Ignore the rain and walk anyway

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

For her Walking Squares challenge, Becky is encouraging us to walk whatever the weather. On Thursday, I had no choice: I was on duty at Fountains Abbey. The rain was so vertical, so clamorously unrelenting that getting out camera or phone would have been foolish. Once I’d faced the fact that that I’d drawn the shortest of short straws, I quite enjoyed the ceaseless drumming of the water, dodging the puddles as they became rivers, and watching the water birds demonstrating by their surly inactivity that even they thought it was all A Bit Much.

Unexpectedly, a quarter of an hour before it was time to go, the rain stopped. The sky lightened, the puddles offered up reflections, and – thank goodness – I turned round, in time to see this rainbow. Probably just past its best, but at least I saw it.

Here are the final minutes of my afternoon.

For Becky’s #Walking Squares

and Debbie’s Six Word Saturday

Monday Fog, Mid-week rain, mid-week Monochrome

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

Look out of the window any day this week, but particularly yesterday, and you’d have seen a scene in glorious monochrome. Leaden skies, rain tumbling from the skies, hour after hour. As the header picture shows. Monday hadn’t been as rainy. Instead we had fog. Monochrome fog.

Some of the pictures were taken as I spent time at Fountains Abbey out in said rain – and against expectations, enjoying every soggy moment of it.

These though are taken at various locations in North Yorkshire, and in fog rather than rain:

And here are three more, for Becky’s Walking Squares:

I couldn’t resist a few more (sodden) tree roots from Fountains, but the water shot, and the desiccated cow parsley come from walks – who knows where?

Bren’s Mid-Week Monochrome #114

Becky’s Walking Squares

An appetising walk?

farming, North Yorkshire, Walking, Wildlife

Out for a walk yesterday, I fell to thinking about food – well, it wasn’t far off lunchtime. It was this field of beets – mangelwurzels perhaps – that did it: soon to be winter fodder for sheep.

Then I saw hawthorn berries. We can use them in jellies and fruit wines, but I find them too bitter. Not so the birds.

Through the meadow, edged by teasels: the goldfinch would have had their fill by now.

The heron was on his usual rock on the river: waiting patiently for fish.

The last meal I saw had been eaten hours before: nature red in tooth and claw.

Hmm. Time to head home for lunch I think. No creatures were harmed in the preparation of our meal.

For Becky’s Walking Squares.

A Daily Walk’s an Adventure in Serendipity

North Yorkshire, Walking, Wildlife

Lockdown in 2020 taught us to value the tiny slivers of the unexpected in our necessarily limited ‘Daily Exercise’. Here’s yesterday’s unexpected: a cluster of tiny mushrooms in autumn-leaf red, cheerfully growing in the middle of the village cricket pitch. I don’t know what they are. Do you?

They’re multi-tasking mushrooms, because they’re here for Becky’s Walking Squares, as well as for Brian’s Last on the Card for October. Brian insists that we don’t edit our photos, but if I need a square photo, I’ll just have to make a subtle clip, top and bottom. I might get away with it.

Postcards from Kiplin Hall

Heritage, North Yorkshire, Walking

Kiplin Hall. That was our destination on Sunday. We first went there a few years ago for joyful Shakespeare productions, such as Romeo and Juliet, by the irrepressible Handlebards. These days, we go if we need a quiet few hours at a country house whose grounds are extensive enough to offer a walk, a view and coffee and cake after. Here are my picture postcards – monochrome, as picture postcards always used to be – for Mid-Week Monochrome #110 – and to send to Jo, of Jo’s Monday Walk fame.

Kiplin Hall was built as a hunting lodge in the 1620s by one George Calvert, who was Secretary of State to King James VI. American readers may like to know that he was made Baron Baltimore, and was granted a charter to found a colony in America. This colony became – the State of Maryland.

Here’s our first sight of the hall:

Goodness, it was breezy that day. But walk we would, all the way round the lake -into the wind at first – one of the images give an idea of the scudding waves. We set off to get various views of the lake and hall. Here’s a clutch of postcards.

There are woodlands to explore: but the wind was picking up. Better to find shelter and explore the huge walled garden perhaps, where they grow all the fruit and vegetables used in their tearooms, and to make the jams, jellies and chutneys on sale. But wait! Suddenly it’s quite forbidding … Hallowe’en is on the way…

We’ll take our courage in both hands and enter anyway … there, that’s not so bad …

Although …. who’s that sitting on the bench over there?

We decided the tea room was a better option. Coffee, date and pecan cake anyone? No photo available. We ate every crumb before we gave the camera a thought.

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