Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


Mothering Sunday

The title Mothering Sunday, rather than Mothers’ day is a nod to my late mother in law. She’d no time for the latter as  for as far as she was concerned, it has it roots in commerce not religion.


As you might imagine, its been a bit of a melancholy one for me. But is has been a beautiful spring day.


Wild plum_

Joe knows what he thinks of Mothering Sunday, he ‘pot washes’ at the village pub at the weekend. Today he and his shift mate washed up for four chefs and 110 covers.


Wind Egg

Or maybe, storm egg would be a better title, wind eggs we’ve covered before.

Who knows,  if it was  the 80mph winds we had here last night; but something upset one of the chickens.


storm egg 2

Poor girl.

storm egg

I suppose I’m going to have to get used to thinking, ‘I’ll tell Mum about that’ and then feeling the stark realisation that I can’t, tell her anything anymore.


In the distracted, absent minded way of the recently bereaved, today I tried to put chocolate sauce on my fried egg, instead of brown sauce. Sigh.


Here, is how a shell is formed, and here, how the egg develops


Grab it while you can

An hour of sunshine this afternoon.


It showed off the hazel catkins to great effect

Hazel catkins_

and left me wondering why the are called catkins.

Hazel catkins 5


Jammy the kitten-cat chewed over the same question

Hazel catkins and cat

and wondered if it was because they match his eyes

Hazel catkins and cat 2

Cat eyes are amazing, Dodgers in this case.

Hazel catkins and cat 3

A little sun seemed to send the cats a bit giddy, they were all over the place.

cat oak

Spud  the dog will be along shortly.


Another Sunday Sunrise

another sunday sunrise

Not as threatening as the last one, I’m pleased to say. If you peer closely you can see the rooks flying off to the fields to feed for the day, from their night roost.


We’re told our stormy weather is a result of the polar vortex affecting North America. We are fortunate here at the top of the hill, if water started lapping over our doorstep, we all be doomed, I’m not even sure an ark would suffice.


Heather at Rapid City Recess and I got into an exchange of comments about ice in rivers, not something you see very often in this part of the world.

Heather kindly went to the trouble of tracking down this footage by Ken Scott.

Sit back and enjoy.


Tidying up the Scraps

Storms and gales persist. Mr Uphilldowndale is feeling a little restless, it maybe the six hours we spent traveling yesterday, the lack of running of late, or the cumulative affect of so much foul weather but he is very twitchy. Today, in spite of the weather, he was determined to carry on with his master plan to  clear out  the barn, and visit the scrap yard to weigh in the last of the spoil from the installation of our new heating system.

I was tasked with going along too, as my ID is already on their books;  going to scrap yard is altogether a more formal affair that it used to be, as of October 2013, our payment will be arriving by BACS, no cash in hand, in an attempt to reduce the theft of metal.


        • all scrap metal dealers must verify the name and address of the seller at the point of .sale, which is recorded and retained by the dealer
        • the cashless offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including ‘mobile collectors’ who collect door to door
        • there will be a single national publicly available register of all scrap metal dealers


( and OK, so I’m also willing to admit I’ve a  certain curiosity about the total randomness of what is lying around there). 

scrap yard 

Oh look, that’s a dolly tub, right of shot; I’ve a blog post  I can write about that, if only I can find the dolly blue.  Time for more clearing out.


Windy Days and Nights

Glory be, what storms and gales we have.


Valiantly a daisy in the meadow, hangs on to its petals, yes a daisy in December.


windy days 2 

Granted they weren’t sown until late, but still,  it’s an unprecedented display.

windy days 3

These photos were taken yesterday, which was an altogether brighter sort of day

field maple_

With a crisp frost, a wisp of mist, and some storm diverted gulls

frost green and gulls_

Today is altogether bleaker, but keep the faith. The hazel catkins of Spring are waiting in the wings.

hazel catkins



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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog, 21st December 2013

Why would you want an adventure on an afternoon like this?  Especially when there is a sofa to be had.


home sweet home


The picture is by Derbyshire artist, Clare Allen. Clare does wonderful landscapes (and cityscapes, check out her Manchester exhibition review). She also does a fine line in drawing particularly fine pubs, that are to be recommended 


*It is blowing a gale and lashing with rain.


Blown In

My what a stormy weekend, high winds, lashing rain and hail.

Mr Uphilldowndale tells me the wind ‘had some north in it’; all I know is that a large flock of redwings and fieldfare have blown in.

I set off down the field late this afternoon to try and photograph them, but if I tell you that Spud the dog,  Jammy and Dodger the kitten-cats insisted on coming too, you’ll perhaps understand I didn’t have much success.

The birds were soon spooked, and wheeled off into the evening sky

Redwing Feildfare

Not to worry, I rather like the silhouette look, granted it would be better if the birds were in focus…

Redwing Feildfare 2

And you’re going to have to squint very hard to find the bird in the next one, but I like the patterns made by the remaining stalks of the ash leaves.

Redwing Feildfare 3

One of the best views of redwings I’ve had was from the window at the dentists, but if its all the same to you, I’ll not go there again for a wee while.


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