Henry’s Pebble Art

P1170832

The day after our Garburn Pass outing. I had to wait in for a plumber (who embarrassingly, when he eventually turned up, spent about two minutes tightening a nut, or tightening something anyway, barely long enough to drink his cup of tea). But I digress: as I said, I had to be in for the plumber in the early afternoon. In the morning, it rained, but I steeled myself and went for a wander anyway, just around the local lanes. It wasn’t particularly pleasant; one of our friends even took pity on me and stopped his car to offer me a lift, but I enjoyed being out, cocooned in my waterproofs. Eventually, it even slacked off, and then dried up altogether.

Close to the Wolfhouse Gallery, I spotted a Tree-creeper, the first I’ve seen for a while. I even tried to take a photo, but with just the camera phone and the gloomy conditions and a very shy bird, that was always doomed to failure.

These Cyclamen…

image

…flowering on the verge on Lindeth Road were a little more obliging.

By the time our boiler’s leak was fixed, the weather had changed dramatically. I still had time for a turn around Eaves Wood…

P1170809

Silverdale from Castlebarrow. Note the snow on the Bowland Fells.

Before heading down to the Cove, for once, timing it right to arrive shortly before the sunset.

P1170820

Recently, there always seem to have been much the same birds evident on the muddy beaches by the Cove. A group of Shelduck, as many as forty sometimes, but just a couple on this occasion. A large flock of Oystercatchers, sitting in a tight group, in the same spot each time, out along the stream which flows away from the Cove. And some small waders closer in shore, I assume Redshanks.

P1170829

P1170836

This pebble art was on one of the benches on the cliff path above the Cove.

image

I haven’t posted it to FB, because I’ve always hoped that my posts there are private and only accessible to my friends. So I’ve posted it here instead, where perhaps it won’t get the exposure which the obviously talented Henry deserves, but maybe, somehow or other, the images will find their way back to Henry. Feel free to pass them on in any way which you feel is appropriate.

 

Advertisements
Henry’s Pebble Art

Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

Untitled

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 23.21.21

“The forecast for tomorrow shows every kind of weather, what a cop out.”

This was A, on Saturday evening; she knows how much this symbol winds me up on a long range forecast, suggesting, as it does, some straddling of the fence from the meteorologists. Of course, it could also imply that the weather is destined to be very mixed. That’s exactly how Sunday turned out.

No ‘Listed Lancaster’ posts from last week, not because I didn’t get out for any lunchtime strolls – although I was restricted a little, it was a busy week – but because when I did get out the weather was always gloomy and not really ideal for photographs. I particularly enjoyed my walk on Wednesday, when we had snow, but even the photos I took then are¬† rather grim and monotone.

Saturday too was very wet, but it did finally brighten a little late on, and I abandoned the second half of Ireland’s cakewalk against Italy to make the most of it. Not much to show for it in terms of photos of views or leaves or sunsets etc, but every walk seems to throw up something, in this case a wet poster…

Untitled

Long-suffering readers will know that I have become quite interested in Thomas Mawson and his gardens, which have featured on this blog a number of times. I’m hoping that I will be free on the evening of this lecture. If not, there were plenty of other things to choose from: a talk on ‘Bees in Your Garden’, another on ‘Sweet Peas’ and a third on ‘An Underwater Safari in Morecambe Bay’, music at the regular ‘Bits and Pieces’ event at the Silverdale Hotel, the John Verity Band appearing soon at the same venue, and, at The Instititute, Lancaster Band The Meter Men, who play Hammond Organ infused funk and are, in my opinion, superb. And that’s just a small selection of the entertainment on offer, seen through the filter of my own interests. Silverdale it seems, like Stacy’s Mom, ‘has got it going on’.

Anyway, back to Sunday: I set off, as I often do, without a clear idea of where I was going. Initially though, I chose to climb to the Pepper Pot on Castlebarrow, to take a look at the clouds racing past. I went via the Coronation path because I knew that would take me past the Snowdrops which featured at the top of the post.

From time to time, new paths seem to appear in Eaves Wood, a reflection, I suppose, of how many people regularly walk there. Whenever I walk past one, I wonder where it goes and resolve that, next time I’m out, I’ll find out. On Saturday I finally acted on that impulse. The first path I followed cut a corner between two paths which I know well. Even so, I felt very pleased to have taken it and I’ve been back and walked it again since.

