The Euros have been playing havoc with my resolve to catch up with the blog, so here’s another week-to-view post covering a walking/working-from-home week back in mid-January.
On a few occasions when my timetable allowed, I wandered over to Myer’s allotment for lunch with a view. On this occasion, I remember, it started to drizzle as I sat down with my flask of soup, and stopped just as I packed up to leave.
Photos from a week’s worth of walks from back in January. This first is from the Sunday, the day after the glorious Saturday which featured in my previous post. As you can see, the snow was gone and so too the blue skies and sunshine.
Monday must have been another drear day, because I had a reasonably substantial stroll after work, but only took photos from The Cove when it was almost dark.
On the Tuesday, I didn’t start teaching until after 11 and so took the opportunity to have a wander around Jenny Brown’s Point.
The weather was a complete contrast from the day before. I think it was even quite mild.
The tide was well in.
The drab, dingy weather returned on Wednesday and Thursday.
Around the village, people had put their Christmas lights up early and now left them up late.
Using MapMyWalk usually persuades me to take at least one photo on each walk, so that I can attach it the file for that walk. I quite like having a visual record even of the gloomy days.
Friday brought a hard frost in the morning.
And the longest walk of the week in the afternoon (only about six and a half miles).
I actually took lots of bird photos, particularly of a Little Egret which was close in shore, but the light was a bit weird…
Lovely, but weird.
Rounding Arnside Point into the Kent I was surprised to see that Hampsfell and the other hills across the river had a covering of snow.
And then, when I climbed to Heathwaite, I discovered that we had some too…
In fact, on the Knott, there was quite a bit…
It was getting late, and I had the top to myself. I was disproportionately chuffed to have found some snow to crunch, and had a good wander around the highest part of the Knott.
The weekend brought more cloud and damp.
On the Sunday, I walked our now habitual Sunday circuit around Jenny Brown’s Point not once but twice, in the morning with our neighbour BB…
And in the afternoon, with TBH.
Over the eight days represented here, I walked around thirty miles. Hardly earth-shattering, but not bad for a week when I was working and when daylight was at a premium. Working form home is a completely useless way to teach, but, from a completely selfish point of view, I was all in favour.
So, pop-picker’s, the post’s title is from a song which, I’m pretty sure, I’ve shared here before.
The weather’s variable – so are you But I can’t do a thing – about the weather
Here’s another couplet:
You dislike the climate but you like the place I hope you learn to live with what you choose
Anybody know it? It’s from an album called ‘Magic, Murder and The Weather’ if that helps?
With snow on the ground, a little bit of mist about and a fairly clear sky, worth getting out for an early work. Not that you need to be up that early here in early January to catch the sunrise.
I had a short walk, across the fields and then up into Eaves Wood.
Later I was out again and did a very similar walk with the next door neighbours who had a chore to do at the Silver Sapling campsite, probably breaking the rules in some way into the bargain.
Later still, I was out on my own again, wandering around Jenny Brown’s Point. The light was superb.
Right through the winter, there’s a really impressive Starling Murmuration and roost at Leighton Moss. Of late, I haven’t made the effort to get down there to see it often enough. On this occasion, as I walked along the top of the small cliffs of Jack Scout, part of the murmuration flew along the coast behind me and swooped past me following the cliffs. Usually the Starlings fly just above the treetops, but this time, where there weren’t any trees, they were low, hugging the cliffs, and so I was enveloped in the flock and in the astonishing whirr of thousands of wings. It was breathtaking. They came around three or four more times, but never quite so close.
The sunset was highly impressive. I watched for ages, taking lots of photos (on my phone, I didn’t have my camera with me). When the cold started to seep into my bones, I set off for home, but then, looking behind me, realised that the colours had intensified even further. I went back to the clifftop to take more photos, but then my phone’s battery died.
Unlike my camera, my phone seems, if anything, to rather underplay the colours of a sunset. This one really was spectacular. Especially after the battery had died. You’ll just have to take my word for it!
Another very memorable day, chiefly because of the Starlings.
