Snapshot Saturday: You can never have too many snowdrops

2018. Our earliest snowdrops.

On New Year’s Day, I excitedly posted a photo of the earliest snowdrops of the year, spotted that very morning.  If I’d known that this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge was to be ‘Growth’, I might just have held back.

As it is, I now realise just how special those early hardy little shoots are.  That little patch of snowdrops I showed you was alone, quite alone on a sea of bare earth, creeping ivy and a few shriveled Autumn leaves.

Let’s fast forward maybe four weeks.  This is what the garden and surrounding woodlands will look like after all the hundreds and thousands of local snowdrops have grown, pushing themselves forth through the chilly frozen earth.  Our annual miracle.

February 2017.  All the local snowdrops have arrived.

Click on any image to view full size.

Snapshot Saturday: a wintry walk

For the last WordPress Photo Challenge of the year, we’ve been bidden to come up with our favourite shot of 2017.  How to choose?

I was thinking of maybe reviewing the year, one month at a time: family moments, walks in the Dales, trips to Poland, Germany, France and Spain.  Nope, it wasn’t working .

The shot that I found kept presenting itself was this one, taken on a chilly walk not so far from here almost a year ago.  It chimes in with my somewhat gloomy feelings about the future: political uncertainty here, in Catalonia, in America, to name just three.

Not all was gloom though.  Look!  We were walking with friends.  And in the end, the sun came out, and we were able to turn our backs on the damp unfriendly fog.

If only politics were so simple.  Happy Christmas everyone.

Wharfedale seen through French eyes

Our friends from Laroque d’Olmes are with us.  They’ve visited us in Yorkshire before, and are big fans, both of the friendliness of the locals, but more especially of the landscapes, whether dramatic or domestic, that we’ve been able to show them.

The other day it was the turn of Wharfedale, whose dramatic landscape was sculpted first of all by the glaciers of the Ice Age.  Since then, the River Wharfe and its tributaries have created waterfalls and river cliffs, cut gorges and deposited patches of sand and shingle on riversides.  We couldn’t show our friends the underground landscape of passages, caves, pools, streams, waterfalls, stalagmites and stalactites: but on a day such as we had on Sunday, with the sun shining and the sky a startling shade of blue, who cared?

We took them to Kettlewell, and on a walk worth doing for the names of the features we passed.  You go up Dowber Gill, and pass the Five Sisters waterfall.  Then it’s on to Providence Pot and the old lead mine workings, up to Hag Dyke: Great Whernside’s just further on.

We finished our day at Grassington, having a quick look at the dramatic waterscape at Linton Falls.

Linton Falls, Grassington.

A fine re-introduction to Yorkshire.

‘Wild geese …… sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky’ *

 

For a few weeks now, we’ve been watching the geese.  At first just a few, but in the last week or so, huge skeins of them in groups of V formations take over the sky, honking as they fly, at about half past eight in the morning.

Saturday was The Big One.  Two thousand or more birds invaded the sky above. And somehow, though we were looking out for them, we missed them.  These are the birds, far fewer, that flew over yesterday.

I’ve spent time on the net, trying to find out more about where they’re coming from, or going to.  All I know is that while they’re here, they enjoy scavenging in the recently harvested fields, and Mecca, for them is the wetlands of the former quarries at Nosterfield. And I also know that their massed flights mean that summer is over.

We’re migrating too, albeit temporarily.  We’re off to Poland, my father’s country of birth.  If I can I’ll do a daily post while I’m there.

  • William Shakespeare: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Snapshot Saturday: One walk, one footpath, one – no eight – skies

It was the summer solstice this week.  It was also, for three days only in the north of England, summer.

So let me whisk you back eighteen months, to a crisp and clear January day when I took myself off to walk for a couple of hours or so, looking upwards rather than at my surroundings.  Skyscape succeeded skyscape. These changing skies perfectly illustrate this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: transient.