Eat up!

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Weather

All that snow we’ve been having. It’s so pretty, but I bet those poor sheep were fed up. Look at that featured photo. Not much evidence of grass there. So when I passed a neighbouring farm while out with Virtual Dog on Sunday, I wasn’t too surprised to find any number of sheep gathered round the serving hatch. Nobody needed to encourage them to eat up.

Square Up

Fog and mist, cloud and sun

North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather, Wharfedale

Weather forecast.  Cold, but bright and sunny.  That sounded perfect for a walk in Wharfedale.  Starting and finishing at the forbiddingly-named Grimwith Reservoir, and taking a fine circular route to and from Burnsall would give us extensive panoramas over the hills of the Yorkshire Dales.

Except that on the way there, an impenetrable curtain of fog descended.  To walk?  Or not to walk? My friend and I had both made the effort to get there.  So we’d walk.

And for nearly an hour, this was our landscape.  No hills, no dales, but just the occasional gate, or tussocky grass, or – sometimes – sheep.

Then – suddenly it seemed – this.

The sky lightened and brightened, and the countryside we’d come to see developed before our eyes like those Polaroid photos that once seemed so exciting.

Soon we were at Burnsall, our half-way mark.  A hearty yomp up hill brought us to a bench, where we saw in turn black skies, grey skies, blue skies: and views, always with the village below us.

After lunch, a further climb, and then level walking back to where we’d begun our day.  But this time we had the views we’d come to see, and at the end, the quiet tints of the reservoir.

Jo’s Monday Walk

Six Word Saturday

One Misty Moisty Morning …

North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

… yesterday in fact, I woke up to this.

It’s the same window I showed you last Monday, but now November mist has descended. I went downstairs. This.

It wasn’t raining. It wasn’t particularly cold. What’s one of the Commandments of Lockdown? ‘Thou shalt exercise daily’. So I did. I took my camera, and explored the local lanes: familiar sights blotted out, as others loomed out from the general obscurity. At just 11 o’clock, I stopped, just for a while: it was Remembrance Day. I heard what a rarely notice as I walk – the constant undertow of birds murmuring and chittering on more distant shrubs and trees. It reminded me of John Lewis-Stempel’s book – Where Poppies Blow. This wonderful account examines the restorative role of nature to those soldiers confined to the trenches in the First World War. For just a fleeting instant, this was a moment I could share with them. Except I came home to a glowing wood-burning stove and a hot cup of coffee.

Wild-ish Walking in Wensleydale

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather, Wensleydale, Yorkshire Dales

The red tops blazed next week’s news: ‘A September Scorcher! 30º!

Anyone living north of Watford Gap, or west of Slough knew better than to believe it, because only south-east England counts if you’re a London-based hack.  We Yorkshire types needed to read the small print to discover that northerners could merely expect pleasant warmth, a gentle breeze and no rain whatsoever.  Which was fine for a Sunday walk in Wensleydale.

On the way over there, it rained.  Getting ready for the walk, it rained.  The wind snatched urgently at our waterproofs and blew our hair in our eyes.  Mist rose from the valley bottom.  Grey cloud descended and thickened.

We didn’t mind.  The rain soon stopped: it was warm, and those grey skies made for moody, atmospheric scenery.  But our friend Gillian, who’d planned the walk, doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘stroll’ and had us battling boggy paths, and huffing up rough pastureland on semi-vertical hillsides.  We took it in good part.

But what rewards.  We had the constant backdrop of the Wensleydale hills.  Semerwater glittered at us from a distance: but close up, insistent waves rushed constantly towards our toes.

We had a march along a Roman road.  And at the end, blue skies, sunshine, and a relaxing cup of tea on the village green at Bainbridge.

 

This week’s photo challenge is to make use of empty, unoccupied space in our pictures : to make it part of the story.  As I walked yesterday, I tried to use negative space: in this case, mainly the sky.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge  #114 – Negative Space

And another walk for Jo …

Jo’s Monday Walk

 

 

Howardian Hills

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Walking, Weather

Early morning mistiness: looking across to the Howardian Hills.

We’ve just come back from a weekend in the Howardian Hills – that slice of Yorkshire that includes Castle Howard, where that iconic TV series Brideshead Revisited was filmed in the 1980s.

For farmers, it’s a wealthy little corner of the county, with fertile fields offering a steady income in return for careful husbandry.  Well-constructed farm gates at the end of tidy tracks are handsomely buttressed by smart stone gate posts.  Crops stand to attention and weeds show their faces only at field margins.  Agricultural labourers are no longer tenants in those postcard-perfect villages.

Trees neatly marching across a hill crest.

Our late August break was not accompanied by late summer weather.  Although it didn’t rain, skies remained sulky and black.  Wind bustled and gusted fiercely against our faces.  The temperature hovered at 11 degrees all weekend.  Perfect for this week’s Photo Challenge, for which brightly luminous blue skies contrasting with the golden hues of harvest simply Would Not Do.

This month's final assignment - Experiment with using two or three Complementary colours. Try to make one or two colours the focus of the image, and use the other colour to enhance the overall image.

I’ve taken images from fields, from distant vistas, and from the one abandoned ruined grange we came across, where farm animals still grazed in the grassy yard. I’ve played around with colour contrast: aiming to make my results what my eyes thought they saw, rather than what my camera knew it saw.

This is what my eyes, not the camera saw.

I liked the only splash of colour here: those orange beaks.

2020 Photo Challenge #35

The Warm Light of Day

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, Weather

I’ve been thinking about the light as I’ve been on my walks this week.  The clear light of the early morning: the clear bright colours that the midday sun encourages, and the warm golden light of evening.  Sadly, the weather turned a bit cold and cantankerous as the week drew on, but I did my best to outwit it, or make use of it.  And I’ve included just one photo from the winter months, to remind us of the atmosphere of a misty cold day that began with a crusting of frost.

Click on an image to see it full size, and to reveal the caption.

2020 Photo Challenge #2

That Wind Last Week

North Yorkshire, Weather

Beaufort Scale 8. Fresh gale at 62-74 kph (39-46 mph).

Twigs and branches break off of trees.

22nd & 23rd May 2020.

That wind!  It animates me – I feel alive, alert.

I need it to tug me, bend me. I want the battle. I’ll resist.

I step outside.  The wind slaps at me, stops my breath.

It whistles and whines through the trees, lacerating leaves.

Branches bend and bow – some break.

It soughs and snatches at the swishing grass.

Swifts swoop, scud, soaring at its will.

I feel its power.  I’m energised, excited, strong.

 

 

A Grey Day? Or Perhaps Not.

Blogging challenges, Weather

I chose Tuesday as a day to record the changing conditions outside the kitchen window from sunrise to sunset, for Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge in which she invites us to observe a single view throughout the day.  As the day wore on, I wondered why I’d bothered.  It was a dull, somewhat gloomy day.  Just grey and rather cold, nearly all day.  But when I downloaded the pictures and looked at them, I discovered far more had been going on than I had realised.  You take a look too.

5.40 a.m.

A favourite?  Maybe 8.00 in the evening.  The weather’s picked up and the light has softened as the evening draws in.  And finally, I’ll show you some of the lilac that features in every shot.

# 2020 Photo Challenge 19: Light.

You asked for 6 photos, Jude.  Sorry, you’ve got ten.  Plus one.