Sunday Morning Coming Down

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By contrast with the Saturday, when the forecast had been a bit misleading, Sunday was every bit as foul as had been predicted. We had frost, hail, snow, fog and rain, rain and more rain. Little S was the lucky one – his rugby training was switched to the Sports Hall at the school, but B was outside on frozen ground with snow falling. Earlier in the week, when B had evening training, I’d walked along the Lune as far as Devil’s Bridge, which in the daylight is a very pleasant walk. It was okay in the dark too, but lacked a bit for views. Which is a shame, because the route passes Ruskin’s View, of which John Ruskin, poet, artist, critic, and all round good egg, said ‘one of the loveliest views in England, therefore in the world’.

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So I went back for a proper gander on Sunday. Even on a miserable day it didn’t look too bad.

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Also, I discovered that the panorama function on my ‘new’ phone works rather better than the one one on my camera.

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I had a little wander around Kirkby Lonsdale. It’s a very picturesque place which deserves further exploration, perhaps when the light is better.

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St. Mary’s Church.

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Medieval Market Cross.

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Tudor, mock tudor? The panels have clearly been decorated in the past.

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Apparently the story is that Salt Pie Lane is so named because an enterprising lady used to sell Salted Mutton Pies here. The salt made her customers thirsty and drove them to the local hostelry – which was owned by one of her kinsfolk. Crafty!

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Salt Pie Lane.

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Later, the rain slackened off briefly, lulled me into a false sense of security and I went for a local wander. The rain didn’t hold off for long and I got drenched. I did find some Snowdrops flowering by the track which runs past our house though.

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Sunday Morning Coming Down

Wade Into Underbeing

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These photos are from the day after our High Cup walk and a few days after the boys had been kayaking in the field behind our house. Our friends E and C had declared themselves not prepared to go walking on both days of the weekend, but were enticed out for a local ramble by the prospect of flooding at Lambert’s Meadow. The weather was very changeable: in the first photo you can see that the sun was shining, creating reflections of the trees in the temporary lake; in the one below, taken a few moments earlier, the splashes of raindrops on the surface of the water are evident.

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A and Little S, the only members of the party in wellies, had to wade across of course. Little S predictably filling his boots with water in the process.

Having persuaded the girls to come so far we managed to drag them a little further to see the rift cave in Burtonwell Wood. The Hardman and I were wondering, as I often have, about the rings attached to the base of the cliffs and also to some boulders below the cliffs here…

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My only theory has been that they have something to do with the Scouts, who have a camp nearby, at the top of the cliffs in fact, and maybe are for belaying? But The Hardman pointed out that a 1270kg maximum load is way over the top for that purpose. And anyway, why put them at the bottom of the cliff?

With the weather clearly deteriorating everyone but The Hardman and I turned for home. We extended our walk a little, chatting and doing our best to ignore the rain. Without the rain we wouldn’t have seen the rainbows…

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…this is a double one, although the second is only just visible here. Or am I imagining it? It was taken from near Woodwell. After we got back to the house there was a second, full, double rainbow which was very impressive, but short-lived.

We’ve had a lot of wet weather of late, as usual. I’m just back from another walk in the rain, and whilst I was out, I was thinking that I would need some more titles for posts abut wet walks in the ‘dale. As I often do, I thought of looking for a suitable poem and in the process stumbled across ‘Go Fishing’ by Ted Hughes. It seems to me to be a poem about losing yourself in nature and I’m very glad to have found it. I can’t find a full version online, although I did find this image of an early draft…

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Maybe I’ll type-up the final version and post it some time. Or perhaps just cherry-pick phrases for post titles, depending on how lazy I’m feeling.

‘Join water, wade into underbeing                                                                                                   Let brain mist into moist earth’

 

Wade Into Underbeing

Summer’s Lease

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“Summer starts on June 21st, three months after the start of Spring on March 21st.”

“Hang on, that can’t be right; the 24th is midsummer day, at that rate the summer only lasts six days. Oh…… Well, you might be right.”

