Sunday, 5 August 2012

Edge of perfection.

This week, we decided to go up on the edges, as lots or recent rain had made the fields very boggy. It turned out a lovely day, with hot sunshine. Just the weather for cricket! I mention this, because when we parked up in Calver village and started our walk, we noticed that several houses had very unattractive wire mesh over their windows. We asked a guy in a garden what it was about, and he told us that the local cricket ground had been responsible for lots of broken windows and roof tiles; “It’s these big-hitters from Sheffield”, he told us. As we walked on, we noticed this sign and wondered, why WOULD you change the name from one to the other??
 We took our lives in our hands as we crossed the busy A623, but were soon in ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ by way of this leafy lane that headed towards the edges. The shade was welcome, as the sun was now really strong on our backs.

 Looking back to Calver village.
 We topped the lane, and this was the view over the stile into open fields, the beautiful and inviting Curbar edge. As you can see, this sudden good spell was being taken advantage of by the farmers, and the silage had been cut and laid out to dry.
 Also, this is the right time of the year for the foxgloves (digitalis). They LOVE to hug walls, and always make for a good picture.

SUCH a pretty flower!
 Lots of herds of inquisitive calves at this time of he year too. These were very interested n us.
 Walking down the fields, we could hear what I thought was the wind in the trees. A gentle but continuous rushing noise. We soon realised that it was coming from Calver weir. The weir itself had been in disrepair, and it was decided to start a campaign to restore it. This took several years, but the weir is now back to its former condition, and should stand now for many years to come. You can read all about it here;

 The weir, from the road bridge.
 As we walked along the riverbank, again in the welcome shade of the overhead trees, I saw this unusual orange fungi. In all my walking, I’d never seen any before. I’m told it IS fairly common though, and this is the description from Alison at ‘fungi world’; It looks like Fuligo septica. Can also be egg yolk yellow or darker like the one you saw. It is actually common and is referred to as a slime mould or myxomycetes. Tends to grow on dead wood.

 Lots and lots of flowers were now in their prime, thrusting upwards with the strength of youth.

 The old and the new – a decaying stump being passed by a cow parsley, reaching for the sky.
 Now this is what I CALL a garden!!! They even had a row of water fowl chicks in the pond (just to make it perfect). With this as your back garden, and the edges as your front, it’s pretty close to heaven. The little bridge is a nice touch.
 Now, here’s a little bridge that is fabulous. Froggatt bridge. It’s 17th century, and is unusual in that it has two different sized arches. With all the foliage, I couldn’t get them both in, but there are plenty of pictures online, if you want to see them.
 Sue walks the lane, with the stunning skies in front of her.
 The ubiquitous foxglove shows the way forward towards the edges. In no time at all, we’d be up there, looking back on this spot.
 But first, another dose of shade before the hard climb began. This little oasis is in Horse Hay coppice. We always think it’s just the perfect picnic place, but we always seem to pass it either too early, or too late. Whatever, we always stopped for a short while to enjoy the peace and tranquility here. The murmuring of the water is just SO therapeutic, and the soft shades of green are very easy on the eye.

Ay up – Mr Toad’s out and about! He was quite sprightly, and I only JUST managed to get a picture before he disappeared into the damp undergrowth.
 We reached the village of Grindleford, and turned up the lane at the side of the church to begin the climb up to Froggatt edge. Again, the farmers were hurriedly gathering in their winter feed before the rains returned. This had been some of the wettest weather since records began, so this short, dry spell was taken full advantage of.

 WOW, just WOW! These sort of skies REALLY do it for me. I can’t tell you how much it ‘feeds’ into me. There’s something about that huge expanse of white and blue that just does it all. I can never see enough of a sky like this, and always take great note of them whenever we’re lucky enough to get them.
 I mean, would you just LOOk at that cloud! How perfect is this scene? The cloud scuds over White edge and the Grouse inn.
 We soon got the climb under our belts, and began the pleasant and easy walk along Froggatt edge. The whole edge is covered with wind and rain-sculpted rocks that have stood against the weather for millennia. 
 This is the view through a crop towards the Stony Middleton area, and Eyam.
 All at once, we saw the unmistakable hover of a 
Kestrel. It was concentrating very hard on something in the grass, and we were treated to a display of his hunting prowess. I wished I'd had a bigger zoom, but click on any of the pictures for a larger version.

  Looking back along the edge on a pefect day.
 .....and looking forward.

 Now we can see the full extent of the combination of Froggatt and Curbar edges, with Baslow edge in the distance. Clear as a bell, the air quality today was nigh on perfect. We also had a soft breeze on us, which was great, as the sun was still hot, and getting hotter, by the feel of it.
 A casualty of the cheap French imports of old – an unfinished millstone on the edge.
 Sue surveys her ‘kingdom’ (queendom???). Big lungsful of fresh, Derbyshire air was the order of the day today. Sweet, what with the recent rains and mowing of meadows.
 We enjoyed our time on the tops, and with it being a Tuesday, we also enjoyed the relative isolation that mid-week walking gives you. We saw a few climbers on the edges, but very few walkers, considering it’s the school holidays. We left the tops, and continued on the homeward leg via Gorsebank lane. This was the view forward, with Gorsebank farm in the foreground of this near-perfect scene. Now the breeze had gone, and we could feel the full heat of the sun. Even though it was late afternoon, it still had a lot of strength in it.

 One last glance back up to where we’d been earlier, before we got back to the car  and made our way home. What a day, and it needed to keep us going for a couple of weeks, as our next day off was a long time ahead, with it being holiday time. After what we’d seen and experienced today, I’m sure it will suffice.


  1. Beautiful walk, I love this area (but I say that about the whole Peak!!).

    What a fabulous garden - only not to my liking, it all looks a bit to neat for me, I'd let it grow a bit more wild and add wild flowers and dead wood to get the wildlife in!

    I just love those skies too - they're so pleasing to look at and remind me old painting by the famous landscape artists.

  2. Hi Louise, we had ANOTHER good day yesterday too. It was dull and rainy when we set off, but developed into another good 'big sky' day. Pic soon! I agree on the garden - but nice to look at. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.