From Castlebarrow I followed the path along the northern edge of Eaves Wood, beside the wall which marks the boundary between Lancashire and Cumbria. I met a couple walking their dog, who emerged from the trees at the side of the path. Looking back from where they’d come I thought I could detect the thinnest of thin trods, a hint of a path. Naturally, I followed it and it brought me to a drystone wall, in a spot where an old ants’ nest against the wall made it easy to scramble over. It was evident that people had climbed the wall here. I could see that just beyond the wall was the rim of Middlebarrow Quarry…

P1170772

Silverdale Moss, Scout Hill and Farleton Fell from Middlebarrow.

The quarry is huge, but is well concealed from most directions. Again, I thought I could see a path heading along the edge of the quarry. In all the years I’ve been here I’ve never walked around it. It is private land, but it’s not a working quarry anymore and I can’t see what harm could be done by wandering around. So I did.

Untitled

Middlebarrow pano. Click on it to see enlarged version.

The path turned out to be a bit sketchy in places. And it was easy to lose where there was limestone pavement…

Untitled

Some of the pavements were coated in moss, others had grass growing over them, which made it hard to see the grykes.

True to form, the weather threw everything at me: rain, sleet, hail, but odd moments of sunshine too.

P1170775

There’s a ninety metre contour somewhere around the rim of the quarry, making it the highest point on the limestone hill on which Eaves Wood sits. It’s certainly a good view point for Silverdale Moss and I shall be back here again.

P1170780

Whitbarrow catching the sun.

Untitled

I took this photo in an attempt to show the heavy snow which was falling. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Untitled

And this one to show the state of many of the paths after the wet weather we’ve endured.

Untitled

By the time I was leaving the woods, the snow had stopped again.

I timed my walk to arrive back to watch England squeak past Wales in the rugby by the finest of margins.

Then I was out again. Since it was still cloudy, and I knew I was too late for the sunset, I only took my ‘new’ phone with me and not my camera.

Untitled

I never learn!

Untitled

The colours were subtle, pastel shades, but very pleasant none-the-less.

Untitled

Always good to finish a day (and a post) with a colourful sunset, if you can.

Untitled

Middlebarrow in Every Kind of Weather.

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

P1170736

Saturday was another grey and damp day. I was taken in by the hype and watched the Six Nations opener, Scotland versus Wales, expecting a close match. Then was out for a late walk in the rain and the gloom and eventually dark.

When I woke up early on the Sunday and looked out to see completely clear skies, it was too good to resist and set off for a circuit of Hawes Water before the usual Underley Rugby trip.

P1170710

When I set off the moon was still high in the sky, although it wasn’t as dark as this photo suggests, since I’d switched the camera to black and white mode and dialled the exposure down to minimum, which seems to give best results.

P1170713

From Eaves Wood I could see mist rising off the land and the sky lightening in the East.

P1170723

Near Hawes Water, out of the trees, there had clearly been a sharp frost.

P1170716

Roe Deer Buck.

P1170721

Cormorants.

P1170728

This ruin in the trees by the lake has long been surrounded by a high fence and Rhododendrons. Both have now been removed, although to what end I don’t know.

I was aware that the sun had come up, although I couldn’t see it, or feel its warmth, because it was painting the trees on the slope above me in a golden light.

P1170732

P1170733

Hawes Water.

Back to the house, quick cup of tea, off to rugby.

 

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

Big.

P1170509

I wasn’t thinking of the Tom Hanks film. Nor of the outrageously good ‘Big Chief’ by New Orleans maestro Professor Longhair.

P1170514

Not even of big children, although they do insist on growing up despite my insistence that they should slow down a bit.

The phrase ‘big kid’ was on my mind a little…

P1170517

…usually it’s the children who have to be encouraged to leave the play ground in the caravan park so that we can get on.

P1170522

On this occasion, it was the children all piling onto the swing and making it uncomfortable which persuaded TBH that it was time to move.

P1170523

This is not a big castle…

P1170525

…although I suspect it was once quite an impressive Pele Tower. Nor was our walk particularly huge; we were only going to Arnside and even then, not around the coast, but over the Knott, because we were late setting off (as ever) and wanted to reach Arnside for a late lunch.

The flooding on Silverdale Moss was quite impressive…

P1170526

…but that’s not what I had in mind.

P1170527

Arnside Tower Farm.

P1170530

Panorama from the Knott.

Arnside Knott is certainly not a big hill, although it does boast expansive views.

