Friday, 30 December 2011

Lack of walks :-(

What with Xmas and all, we've not had a walk now for almost a month, so REALLY hoping the weather isn't too bad next week when we next get a chance. I DID get a chance to shoot up into the fields above Haddon hall to get some nice shots of it in the sun (which I failed to do on our last walk as the weather wasn't very good).

 As you can see, looking over Bakewell, it was a LOT better today.
 ....and over towards Chatsworth.
 One of our favourite pubs, the Three Stags, is trimmed up for Christmas now. The landlord makes almost all of the decorations himself from natural things, and even collects his own mistletoe.
This is the fireplace and centre beam of the bar.

 The back room. You can see the bower above the fireplace. Those are real apples in the middle of it.
 Plus a big bunch of mistletoe......just in case - should get plenty of use on New Years Eve. :-)

 Another unusual thing about the stags is this - when you walk in, you wonder why there's a fox's tail above the door and 'into' the wall??
.....then, when you look on the other side.......

A HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my readers, may you have health and happiness in 2012.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Wreckless on Bleaklow

It's two for the price of one this week - the first walk was cut short (picture-wise) by heavy, prolonged rain - the second was a great walk, but.....ummmmm SOMEONE accidentally deleted all the pictures.......DOH!
Anyway, the first walk was from home, through Bakewell, over the footbridge to the Agricultural centre, and on towards the Haddon estate. My aim was to try and get some good shots of Haddon hall, but the sun didn't shine all day. This was the view of the very full river and weir.

Recent storms had caused noticeable damage. This thick branch had been completely rent by the wind. It takes some force to do this kind of damage! 
However, if you want PROPER damage, a lightning bolt does the trick nicely. This tree was split in half a few years ago by such a bolt, but to this day it hangs on to life! 
The power of nature. This is (was) a very sturdy fence, but the falling tree paid it no heed on it's way to earth. The tough steel fence might as well have been made of rubber. 
The 'best' views today of Haddon Hall. It's a hall I only went into for the first time recently, but we're planning to visit it and do the full tour soon.

We made our way to the quiet little hamlet of Alport, near to Youlgrave. This really is a quiet backwater. It felt soothing just to BE here. 
The old mill. All this land, and these buildings, are on the Haddon estate, and belong to it. 
 There was some REALLY good fungi around today, sadly none of it good eating. It made for super pictures, though.

 Shortly after the fungi pics, the rain came, with a vengeance, and the camera was quickly consigned to the rucksack until we got home. Now then, these next pictures explain the title of this posting. I had seen a story about aircraft wrecks on Bleaklow, a moor that you cross on the second day of the Pennine way. I decided we hadn't been up there for while, so off we went to try and find the wreck of the 'over-exposed' B29 that crashed up here in 1946;
When we got out of the car at Bleaklow, it was BITTERLY cold. We quickly added a couple of warm layers, and set off across the moor.
There was still plenty of snow about as we followed the Pennine Way over the moor. 
 People wonder how you can get lost (or not find aircraft wreckage) up here, but believe me - it's not hard when it's so featureless, as these moors are. It's also disconcerting when any little feature, like a set of stones, or a wooden post, quickly disappear as you walk.
This is Bleaklow head (and yours truly). It was from here that we took a compass bearing and walked off into the pathless moor, but didn't manage to find any wreckage. We intend to go back on a better day, with more light and time, to see how far off we were.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

In search of Autumn

This year has been a really strange one, weather-wise. It's been far too warm, and it seems to have taken nature by surprise! Nothing seems to know what to do. Flowers are blooming when they shouldn't, birds are laying eggs (a clutch of 7 ducklings appeared last week), and the leaves don't know what colour to be! We went 'in search of autumn' to see if we could capture the colours. We had mixed success.
This is where we started from, Ashford in the Water. The trees behind 

Ashford church. 

So, with the warm, autumn sun on our shoulders, we set off.

The iconic sheepwash bridge at Ashford, second only to Bakewell bridge.

Soon, we were pulling up Great Shacklow woods. Autumnal, but not that carpet of leaves we were looking for?

.....not in THAT position, I haven't!  

The skies were clearing now, and the visibility was - well, infinity! 

A splash of brown among the green.

Looking North, from above Taddington. Hard to believe, in all this serenity, that the busy A6 road was in the valley to our right. It was SO peaceful here.

As we passed through Taddington village, we saw this terrible accident!
She was a throwback to the recent Halloween witch competition.

This is what I would describe as the perfect sky. Those huge cumulus clouds always do it for me.

Daisies, clinging on the very last of the good weather. Looking a bit bedraggled now, though.

 We left Taddington and took in the hard climb to the top of the nature reserve above Millers dale. There was a recently refurbished house on the very top, just behind us here. remote, I know - but WHAT a view!

The wall patterns here are great, with the light JUST right to highlight them. Like a huge, finished jigsaw puzzle in front of us.

Looking over Water-cum-Jolly dale and Cressbrook.

The magnificent hostel building at Tideswell dale, set in an autumn sea of colour'

We lost all the height that we won during the day to cross the river at Litton mill.

These lovely red leaves caught my eye.

We called to see a friend in Cressbrook village, and were AMAZED to see these flowers in the garden. Nature really HAD been tricked!

We stayed FAR too long and, although we were offered a (declined) lift, we needed to press on, as evening was drawing in. We crossed the weir to climb back up to the old railway line.

Bottoms up - cheers!

As expected, we had talked for too long and ended up finishing the walk in the dark. With the moon so small, its light was no help, but we couldn't fault it for trying!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Thanks to you ALL!

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog - today was a milestone - I passed ten THOUSAND views! Click on the picture for a larger view.