So we went back to work. Then we didn’t go back to work. And so began the second lockdown. In the first lockdown, we were expected to set and monitor work for students; this time the emphasis was very much on live lessons online. I was surprised by the impact of sitting down all day (mostly on my back and shoulders), something I’m not used to at all.
At least, with no commute, I could get out for a stroll as soon as work was done. I have a lot of sunset photos from the Cove from that first week of January…
Also, because we stuck with our revised timetable, mostly consisting of two hour lessons, when I had frees they were long, sometimes even three hours when lunch was included. This meant that, at least once a week, I had an opportunity to sneak out for a longer walk, deferring my planning etc until the long dark evenings.
It was a cold week: this is Bank Well, frozen over on the Thursday…
And then, on the Friday, it snowed. A and B were unusually keen to join me for a walk late on a Friday afternoon. (S had already set off to the Lots with a sledge and his friend T).
By the time we reached Lambert’s Meadow (which, often very wet, was frozen over), it was coming down thick and fast and settling rapidly.
Is the last photo I took, principally, I think, because it was getting dark. We headed down to The Lots to meet S and T, and found lots of children and parents from the village sledging on the humps and hollows there in the dark. Everybody was in good spirits and by responding exactly as we usually would to these unusual circumstances, it felt like a moment of light relief and somehow a brief return to normality of some kind.
The next day was a good one too. I took a lot of photos, so I’ll leave that till my next post.
New Year’s Eve brought a light dusting of snow. A is always keen to get out and enjoy snow when it comes, which is not that often here. We first when up to the Pepper Pot to get a view over the village and then headed down towards The Cove.
I don’t think snow usually settles on the sands of the Bay.
I certainly can’t recall seeing anything like this before. I suppose it was because it had been so cold the day before.
We were both struck by the great white expanse and the contrast with the heavy grey clouds above.
The cloud started very low, and subsequently dropped even further so that, after our walk, the village was enveloped in fog.
Later, however, it seemed that the fog was breaking-up and I set out again for the Pepper Pot. I didn’t take any photos in the fog, but it was still quite dense at home. By the time I was in Eaves Wood though I could see blue sky overhead…
Unlike snow, fog is pretty common place in this area. I can think of many occasions when I’ve thought that the fog was thinning and hoped that the small elevation of Castle Barrow might be sufficient to lift me above the fog – but I’d never actually seen that, until today…
It was an amazing sight – something I’ve seen in the mountains before, but didn’t expect to see from just 70 metres above sea level. I knew the rest of the family would enjoy this, so I phoned them and then watched as the fog continued to disperse and other bits of high ground began to appear…
Inland, to the East, Ingleborough was almost clear of mist.
For some reason, long zoom shots of Ingleborough seem to work best when there is snow on the hill.
At first, I had Castle Barrow to myself, except for this Robin, which didn’t seem all that bothered about the cloud inversion.
All in all, a very memorable New Year’s Eve, even if we couldn’t party with our friends like we usually would.
Having enjoyed my walk on Nicky Nook in the autumn, I wanted to return, TBH joined me on a gloriously sunny Christmas Eve. Having tackled the hill from the west last time out, this time I thought we’d climb it from the east. We parked at Grizedale Bridge and then dropped downhill a little to the farm at Fell End. TBH was slightly sceptical about this choice, rightly as it turned out: the field was completely water-logged.
Once past the farm however, the going got much better. The route up offered expanding views and very soon brought us to the top.
It was very busy. Perhaps I should have anticipated, on such a clear bright day. We even bumped into a colleague and her family, ex-pupils of mine.
Meanwhile, back at home, A wanted to do something creative, and spent her day making a ginger-bread house…
Clever isn’t she?
I’ll let you in on the secret of the windows, just so long as you keep it to yourself: Fox’s Glacier Fruits melted down apparently. And then baked with the gingerbread I imagine?
