A legend tells the story of the Creation of the Earth

England, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Walking, Weather

Every culture throughout the world has its myths about how the earth, and everything that inhabits the earth, came into being. Here in the UK, historically part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, we’re most familiar with the creation story told in The Book of Genesis.

Day 1 – God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light ‘day’ and darkness ‘night’. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Day 2 – God created an expanse of sky to separate the waters. Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters.

Kirkudbrightshire

Day 3 – God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground ‘land’, and the gathered waters ‘seas’. Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

On day three, God also created plant life. Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Day 4 – God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night. These would also serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years.  Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

Near Grinton, North Yorkshire
Sleningford, North Yorkshire

Day 5 – God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life. Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven…  Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Day 6 – God created man and woman in his own image. He gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Which is perhaps where it all started to go wrong …

Along the River Thames in London
Haeundae, Busan, South Korea.

This week, for Lens-Artist Challenge #192, Amy invites us to tell Earth’s Story. So I have, with the help of the Old Testament.

PS. Thanks to your ‘likes’ on this recent post, I’ve been able to donate £28.00 on your behalf to World Central Kitchens, as they feed the dispossessed fleeing from war in Ukraine and other humanitarian catastrophes.

Her Name was Mud

North Yorkshire, Walking

Over the years, I’ve taken you all on walks around Yorkshire. We’ve strolled along riversides. We’ve had woodland walks at wild garlic and bluebell time. We’ve gone into the Dales, both the gently rolling hillsides, and the bleaker heather-covered moorland, enjoying distant views of the Pennines. But one thing we haven’t done is have a Thoroughly British Winter Walk.

That’s what we did the other day. And by the time you get to the bottom of the page, you’ll be mighty glad you’ve only had a Virtual Walk. Our friend Chris had planned it: just a leisurely six miles or so morning’s walk, taking in three pretty villages between Harrogate and Ripon.

It didn’t begin well. Half a mile in, this was the path.

No, that’s not a stream, it’s the path. Heads bent over the map, we found an alternative, and that wasn’t so bad. Sodden fields, gloopy mud-slicked paths. But passable. Just.

In fact we got used to clambering over stiles that landed us immediately into another muddy hole, before sending us on our way across a field on a sodden path.

We were quite cheery. Until we arrived here. The map informed us there was a pathway across this field. The sheep knew better. They’d churned up the soil good and proper. There was no alternative but to squelch onwards.

Poor old Chris. Her name was Mud.

Arriving back at our cars parked in one of the villages, we were reminded that our day with friends, providing a rueful tale to tell back at home, was nevertheless a happy and carefree one. This Ukrainian flag on someone’s gate was a sober contrast, and provided details of ways to donate to one of the many charities trying to offer support and help to the beleaguered Ukrainians. There are suggestions here.

For Jo’s Monday Walk

…and Alive and Trekking’s Which Way Photo Challenge

From the Pennines to the Pyrenees

Ariège, France, Laroque d'Olmes, Pyrénées, Walking

You’d have to have been following me a long time to know why I call my blog ‘From Pyrenees to Pennines‘. I began writing it in 2007, to record our big adventure in moving to the foothills of the French Pyrenees, to a small town, Laroque d’Olmes whose glory days as a textile manufacturing centre were long over, and where we were (almost) the only English . There we stayed till 2014, involving ourselves in local life from politics to choirs to walking groups, and falling ever deeper in love with the Pyrenees which formed the background to our lives.

Through the walking groups we came to know the mountains in every season. The abundance of meadow flowers and orchids in the spring: the relief from lowland heat in the summer: rich autumn colours that could compete with any on the planet, and deep snow in winter. We welcomed the physical challenge of yomping upwards to some high peak or plateau, and earning our panoramic picnic, and learnt to respect the mountains’ moods.

Here’s a selection of virtual postcards, which may help explain why the Pyrenees will always remain for us our Special Place.

And finally …

The view from our roof terrace. Going up to hang out the washing was no hardship.

For Karina’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #188: A Special Place

An odd outdoor picture frame

North Yorkshire, Walking

How odd. Out walking recently, I found a circular picture frame at the edge of a field. It hadn’t chosen its view with care. Look.

Who wants a landscape with a tatty old fence post in the foreground? If it had chosen the previous field, it could have had a portrait of an odd number of cows filling the frame.

If it had re-sited itself only slightly, it could have had part of the view shown in the header photo.

If it had applied itself, it could have taken a lesson from the frame near Brimham Rocks. That’s chosen its view with advantage.

Frankly, the frame I found hadn’t made an effort. It had taken no care with its appearance either. It was just an odd-ball.

For Becky’s Square Odds.

A Sunset Walk

North Yorkshire, Walking

I didn’t take my camera. I’ve done that walk from home, along the river to West Tanfield dozens and dozens of times. Late the other afternoon, I was just scurrying along to collect our car, being serviced at the garage there.

Then on my left, I saw this:

And I knew that my walk would be a dramatic one. I stopped scurrying as I watched the sun falling gently behind the clouds, behind the trees, as I changed my vantage point with every step. It wasn’t a spectacular sunset, but it was special, as every sunset invariably is. Come with me.

The sheep appeared to have wandered away: the fields were empty.

