Friday, 22 October 2010

Hokey-Cokey for raincoats!

You put your raincoat coat on,
your rain coat off.
On, off, on off,................and so on - ALL day!
The forecast was for a few clouds, and clearing later.
Why DO we take any notice? If you ask me, 18 million pounds should get a better return than that! Rant over, Sue & I decided on an annual 'pilgrimage' to Beresford dale, as the autumnal colours there can be incredible, if all the conditions are right.
This seems to say all you have to do is go at the right time, but EVERYTHING has to be right. Sunshine, angles, wind, leaves, river level. I've been to this place almost every year since 1988, and only ever seen the right conditions ONCE!
I keep returning though, just in case they repeat themselves.

We parked the car (easily, due to it tipping down with rain - everyone else decided to stay at home) in the centre of Hartington. We waited for it to abate, and it did, so off we set.
This is Hartington church from the start of the path to Beresford dale.

Ten minutes later, the coats came out, as this little lot approached us rather quickly.
This is what the trip was all about really.
These trees produce the most superb colour displays I know of in the area. I had judged our visit by local leaf standards, and they were JUST coming into the 'really brown' phase. Here, life was, for some reason, accelerated. Unfortunately, as you can see, most of the leaves had already fallen. Still a nice 'copper carpet' effect though :-)
What can delay a posh persons train journey?
Leaves on the lane (no pun intended).
The end of the lane - and the ford across the river.
We wanted dry feet - so chose to cross the bridge.
Oh good, the skies are clearing a bit, time to take off the coat.
No, it CAN'T be the same day - can it?????
Yes, it IS - that's why we were fooled into taking our rain gear off.
This is the Tissington trail, which we joined and followed for a short distance.
Ten minutes later - the rain came again with a vengeance!
We suited up, and pressed on down a really LOVELY dale, which, sadly, has no name.
We christened it 'Coldeaton dale', as it leads down to the bridge.
Sue had not been down this one before, so it was a treat. Even though I have, it's still lovely to come here again. It's so steep-sided, that it feels a lot mightier than it actually is.
Eventually, we reached Coldeaton bridge, with the prospect of the stiff climb up Gypsy Bank ahead of us.
Well, the skies had cleared again and the sun was out, so time to take off the coat.
The summit party leads on.........
At the top, we had a lovely view back to our Coldeaton dale..........JUST as the rain began to fall....AGAIN!
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, but in this case, it was multi-coloured.
I asked Sue to go and look for the pot of gold under that bush after taking this shot.
Of course, all this rain brought out the fungi. A couple of shaggy ink caps (which, at this stage of development, are edible, but DO NOT take alcohol with them if you eat them.

(NB - the advice given in this blog is intended as a guide only - no responsibility can be taken for any deaths/sickness/wrong identification etc etc - also, may contain nuts)
These open out into a really big umbrella (not edible)
After the climb and a short lane walk, we reached the village of Alstonefield. There was a new farm shop, which we visited and patronised. We left the wood and walked NNW along the road to a stile into the fields.

This beautifully coloured wood was over to our left.
The fields around Alstonefield, with an autumn sun painting it.
......oh dear....looks like MORE rain!
The sun shines on Gratton hill, a very special place for us.
This old barn stood starkly on the skyline, with a stormy sky behind.
The threatened rain never did come, but it turned MUCH colder and,
just after this photo was taken, we donned gloves and hats.
That's narrowdale hill behind me.
Where do old Land Rovers go when they die?
I think we found out!
We re-joined Beresford dale, and retraced our morning steps to Hartington.
Some nice brackets on a fallen tree.
Accompanied by a lovely setting sun, we watched as the limestone walls were turned into red threads by the evening light.

I ONLY JUST got this shot, as the effect lasted all of a minute - then it was gone!
We had another treat, this sunset.
Then it was home, just as the moon was rising to take its turn in the sky.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

No Foolow like an old Foolow

This weeks walk went to one of Derbyshires old '100' villages - Foolow. You can see more information about the village here;

We began the walk at Wardlow, a small hamlet above Cressbrook dale, which is where we were headed first.

This is the view across the dale to Litton village.
Rather than dropping into the dale, as we (and most other people) usually do, we decided
to walk along the top to get a different perspective. This is looking down into the dale Unfortunately, the weather wasn't that good for photography, so I just did the best I could.
We came upon this guy re-building the stone walls for English Nature.
He was steadily transforming this.........
......into this. How beautiful and satisfying!
This lump of limestone poking up in the dale in called Peter Stone.
Looking up the dale to Wardlow Mires, an even smaller hamlet, home of one of our favourite pubs, the Three Stags Heads.
There was some really lovely fungi about at this time of year.

We dropped into the dale, and someone decided that climbing to the top of Peter Stone would be a good idea.
Can you see the 'someone' who's idea it was?
Yes, yes, alright Sue - look, that's usually MY job!

The view from the top.
Looking back to Peter Stone, and taking a shot.
We climbed out of Wardlow Mires along the strangely-named 'silly dale'?
Nice, plump rose-hips.
And lovely looking elderberries (but VERY acidic and tannic to taste).
We reached the much larger village of Bradwell. You can read more about its history here;

This is Bradwell brook, after which Bradwell ('broad stream') was named.
The stream flows under this building. I've only seen this once before, in the Lake District.
Bradwell church.

By now the sun was out (hooray!!) and it was getting quite warm. Today's walk was about 12 miles, but had almost 2,000 feet of ascent. Sue & I were about to find out where most of those feet were, as the climb up to the moors was a very stiff one!
Looking (huff, puff) back to Bradwell during the climb.

The huge blot of Hope cement works can be seen, as can the scoop of Mam Tor, and the great ridge.
We reached Brough lane, and continued on across the moors in now pleasant weather.
This huge landslip is off the road, near Abney.
It looked quite dramatic in the shadows of the sunlight.
LOTS of winter food here for the birds, an abundance of berries.
After another very steep climb, this was the view back to Abney Grange.
He was looking for a girlfriend, I think!
An old red phone box, now disused. It had a notice in it saying that BT would sell the box to residents of the village for just one pound, as long as they kept it in its present position, and maintained it.

As I was reading this notice, amazingly, the phone rang! I couldn't resist, and picked it up. Can you believe it was one of these 'get out of debt' calls? What are the chances of that happening? Me passing at JUST the right time. The box can't make outgoing calls, but is still able to take incoming ones. I was really amused at that call :-)
We reached Foolow village next, complete with duck pond and resident white ducks. I'm not sure how true it is, but I've been told anyone who buys the house at the side of the pond has to sign to look after and feed the Foolow ducks.
We left Foolow, and what happened next was a REAL treat. The sky was now pristine-clear, but with stray clouds moving across it. This gave us that phenomenon where the shafts of light strike through the clouds in the most amazing light show! These are just a few of the ones I took. They look good, but to actually witness this for the last hour of sunlight was amazing. Click on any picture for a larger version.