Friday, 24 February 2017

Snowdrop Wood

It's down to South Yorkshire for this short blog. I was in Kiveton to visit Sal's parents for a few days so we had a family walk in Hawks Woods through which The Chesterfield canal runs. It is locally known as Snowdrop Wood for obvious reasons. It's in a lovely area just outside the village of Thorpe Salvin and consists of two woodland areas. Hawks Wood is locally famous for its snowdrops and wild garlic and next door Old Spring Wood is locally famous for its bluebells.

As you can see from the photos, our timing was just about perfect. One point of concern though was the fact that the path to the snowdrops was so overgrown that it was nigh on impossible to follow. You certainly wouldn't be able to find the snowdrops if you didn't know the area. I presume this is just due to council cutbacks as they own the woods, I do hope it isn't something more sinister. Holly had a great time, it was just a shame we couldn't really let her off her lead properly and she would have been of once she had the scent of something. and not seen again for hours!

We finished the afternoon off nicely with a pint in the Blue Bell Inn which is situated in the nearby village of Harthill. Hopefully the bluebells will be out on out next visit.


Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Holly

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood's snowdrops

Hawks Wood

Hawks Wood

Tree bark

Tree bark

Woodland leaves

Robin by the Chesterfield Canal



Saturday, 18 February 2017

The infant River Wharfe.

I had so much hope of a good day when I left home but the usual bank of cloud appeared just as I was  leaving Skipton. It got thicker and thicker the further I went and by the time I reached Langstrothdale (which is at the top of Wharfedale) it was pretty gloomy. I was intending driving over Fleet Moss and down in to Hawes but when it's like it was that day, you soon realise it is just a waste of petrol and time.

I did get out of the car and walk a mile or so along the Dale and back but there was drizzle in the air and conditions were really not very good for photography, in fact they were down right miserable. I still took a few snaps for the record and then, if I remember rightly, beat a hasty retreat to The Blue Bell Inn in Kettlewell where there is always has wood burning fire on the go.

A pint and a warm up and then it was back down the Dale and home.














Monday, 13 February 2017

Lakes and Dales drive out.

I took this lovely set of photos back in February. I'd popped up to my caravan to check everything was OK and get things ready for the coming new season.

I recall Thirlmere being very cold that day. There was a bitter wind blowing across from Helvellyn which chilled me to the bone. The place took my mind back to the latter part of last year when I visited. That day I was blessed with mirror like reflections, the like of which you usually only dream about but not today.

I think I spent more time in the Dales than I did in the Lakes though. It was just a quick 10 minute visit to the caravan, check everything was OK and then back on the road. Caravans are a bit too cold to stay in long at that time of year, especially with all the heating switched off.

On the way back down I did get some lovely shots of Ingleborough from Kingsdale before moving on to the Three Peaks area itself. With the days being pretty short, dusk was soon upon me but not before I took some shots of Pen y Ghent in the cold evening light. Unfortunately I didn't have the time to go down to Ribblehead but I think I succeeded in cramming a fair bit into the short winter's day.

Thirlmere

Thirlmere plantation

Naddle valley

Naddle valley

Naddle valley

Ingleborough

Ingleborough

Pen y Ghent

Selside

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent

Selside
 
Selside

Saturday, 4 February 2017

A stroll around Bingley St Ives

Quite often I'm guilty of heading off to either one of the Lakes or Dales's honeypots when there are plenty of local places for me to visit. Ogden Water, the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and St Ives are but three such places. Today I went to St Ives.

Even on a Saturday there are still plenty of places to find a bit of peace and quiet so I headed off in to the woods in search of the Druids Alter. The alter overlooks Bingley and the Aire Valley.  It is allegedly the scene of human sacrifice in ancient times although there is no evidence for this but you can imagine how people's imagination gave it it's name as the rock stands high above the valley and is of an impressive size. The walk is very pleasant with many wooden sculptures scattered through out the woods. 

After visiting the alter, the walk then skirts the golf course before starting to head back down to Coppice Pond and the Estate. On the way you pass a large obelisk and Lady Blantyre’s Rock. The obelisk commemorates William Ferrand, MP for Knaresborough 1841- 1847, and his campaigning on behalf of oppressed workers and the poor, particularly opposing the repeal of the Corn Laws. He was instrumental in abolishing the truck system which allowed employers to pay workers in tokens that could be redeemed only in the company’s own shop, often at inflated prices.
The stone tablet commemorates Lady Fanny Mary Stuart Blantyre, who became Mr Ferrand’s second wife in 1847, and loved the view from this spot. With her husband she was responsible for planting 400 acres of woodland. Coppice Pond was originally used by the Ferrand family as a boating lake but is now used for fishing. The spoils must be good as you can usually see a heron on the small isle standing motionless hunting for its tea. Birds are plentiful in this area and there is a hide but it seems to be getting a bit overgrown and uncared for. 

I usually pop in to the coffee shop but, with it being a Saturday, it looked very busy so I decided to give it a miss. Then it's just a downhill stroll back to the car park. There is a bit of a whohaa at the moment as the local council are wanting to start charging to park but there was no evidence of this having started. I suppose there are pluses and minuses to the debate: if its just an occasional visit like I do then its OK but a lot of people come up frequently to exercise both themselves and their dogs so I should imagine that could work out pretty expensive. 

Ten minutes later I was back home and feeling rejuvenated by my visit.
 


Reach for the sky

St Ives woods

St Ives woods

St Ives woods

The Aire Valley

Track to the Druids Alter

The Druids Alter

The Druids Alter

Track to Coppice Pond

Track to Coppice Pond

Ferrand's Obelisk 

Wetlands near Coppice Pond

Wood carving

Wood Carving


Back in the Lakes.

Well here we are, back in The Lake District. This was my first Lakeland stroll of the year with my mate Dave and his dog Sammy. It is one of...