Watch Me Now

Far Arnside – Park Point – White Creek – Blackstone Point – New Barns – Arnside – Arnside Moss – Black Dyke – Far Waterslack – Waterslack – The Row – Hagg Wood

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House Sparrow

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Newly-laid hedge by Townsfield.

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Primroses on the bank on Cove Road.

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Hazel Catkins.

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Marsh Tit.

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Daffodils in the woods near Far Arnside.

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Green hellebore in amongst the daffs.

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Grange and Hampsfell.

The tide was well out, the mud unusually firm, so I did something I don’t often do and walked away from the shore on a beeline for Hampsfell on the far side of the Kent, only turning inland again as the sand started to drop towards the river channel.

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Park Point.

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Redshank.

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Arnside Knott from New Barns.

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I had what I am now beginning to think of as my Birding Camera with me and wasn’t using my phone for once. Along the estuary I had some fun photographing a Cormorant which was fishing, a number of Redshanks, a Corvid, probably a Crow, which was tussling with what looked like a plastic bag half-embedded in the far bank of the river, and nearby another Crow vigorously bathing in the shallow margin of the river.

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I know that birds bathe, we have a birdbath sited just beyond the window I’m currently sat beside and I’ve often watched Blackbirds dipping into it, but this seemed a little more out of the ordinary.

The camera helped me to identify a pair of Goosanders which were fishing in the channel…

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Here, the male, on the right, has caught a small flatfish.

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Whitbarrow Scar, the Kent, the viaduct.

On the wall of a small, abandoned quarry close to Arnside I noticed some heather flowering…

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It’s the wrong time of year for our native heathers, but the heathers in our garden are flowering too so I guess this is an interloper.

I’m still feeling the after-affects of the virus which laid me low last week, so I chose to follow the Kent for a while beyond Arnside, and then by cutting back across Arnside Moss and following the field path beside Black Dyke managed to almost completely avoid the need to struggle uphill.

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In the woods near Middlebarrow Quarry a pigeon-sized bird ghosted past my shoulder, swooped low and then banked steeply to land noiselessly on a branch ahead of me. This was no wood pigeon however, a bird incapable of doing anything silently.

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I think that this is another female Sparrowhawk, although, as ever, I stand ready to be corrected.

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Silverdale Moss.

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Trees near Hagg Wood.

This photo…

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…was taken several days before any of the others in this post. We’ve had Roe Deer in the garden again a few times recently. On this occasion there were, briefly, four of them, despite the fact that Roe Der are often reported to be solitary creatures. All males I think. I wanted to include the picture because it shows how furry this buck’s new antlers are. It looks as if he had spotted me. Certainly, just after I took this photo, he bounded over the hedge into our neighbour’s garden.

I’m reading ‘I Put A Spell On You’ by John Burnside at the moment. It’s a very unusual book, which I think I bought solely because of the title and it’s reference to the Screaming Jay Hawkins song, which I’m more familiar with in the versions by Nina Simone and especially Creedence Clearwater Revival. I don’t know, in honesty, quite what to make of the book, but I couldn’t help but mentally underline this passage…

“…it comes to me that, at moments like this, yes, but also in some far off place at the back of my head, I am, in some modest and ineffable way, supremely happy. Or perhaps not happy so much as given to fleeting moments of good fortune, the god-in-the-details sense of being obliged and permitted to inhabit a persistently surprising and mysterious world.”

So perhaps this post’s title should have come from that passage, but instead, having contrived to find a walk almost without any contours, I chose the purloin the title from The Contours big hit.

“Do you love me?
(I can really move)
Do you love me?
(I’m in the groove)
Ah, do you love?
(Do you love me)
Now that I can dance
(Dance)

Watch me now, oh….”