“Look at that out there: that’s winter.”

This last being Little S’s contribution to a recent debate in our house about Summer and it’s absence.

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After the end of Whit week we had a couple of days of really ferocious weather; heavy rain and fierce winds. Of course, some people say that there’s no such thing as bad weather: only weather. By the end of the second day, when the rain had eased considerably, I really wanted to get out, at least for a short walk.

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“I’d go to Eaves Wood,” TBH advised.

She had a point, the contrast there between the relative shelter and calm of the woodland floor and the roar of the wind in the treetops is staggering; and it’s quite comforting to listen to the gales from the comfort of a cosseted spot in the woods. But I wanted to really immerse myself in the storm, so I staggered across the Lots, which were strewn with leaves and small branches.

I don’t know whether the photos convey it, but although the gales had already subsided somewhat since the previous day, it was still wild and gusty.

Just in case you were thinking that it’s all sunshine and butterflies!

Summer’s Lease

Nice Weather for….Snails

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Brown-lipped snail.

After a prolonged spell of mostly dry weather, the rains had started to reassert themselves. I decided to get out for s short walk anyway, but to leave my camera at home. But when I stepped out the front door I was almost immediately confronted by an abundance of snails. They were clearly relishing the damp. It was late and very overcast, but the lovely strawberry tones of that first brown-lipped snail had me thinking that a quick tour around the garden could precede my longer wander.

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Another Brown-lipped Snail in paler, more pastel shades.

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A really tiny snail, possibly some sort of Glass Snail.

Elsewhere in the garden, Brown Garden Snails abounded.

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Apparently, they are good to eat. I’ll pass thanks.

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I’m not sure which kind of snail this is…

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…but the swirls of white and dark chocolate colouration on the shell were delightful.

The retaining wall in the back garden was not only busy with snails, but one of the crevices in the wall…

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…was occupied by a very bronzed and relaxed frog. Relaxed in as much as it didn’t seem in the least bit bothered by me or my camera.

Nice Weather for….Snails

A Grand and Healthy Life

Just when we’d begun to forget what wet weather was like, I walked home from Carnforth and it rained. Never mind: I enjoyed the raindrops on the newish beech leaves and the bluebells in Hyning Scout Wood and most of all I enjoyed the smell of the rain falling on very dry earth and the subtle way that the scent changed depending on where I was.

More of a problem than the rain was the fact that somehow I had managed to pack odd shoes to change into to walk home in. Rather than face the humiliation (and discomfort – a lesser consideration!) of walking through Carnforth and Warton wearing one sandal and one shoe (I know – beggars believe), I opted to walk home in my work shoes. Result: very sore feet.

At this point I wanted to continue the comedy theme with ‘It’s a Grand and Healthy Life’ by local boy George Formby – if only to share a poets wisdom on the benefits of hiking (aside from getting wet and having sore feet that is).

IT’S A GRAND AND HEALTHY LIFE

Some chaps like a game of tennis, some like boating on the sea.
Some are fond of cricket or a ball they want to kick it
But there’s only one sport that appeals to me.

I love to hike, that’s what I like, Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life.
I tramp a mile, then sit a while
A bumblebee there in the grass comes and stings me on my elbow.
Down comes the rain and I get wet through,
I can’t blow my nose because it’s already blue
I catch a chill, and feel so ill. Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life.

I love to hike, that’s what I like, Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life.
While tramping back, the night was black,
My girl tripped into a ditch I said, "you are a clumsy bounder."
She shouted help! I thought I’d begin
Pulling her out but she kept pulling me in
The ditch was high, we drank it dry, Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life.

I love to hike that’s what I like, Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life.
My girl and me, sat neath a tree
A great big blackbird with its claws came and tore off my girl’s jumper
When she got home she heard mother shout
You haven’t come home the same as when you went out
She hung her head and blushing said, Ee! but it’s a grand and healthy life

But it doesn’t seem to be available on YouTube, and it isn’t quite the same in writing, so here’s ‘Swimmin with the Wimmin’:

A Grand and Healthy Life