The Cloven Ash and Coldwell Lime Works

Sunday afternoon saw me and the nipper…

…on a short spree to the edge of Silverdale Moss.

One reason for coming this way was to check on the progress of this ash…

 

…which has a huge crack running right through the heart of its substantial trunk…

The gap has widened since I first noticed it, about a year ago, but as you can see, both halves of the tree are still standing. It was very still on Sunday – it would be interesting to see how the tree behaves in a gale.

S didn’t share my interest in the tree, but he was enjoying playing with sticks, picking up sheep droppings and clambering on the mossy rocks beside the path.

“Horsey, horsey…”

The path here is bounded by a dry-stone wall on the west and to the east a small natural rock wall.

This seems to be a continuation of the Trough, a very curious local feature which runs across the AONB in an almost perfect straight line, in many places with rock walls on either side. In times gone by it was apparently used to hide stock from border reivers.

S was set on having a thorough explore of this natural playground, so I decided to do the same. There were several old felled tree trunks. Most had lost their bark, revealing a quilted, elephant-hide map…

Moss is beginning to colonise the bare wood with verdant islands of green…

One trunk was liberally covered with jew’s ear fungus…

And down amongst the yellow grasses, I found this little surprise…

Could it be scarlet elf cup?

Although we were on the edge of Silverdale Moss, it’s actually hard to get a good view of the moss from here. We could hear geese and ducks, but not see them. We did see a buzzard wheeling away across the tree tops – I’ve often see buzzards here. There is a good view of Arnside Tower from here, perched 30m above the moss on the saddle between Arnside Knott and Middlebarrow. Unfortunately, the light wasn’t conducive to longer views…

I shall have to come back early one clear morning. This is also one of the few spots from which it’s possible to see just how large Middlebarrow quarry is…

My other motivation for coming this way was to take another look at the ruin in the woods just back from the path. In the event, there is a well worn path heading directly into the woods and that ruin. It’s not a right of way, but what harm could there be in taking a look?

The structure is built of stone, but is brick-lined, leading me to wonder whether it might be some kind of kiln or chimney. I didn’t have to wonder for long, since there is an information board…

 

And this is Coldwell lime works. Restored in 2005, apparently. But not very restored…

One question – why an information board when there is no footpath?

I had been expecting a bright afternoon, but in fact the weather had been resolutely dull – I was surprised that it hadn’t turned to rain. As we retraced our steps to the car, it finally began to clear a little and late afternoon sunlight bathed the cloven ash.

Advertisements
The Cloven Ash and Coldwell Lime Works

Vegetable Potential

In a brief window of opportunity on Sunday I took S out for a quick turn around the village, combining a fresh air fix with an errand by dropping off a birthday card for a friend on the Row.

Although It will be a few more weeks before I have been blogging for a year, I have a real sense of having come full circle, of having run through the seasons. This walk, although shorter, was very like the walk which I recounted in my first post. Everything was damp, especially the atmosphere. Familiar views had disappeared in a grey miasma. And yet I was struck by how much of interest there was still to see. Magpies and rooks flew from tree to tree, oystercatchers and curlews were probing the fields with their hooked beaks, wrens and robins hopped about the hedgerows. The hedges were once again festooned with droplets. Rather than focus on individual drops I tried to capture the overall effect of a prickly wall illuminated by tiny fairy-lights.

If nothing else the second picture captures the pervasive damp and gloom. But in the woods the beech saplings still have their leaves which seem almost orange in the absence of much other colour, and the evergreen of holly, yew, ivy and moss seemed all the greener in the low light.

A tree stump on which I found jew’s ear fungus on that January walk, now has fruiting bodies again. Of course the fungus was there in the wood all along, the mycelia invisibly feasting on its host, biding its time. I have that same sense about the countryside round about generally. It is coiled. Brimming with potential. All of the changes and events that will follow in the next cycle of seasons, and that I will  witness in the next year of walking and gawking, are already present. Biding their time. A vegetable energy coded into the landscape.

It’s really quite exciting.

Vegetable Potential