warm and wet and touched the spot nicely.

I reckon, all in all, I had been wandering for well over two hours in mostly sunny weather and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Everyone I met was nice and chatty and seemed as glad as I was to be out in the sunshine. A nice start to the New Year.


Main woodland path

Main woodland path

Main woodland path

Roses

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Old quarry footpath.

Ogden Water

Ogden Water

Ogden Water

Woodland

Ogden Water

Circular reservoir path

Circular reservoir path

Circular reservoir path

Treee fungus

Lichen

Ogden Water reflection

Whinlatter Forest

It must be five years since I last went on this walk and unfortunately it has changed for the worst. The first section hasn't altered on...