P1170535

Incidentally, this is the boys new favourite tree – The Ladder Tree – which has at least partially supplanted the tree at the top of the post in the boys affections. B actually climbed much higher than this but this photo shows why they call it the ladder tree – because of the handy series of evenly spaced branches which have grown across between the twin trunks.

By the time we reached Arnside it was very late for lunch, but the cafes were all still heaving. We managed to get seats in The Old Bakery (the Pie Shop to us) only to find that they were out of both Sausage Rolls and vegan options. We decamped and ended up in The Big Chip Cafe, adjoining the Fish and Chip Shop. At this point I have to say that I am full of admiration for those people who have the forbearance to photograph their food before they eat it. By rights, there should be a highly appealing photo of a fish supper here, but I’d eaten it before it occurred to me to take a picture. You’ll have to imagine it. Very nice it was too. Ages since I’ve had fish and chips. I can heartily recommend the haddock and chips (and the small portion is quite big enough).

So: The Big Chip Cafe explains the post title. Except….

P1170539

…when we left the cafe it was evidently too late to fulfil my design to get a walk around the coast. We took a shorter route which sort of curled up and around the Knott. And the big, late-afternoon, winter skies…

P1170541

Were fantastic.

When we reached Eaves Wood, I couldn’t persuade the others to come back up to the Pepper Pot with me.

P1170543

Big mistake.

P1170546

Even though the sun had long since set, it was a perfect, still evening and the views were superb.

P1170547

Bit cold though. I eventually stumbled down through the dark woods and home to listen to the dub version of Black Uhuru’s ‘Right Stuff’, which, due to the curious workings of my grey matter, the Big Chip always puts me in mind of.

P1170555

So maybe it was the Big Chip, or perhaps the big skies, or possibly the Black Uhuru song, or probably some combination of them all. Who knows?

Now: Fish supper with – mushy peas, curry sauce, gravy, tartar sauce, ketchup or none of the above?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Big.

Little and Often: Kickstarting the New Year

Untitled

After a flurry of ‘Little and Often’ posts last spring, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that I’ve been increasingly quiet about my fitness drive. I kept it going through the dark days of winter and it was easy to do in the spring and the early summer, but then….I’m not even really sure when exactly it fizzled out, but it did, as these things are wont to do, at least where I’m concerned anyway.

I’m still feeling the benefits though and the New Year feels like an appropriate time to get cracking again, even though I don’t generally make resolutions.

Untitled

Part of the impetus is my ‘new’ phone and the MapMyWalk App (I’m sure lots of similar products are available). Last Spring I flirted with the idea of having a crack at a ‘walk 1000 miles in the year’ challenge, this year I’m going to get on and do it. Judging by the plethora of websites which offer to help and encourage you to do just that, I must be one among many.

Untitled

These photos were taken on some of the many local rambles which kick-started my progress whilst I was still off work. The weather was a bit mixed, to say the least, there was no flooding, but paths were about as muddy as I can remember seeing them and walking across the fields involved an uncomfortable amount of slithering, squelching and slipping. One day in Eaves Wood I lost my footing completely and fell rather heavily, fortunately without any lasting consequences.

Untitled

I tended not to venture particularly far, heading out several times each day rather than aiming for a single long walk. There were numerous trips to the Cove and Eaves Wood as well as a solitary wander around Hawes Water.

On New Year’s Day, whilst A was out for a Penny Walk with her friend, the rest of the family took part in a South Ribble Orienteering Club event. It was a score event, rather than following a course it was just a case of finding as many controls as possible in an hour. Great fun.

Untitled

Later in the week, A and B joined me for an Eaves Wood jaunt.

Untitled

An aside – this hole in a limestone pavement has been the source of an ongoing family dispute: until recently the top was blocked off with a number of branches. Little S and I contended that it wasn’t that deep a hole – about B’s height we maintained. B was¬†adamant that it was much deeper. He looks chuffed here because, now that the covering branches are gone, it’s evident that he was right.

One day, our friend X-Ray came over and Little S and I took him out for a stroll around Eaves Wood and across The Lots. S was searching for holocrons using his Stars Wars Force Band, so he was happy. (No, I don’t understand what I just wrote either). It was very windy and a bit grim, but as we reached The Pepper Pot on Castlebarrow we had some brief moments of extraordinary light.

Untitled

After his walk, X-Ray stopped on for a vegan curry and a few games, including Camel Cup and King Domino. Hopefully, we’ll do something similar again soon.

The tides were high all week. I think that the water was already receding here…

Untitled

…and that the sea had actually been into the smelly cave at the Cove.