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Watch Me Now

Such A Night

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The much reported snow and ice barely made it to this part of the West Coast, although when it did arrive it was oddly localised and, for example, Silverdale got quite a bit more snow than nearby Lancaster. These photos are from a quick walk on the Wednesday. We’d had one very heavy flurry of snow on the Tuesday evening and some more lighter falls thereafter and by Wednesday morning we had quite an accumulation. Not sufficient to keep us at home, sadly. The sun shone for much of the day and although it was cold, much of the snow had thawed by the time I got out for a late circuit around The Cove and The Lots.

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Redshanks.

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Inevitable Cove sunset.

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Ashmeadow House.

Later, I took A to Arnside for a piano lesson and had time for a short, and very chilly, stroll along the promenade and beside the River Kent.

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I should probably explain the convoluted way in which I arrived at the post’s inappropriate title: for the previous post which eventually ended up accompanied by ‘True Love Travels on a Gravel Road’, I also considered ‘Walk On Guilded Splinters’ and although I eventually rejected that choice, I then found myself listening to a few other Dr John songs, including, eventually, ‘Such A Night’….

Such A Night

Walking Blues

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Eaves Wood.

Another BWOO, with a blue sky wander following rugby at Kirkby.

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The Ring O’Beeches.

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Ring O’Beeches pano.

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Arnside Knott.

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Arnside Knott pano.

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Black Dyke.

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Arnside Knott seen across Silverdale Moss. 

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Hawes Water.

This time I was rushing back for a much better reason. I was only at home very briefly before heading out again to see The John Verity Band play at the Silverdale Hotel.

Unlike the rugby, this was well worth curtailing a walk for. They’re back in Silverdale on October the 14th and probably playing somewhere near you sometime soon (if you’re in the UK anyway).

Walking Blues

True Love Travels…

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Shingle beach at Far Arnside.

Suddenly, I’m a behind again. This images are from a fortnight ago; one of those BWOOs (Brief Window of Opportunity) where I found myself with a couple of hours to spare on a sunny Saturday afternoon. At this remove, the images look quite spring-like, and there were plenty of primroses on the bank on Cove Road where they always seem to appear earlier than anywhere else…

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But in truth, the wind was stiff and Siberian, a herald of the snows which would arrive later in the week.

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Buzzard.

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Meathop Fell seen across the Kent Estuary.

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Bullfinch.

I opted for a slight variation on an old favourite – following the coast past Far Anrside and White Creek to New Barns, near to Arnside, but then climbing over the Knott and home again.

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Arnside Knott panoramas (click on photos for larger versions)

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I’m always tempted to photograph the pale shingle at Far Arnside, and this time I did…

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…which set me thinking about the various surfaces I would traverse on my walk.

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Wet sand.

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…with or without shells…

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Harder, drier, ridged sand.

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Leaves and twigs in the woods.

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Mud on the Knott.

This…

…seemed like a suitable musical accompaniment. Apparently, the song was first popularised by Elvis and Percy Sledge also had a hit with it, but it’s this version by Nick Lowe which I know.

I could, and should, have extended the walk but rushed back to watch the Calcutta Cup on the gogglebox. For England Rugby fans true love certainly travels by a gravel road.

 

True Love Travels…

Tea For Two.

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The Friday after our Selside adventure was much more settled and sunny and much less windy. TBH and I took what’s becoming a habitual wander around the coast to Arnside for lunch. A very late lunch, which is par for the course when we do this. We couldn’t induce any of the kids to join us, they all felt that they needed a rest after the exertions of the previous day. I didn’t take many photos, we were too busy nattering.

When we arrived in Arnside, both the Old Bakery and The Ramblers Cafe were stuffed to bursting. We’d met some friends from the village near New Barns though, who told us that they also make a habit of walking to Arnside, and that the best coffee in the area was served at the new Jazz Cafe near to Arnside Station. I’d already heard about the cafe because Conrad reviewed it on his blog last month.

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I can’t verify the claims about the coffee, because neither of us drink it, but the teas were excellent, so were the sandwiches and TBH’s cake. We also came away with a loaf of sourdough walnut bread which was delicious. In all, highly recommended.