To the right of me, the river was more delicately tinted:

At every step, a different view: sometimes the vivid fiery tones of the setting sun: at others, the gentler, prettier powdered pinks and blues of the more distant clouds.

My walk was almost over: I crossed the bridge and arriving in the village. The river continued its journey towards the Ouse, then the Humber, without me, and the sun finally disappeared behind the trees.

For Jo’s Monday Walk and Hammad Rais’ Weekend Sky

Tracks, trails and paths

North Yorkshire, Walking

In my last post, we took a walk through my village. Over lockdown, and the weeks and months afterwards, I came to know our local paths more intimately than I would ever have imagined. But I came to see them through fresh eyes, enjoying the changes of season: the difference between a walk taken at dawn, at midday, at sunset. A sunny walk: a snowy walk: a rainy walk: a windy walk. Walks with bluebells: walks with poppies: walks in mud.

Here, for the Which Way Challenge, are some local paths and byways.

Following last week’s Lens-Artists Challenge, when we were encouraged to dip into a new challenge or two, I think I’ll give Monday over to just that – for a while anyway. I’ll revisit the challenges that were new-to-me then, as well as revisiting older favourites.

A January Haiga

Poetry, Walking

This year, no route march.

Instead I’ll wander, breathe, gaze …

Enjoy the moment.

I should explain. For some time now, I’ve joined in Rebecca of Fake Flamenco’s monthly poetry challenge. It’s a challenge indeed, especially for strict amateurs like me, because every month she invites us to try a different poetic form on the announced theme. This month, it’s a haiga. It’s new to me, and perhaps to you. Here’s what Aha Poetry says: ‘Haiga is a Japanese concept for simple pictures combined with poetry, usually meaning haiku‘.

So what you see above is my first effort, on Rebecca’s chosen theme of time, personal development and change. Many of you know that last year I challenged myself to walk every day, and get the miles in – 1500 miles to be exact. It was fun, and helped keep me fit. This year though, I don’t want to do it again. I still want to walk every day (said she, looking out at a grey and rain-sodden garden). But instead of getting my head down and pounding the tracks and pathways, I want to slow my pace and savour the moment: take pleasure in discovering the new in views that have perhaps become over-familiar in these all-but lockdown days.

My Year in Walking … and in Books

Books and reading, Walking

We’re almost at the end of 2021. Christmas has come, but not yet gone (the Twelve Days of Christmas), though Team Spain departed yesterday, leaving a big hole in the lives of two very debilitated grandparents who had long forgotten how exhausting a delightfully energetic eleven month old could be.

It’s time to review the year- two bits of it anyway.

I kept my resolution to walk every single day, whatever the weather – a promise that will not impress the dog owners among you, who have no choice in the matter. I reached one target, then another, and have finished the year with more than 1536 miles (2473 km) under my belt and still one walking day to go. I’m quite pleased.

I walked, sometimes in company…

… or alone …

This isn’t me. I don’t do selfies.

… at times accompanied by a Virtual Dog ..

… or other curious onlookers …

Back at home, I kept my promise to myself not to let Lockdown Lassitude interfere with my reading, as it had in 2020. I didn’t precisely set goals, but I aimed to read far more literature in translation, and more non-fiction that wasn’t Nature related. I managed that too. Here are the 101 books I read, as recorded in Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2021?ref=yyib21_strip

My top reads of the year?

Cal Flyn: Islands of Abandonment; Nadifa Mohamed: The Fortune Men; Javier Marias: Berta Isla; Ingrid Persaud: Love after Love; Douglas Stuart: Shuggie Bain

My header photo illustrates walking and reading combined: a stroll along the Regents Canal, where you’ll find a floating bookstore with, if you’re very lucky, a musical interlude as well. This isn’t a photo from 2021. Perhaps such treats with be part of my life again in 2022.

A morning walk with the rangers at Studley Royal

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Heritage, National Trust, North Yorkshire, Walking

It’s 7.45. Here’s the sunrise on our way to Studley Royal.

And having met the rangers and our fellow walkers – volunteers on the site, here’s who we’d come to see.

Red deer, but ancient trees too. Cherry trees aren’t meant to last 400 years, but somehow this one is clinging on. Whereas the oak nearby is thought to be more than 800 years old, and dating from the days when the monastic community was at its height in nearby Fountains Abbey.

Come with us as we walk past the entrance to the park, framing the view down towards Ripon Cathedral, before we climb uphill to less frequented parts of the parkland, where deer usually roam free and we could enjoy open views across to Ripon and the North York Moors beyond.

And by 10.00, the rest of the day’s our own.

For Jo’s Monday Walk, because I know Jo would love this walk too.

A walk in the grey dawn

North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

Since clock change, I’ve been unable to wake up later than 5 o’clock. So inspired by Becky’s walk at sunrise, and by the clear sky last night, I was out by 6.00 to catch the sun’s first rays. But it was cloudy – thick cross-patch grey. And my phone doesn’t do low light levels. But here’s my early morning photo-diary. With not a sunrise in sight.

These images may be grey and black enough for Jude’s Life in Colour. And can multi-task for Jo’s Monday Walk too. AND Six Word Saturday as well