Untitled

These photos were all taken with my phone. It’s not that I’ve abandoned my camera, but with unpredictability of the weather, it was easy just to stick the phone in my back pocket, where I wanted it anyway to clock my mileage, and use it for photos when opportunities arose.

Untitled

It’s much less faff uploading the photos too.

Untitled

A thousand miles is a fairly arbitrary target, I know, but it gives me something to aim for. To be honest, at the moment I’m just enjoying watching the distance steadily accumulating.

Untitled

Some rules: I’m on my feet most of the day at work, but that’s walking I would do anyway. None of that counts. Nor pottering about the house or garden. Walking to the Co-op however, rather than taking the car, is fair game.

Untitled

I haven’t decided yet whether any ‘travel’ done under my own steam counts, so that swimming, cycling, skateboarding, canoeing etcetera would add to the total or not.

Untitled

Somewhere during the week, we squeezed in visits to the climbing wall in Lancaster and also to see Aladdin at the Dukes with some of our friends from the village (hello Dr R!).

Untitled

Another aside: I noticed, down at The Cove, that the seasonal springs, which rise amongst the rocks on the bottom left of the picture below…

Untitled

…are now supplemented by, or perhaps have partially moved to, those two large greenish hollows on the bottom right of the photo. You can see that a fairly substantial stream out across the mud has been established. It’s been there a while, I’ve been enjoying the foreground it provides for my sunset photos…

Untitled

A low key sunset on a very still evening, which was very restful, but I think I may have said much the same thing only a few posts ago.

Little and Often: Kickstarting the New Year

New Year’s Eve

Untitled

A day of many changes. Firstly, the weather, which was changeable, but pretty consistently cold and windy. I was out early, up at the Pepper Pot to catch the sunrise, which was a bit of a non-event because of the massed cloud. The photo above was taken at the Ring O’Beeches when it had begun to brighten a little. I walked a circuit around Eaves Wood and then up Bottom’s Lane, into Burtonwell Wood, to The Green, and down Stankelt Road…

Untitled

The Old Post Office.

By the time I was crossing the Lots, the weather had brightened up considerably.

Untitled

Grange seen across the Lots and Morecambe Bay.

Untitled

The tide was unusually high and, with a very stiff breeze blowing, there were waves and whitecaps which is very rarely the case.

Untitled

Another change for us was that we had to say goodbye to our guests…

Untitled

…but we did drag them out for one final local stroll, a shorter affair down through the village to the Shore…

Untitled

Where the car-park seems to be eroding away now that the foreshore has gone.

TBH and I were out again later, through Clarke’s Lot and down the very muddy path through Fleagarth Wood, around Jenny Brown’s Point in the last of the light. It was cold and dingy and I didn’t take many photos, but I couldn’t resist these very early daffs, flowering on the verge opposite the Wolfhouse even before the year had ended.

Untitled

We had hoped to go to the Silverdale Hotel again for the New Year celebrations, but were too late buying tickets, so had a mammoth games session at home instead, which was great fun, and watched the fireworks from London on the telly.

Happy New Year (belatedly).

New Year’s Eve

Exploding Kittens

Untitled

The Cove on Boxing Day.

We spent Christmas at home here in Silverdale. My mum and dad and my brother and his family came to stay for the week. We packed a fair bit in: walks, turkey, stuffing, lots of games, trampolining (well, not all of us), a trip to the flicks, turkey pie, a get together with two of our cousins and their families, a take-away curry (no turkey in sight), more games, more walks, far too much chocolate etc.

The very serious expressions here…

image

…don’t really convey how funny the card game Exploding Kittens is to play. We also played: Fives-and-Threes, One-armed Pete, Mexican Train (all dominoes), Camel Super Cup, Code Names (picture version), Tension, Caboodle, Pictionary, and probably several others which I have temporarily forgotten.

My own current favourite of the new games we bought each other is Kingdomino which we’ve played quite a bit since Christmas and which, especially with just two players, really makes you think, whilst being easy to understand and quick to play.

image

At the Pepper Pot on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day we had a fairly long walk, about 5 miles, to the cove, across the Lots, through Bottom’s Wood to Woodwell, along the clifftop path to the Green, through Burtonwell Wood to the rift cave, on to The Row and home through Eaves Wood.

Untitled

The weather started bright, but rain clouds were building and, whilst we didn’t get wet, it did cloud over. Still, a lovely stroll and there was more to come…

Exploding Kittens