Uphilldowndale

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


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Spud on Sunday XIX

Just to show Spud isn’t permanently on the sofa!

Spud on Sunday-1

It is me that has not been able to get out and about much of late, Spud is at the door ready to run at a moments notice. Whilst I’m a little swamped with jobs to be done and studies to be studied. I’ll  be back to tell you where Spud is and why, a little later in the week. If it is sooner rather than later, it will be because I’ve finished my work, or, more likely , I’m looking for a distraction.  It’s a truism, the less time you have to attend to your blog, the greater the need to do so!!

I’ve not been managing to keep up with reading my favourite blogs or responding as I’d like, to the comments left here; hopefully this will free up a bit when I get in the swing of things, if not it will be September before usual service is resumed!


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Red October

October has arrived, with driving rain and gusting winds, in contrast to yesterday, which was altogether more mellow:

Red October-2

more of sublime September than obnoxious October.

It was nearly dusk before the rain cleared away to the west and I ventured out from my den of Dulux, whereas last night I came out for a turn around the field with Spud, to find 3 buzzards circling over the top field, the setting sun rather poetically lighting them under the wing, a jay poaching acorns* from the oak and a conker coloured wren delivering its machine gun chattering call as it wove through the crevices of a drystone wall and a rainbow arcing across the valley.

Tonight I just went to Tesco’s. No comparison really: but there are time to feed the soul and times to feed the (ever hungry) family.

*Can anyone tell me what is wrong with our acorns, they are deformed (but only on one tree) is it a virus? a gall?

Mutant Acorn-2


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Meadow Sweet

After Monet, a fudgy looking photo of an upland meadow pasture, replete with buttercups.

In here somewhere, lurks a lapwing, can you see it readers?

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I like meadows, they look like they just ‘happen’ but they don’t,  they need love and attention (as we found out when we became custodians of one). A tweak of fertilizer, a dash of cow muck, the time the grass is cut and the selective grazing of livestock all go to make a bespoke field.

Standing with the sun on my back a gazing across such a field has to be one of my earliest conscious memories of ‘a beautiful thing’ and  that this is a ‘beautiful day’ I must have been aged about 7. Sadly that meadow now lies beneath an estate of ‘mock Tudor’ houses (shudder) that are so alien to the landscape they sit in even the road names they were handed down are from a different world.

I’m sure someone with more knowledge of agriculture will tell me, this type of field, has a poor crop and is inefficient, but do I sound as though I’m bothered?

If this topic floats your boat on a sea of meadow flowers, I can recommend ‘Meadows’ by Christopher Lloyd


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Variety is the Spice of Life

I’m never happier when life swings between the sublime and the ridiculous, I’m just not very good at dull; this week has been classic.  If we take Monday to Thursday for example, publishable highlights included

Hugging a tree

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Some dual celebrations, Joe’s 13th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary on the same day, those of you who are swift at sums will clock that Joe’s 18th birthday is on the same day as our silver wedding anniversary, we keep threatening him with a joint party. This isn’t what he had in mind

I went to London, it wasn’t until after the event I worked out it must be about 25 years since I arrived in London by train and that is why the concourse outside the station seems to have sprouted a tower block or two in my absence, it took me a moment to get my bearings. My colleague  is either the perfect host or she must have been concerned for me and ‘my rural ways’ arriving in the big city, she set out from the office to meet me, we met in an Abbey Road moment, when we walked slap bang into one another on a pedestrian crossing. Small place London.

I met a laidback dog and friendly gorilla

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I had a drink or two with a guy, who despite being in his 6th decade is about to celebrate his fourth birthday.

Tom had a tooth out to make way for some orthodontic jiggery pokery, despite Mr Uhdd and I fretting ( we both still carry the memories of teeth extraction circa 1960’s ) it was a piece of sugar free cake. All over in under 30min including the local anaesthetic, three cheers for NHS dentists (got to love the tooth fairy envelope.)

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Tom goes back next week for another one out.

Tom and I took a detour because the road to nowhere is closed for a month

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(which is a huge pain, because as far as I am concerned it is the road to everywhere.)  During our detour (we went the longer scenic route rather than the A road recommended diversion) a helicopter landed in front of our eyes, we were actually hoping to find an ice cream van.

Helicopter-2

We’ve had frosty nights and sunny days with a cloudless sky (the planes are back in the skies, I preferred it without them, but  my sister in law and family would dearly like to get home from Spain.) The birds are singing, curlews are in down in the bottom field and blue tits are nesting in the barn and I’ve seen a swallow or two. Spring has arrived

It is only Saturday lunch time, I’ve a day and a half to go yet; what else is on the horizon


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Bruise Blue and Acid Green

I love the drama of stormy spring skies

Bruise blue and acid green

The strong wind was whipping the clouds along at a rate of knots, the light, changing so fast that the moments were hard to capture, I had to be quick off the mark, which meant I abandoned the family to their own devices yet again, Mr Uhdd was expecting me to cut his hair when I dashed to take these shots (he should be grateful I wasn’t half way through the job.)

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