Our Nicky Nook walk was only short. We had a slightly longer walk later, ostensibly to deliver Christmas cards to our friends in the village, but we also managed to squeeze in a visit to The Cove. The photo, though, was from Christmas Day, when the weather had deteriorated somewhat, but was fine enough for a late afternoon turn around The Lots.
Christmas Day was much quieter than usual for us. It was nice enough, but, well, not quite the same, without the house full we’ve come to expect. On Boxing Day my in-laws visited. The first time we’d been able to get together since the summer, so it was great to see them.
This coming Christmas, do you think I can have clear blues skies on Christmas Eve and a big family party on Christmas Day too? Here’s hoping.
A few photos from the week leading up to Christmas. Since I had MapMyWalk working again, I can say that I got out almost every day over the Christmas break, often more than once, almost exclusively for local wanders.
One day, TBH and went up Arnside Knott. The weather was really odd: looking south it was hazy, with the Bowland skyline obscured by low cloud and a bit of low-lying mist. The effect, I thought, was to make Warton Crag look bigger than it usually does.
On the other hand, looking north…
…although many of the hills were obscured by cloud, there was a good deal more clarity and a healthy helping of blue sky.
Primroses often appear on a grassy bank along Cove Road in early February, quite a bit earlier than they are found elsewhere. But this winter, they started to flower before Christmas. I’m always intrigued to see what I can find in flower at the turn of the year, since it’s often a much greater variety of plants than you might expect.
Looking at my photos, I found Stinking Hellebore, which is not that surprising, but also garden roses, Welsh Poppies, Geraniums and Ox-eye Daisies, none of which you’d really expect in late December.
The weekend before Christmas, when we would, in normal circumstances, be gathered together for a wet weekend of overeating, anecdote bingo, and maybe a bit of walking. Obviously that couldn’t happen last year. At least we could meet up for a walk. Sadly, the Surfnslide crew were self-isolating and weren’t able to join us.
We met in Settle with a view to climb Warrendale Knotts. I suggested we divert slightly from our planned itinerary to take a look at Scaleber Force…
I’d noticed that a small section of woodland here is access land, and that a right-of-way drops down to the bottom of the falls and then abruptly stops.
I think you’ll agree, it was worth a little out-and-back along a minor lane to see it. We found a likely spot, out of the wind, for an early lunch spot, thinking shelter might be at a premium later in the walk. Naturally, once we’d settled down, it began to rain. This seems to have been a recurring theme when we’ve met for walks of late.
It brightened up and we had a lovely sunny spell back along High Hill Lane.
But it was soon grey and wet again. It was that sort of day.
The route we took up Warrendale Knotts proved to be ridiculously steep near the top, but it was well worth the effort…
We spent quite some time on this modest top. It was very windy, but with the clouds scudding across the views were constantly changing and very dramatic.
Eventually, we had to move on. In fact, the Cheshire contingent had some pressing engagement and we chose to walk with them, initially at least, and so by-passed Victoria Cave.
The weather deteriorated again, but the Adopted Yorkshire Woman assured us that she remembered a shelter, or possibly a cave, in the vicinity of Jubilee Cave, which would be kitted out with comfortable benches and provide a pleasant dry spot for another lunch stop. Sadly, it never materialised. Hard words may have been spoken about the vividness of the AYW’s imagination.
AT Jubilee Cave, the Cheshire crew left us to take a direct route back to Settle, whilst the remainder of our small party returned to Settle via Winskill and Langcliffe. That’s a very pleasant route, but I didn’t take any more photos, because the rain returned and this time it meant business. We did enjoy a brief dry spell and had a hurried stop in order to drain the dregs from our flasks, but by the time we reached the cars it was chucking it down. A small price to pay for a terrific walk though.
I’ve never climbed Warrendale Knotts before, and I still haven’t been up Rye Loaf Hill. Looking at the map of the Dales, it also occurs to me that I haven’t been up Great Shunner Fell or Buckden Pike or Fountains Fell since the mid-eighties. Which seems criminal given that they’re all relatively close to home. Aside from the Three Peaks area, the closest bit to home, I’ve been neglecting the Dales. I have a lot of exploring to do!