In his post on the subject, Conrad mentioned this tune…

Which I wasn’t familiar with. I’m posting it here because I know I will forget the title, so now I will know where to find it again.

Tea For Two.

Heart-shaped Trots

Bottoms Lane – The Green – Stankelt Lane – The Lots – The Cove

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Bottoms Lane Lime Kiln.

Years ago, when I first started this blog in fact, I used to read a blog called Cynthesis, now sadly defunct, in which Cynthia (see what she did there?) often posted photos of heart-shaped things she had found whilst out and about – leaves, stones, the cross-sections of logs, puddles, clouds, shadows, you name it – which were heart-shaped. I was struck by the frequency of her discoveries and a little disappointed when I failed to turn up any similar treasures.

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Bottoms Farm.

It gives me a curious sense of satisfaction then, that this walk, one I’ve repeated many times recently in my attempts to chip away at my 1000 mile target, makes a pretty good heart-shape on the route map that the MapMyWalk App produces.

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Snowdrops!

Snowdrops seem to be everywhere this week. I’ve tried several times to photograph them with my phone. I can’t decide whether my lack of success is user error, the lack of a decent close-up facility or the gloomy light which has prevailed.

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Grey Stones (I think).

I should point out, that at no point on this walk did I break into a trot. Far from it, quite the opposite in fact, I was feeling under the weather and had been off work the day before with severe pain and stiffness in my shoulder and a temperature which I assumed was the beginnings of flu. Fortunately, both cleared up much quicker than I expected.

On Saturday morning we had all three kids in three different places, Little S was on his last outing with Cubs before moving up to Scouts, a trip to the dry-ski slope in Rossendale. A was attending Royal Institution Master Classes in Mathematics at Lancaster Uni and B was having his first lesson in Brazilian Ju-jitsu. We’d been making hasty contingency plans, since it didn’t seem like I would be in any fit state to do any of the driving, but in the event TBH took S and some of his peers to the West Pennine Moors  and, doped up on painkillers,  I managed the shorter journey with the other two.

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Crinkle Cottage.

If anything the trip out seemed to do me some good and in the afternoon I felt up to a short turn around the village. I decided to stick to the lanes, due to the sorry state of the paths and used the opportunity to take some pictures of many features and buildings which I often walk past, but which never usually make it on to the blog.

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Pillars at the entrance to Spring Bank.

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I’m always tickled by these pillars which look to me like they ought to have something on top of them, a statue or a stone pineapple to somesuch. I don’t know whether they ever did have.

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I do like an ornate wooden porch…

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I was feeling in such fine fettle when I reached the village centre that I decided to extend my walk slightly by including the Lots and the Cove.

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As to the post title: I’ve recently revived an old habit of stealing song titles for my posts (don’t know if you noticed?) and this one is an excruciating pun on Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ which has always been one of my favourite songs of their’s and which has been stuck in my head a lot recently because I’ve been listening to Hackney Colliery Band’s cover version…

Heart-shaped Trots

Light Up Lancaster

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Lancaster has long had an impressive annual firework display. Having said that, it’s a long time since I witnessed it myself, so I’m assuming that it’s still at least as good as it used to be. Recently, the show has been preceded by Light Up Lancaster which brings various light related street performances and artworks to the city centre. We chose to watch the fireworks in Arnside again this year, but Light up Lancaster was on for two nights, so had a chance to see that too.

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The lights on these structures, which had come from China apparently, were constantly changing.

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At the Castle there was a show projected onto a large wall, featuring recorded music and a live choir.

And at the Judge’s Lodgings…

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…something similar but projected only on to the windows.

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This may have been my favourite.

There were a number of things to see at the Library, mostly with a science theme. Here, A and Little S have made models of dynamite molecules…

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Vying with the Judge’s Lodges, in my opinion, for top spot in the show were the two huge lighted kites flying above Dalton Square…

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…which changed colour as they moved.

An unusual evening’s entertainment!

Light Up Lancaster