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


Slugs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tales

Time I think for an update on Spud the puppy.

Spud close up 1-2

He’s had all his inoculations and has been micro chipped, and gained one and a half kilos in two weeks (he likes his food, a lot; which is a bit of a surprise to us as our two previous border collies were indifferent about food, unless with Moss you tried to take it from her, or it was the compost heap, which she considered to be hers and would guard with ferocity, just one of the many problems we faced.) Spud will be going out for walks in the big wide world any day now. Apart from the rather distasteful habit of carrying slugs around in his mouth and snacking on chicken poo, he is a bit of a sweetie.

He’s been pottering around on the trampoline since he was the smallest of pups, before he came here even.

Spud -2

Not that Tom and Joe would risk falling on him,

Joe and Spud-2

they just mess about till they become weary of Spud’s obsession with toes.

Joe and Spud 1-2

Spud spent a gratfying time this morning barking at feather on the kitchen floor, he barked at it, it moved (blown around by doggy breath) result, repeat till exhausted, sleep; it’s a dogs life.


Seeing is Believing

A fine place for an evening climb,

Sat on the edge 1-2

  but that looks like an awful lot of gear.

Sat on the edge-2

It’s not as far down as you might believe from the first image, but then I’m not sat at the edge and it is an awful long time ago that I last dangled off a rock face, so what do I know about it. I’ll just enjoy the view

The edge-2


Can You Imagine?

Gerry posted a comment on a previous post

Competing with all the others for our little place in the sun, our little time.

It got me thinking, her comments often do. A favourite pass time of mine is trying to imagine how the landscape might have once looked, be that before the Industrial Revolution, the Enclosure act, the Ice age, or even just a week last Wednesday.

Up on top of Combs Moss, are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, (I was surprised how little I could find out about it on the Internet.) But it doesn’t take much imagination to know it must have a cold draughty place to eek out a life, but maybe they didn’t live there year round

Iron age hill fort-2

in the photo above the buff coloured grass is growing in the gully between the stone ramparts (now grassed over) that formed the forts defences, on a clear day they could have seen for miles and miles, there’d have been no drystone walls of course, or the reservoir that was built to feed the arterial system of canals that transported the goods from the cotton mills to Manchester and Liverpool, during the early years of the industrial revolution.


In some directions the view will have changed little over the centuries


( you can’t rush the growth of a peat bog, it takes centuries; but you can trash it in days)

Although as the area was later to become a royal hunting forest I imagine there might have been a few more trees than are to be seen today.

Certainly, there would have been no Rural District Council

Chapel en le frith 1-2

In Chapel en le Frith

Chapel en le frith-2

nor would there have been the Parish Church,

Chapel en le frith 6-2

That went on to write it’s own dark history.

In 1648, 1,500 Scottish soldiers, taken prisoner by Cromwell at the Battle of Ribbleton Moor, were locked in the parish church for two weeks, before being marched to Chester. When the doors were opened, 44 men were found to be dead. This gruesome episode earned the church the title “Derbyshire’s Black Hole.”

Stay a little longer and look at the view, the buff coloured grass is growing on the hill fort remains; the weather was a little different the last time I visited

Coombs Moss Hill fort 1-2

Coombs Moss Hill fort 2-2

Coombs Moss Hill fort 3-2


Tumble Down

It was once a wall

Coombs Moss 1-2

now its no more than a pile of rocks.

Coombs Moss-2

Clinging to the edge, Combs Edge.

I started a long complicated post about an Iron Age hill fort, but I lost the plot, my brain has gone to mush, I’m cream crackered, I’ll have to come back to it later: roll on weekend. A weekend that unlike the last two is mine all mine and I’m not going to share!


Bonus Shots

I got home this afternoon about three hours earlier than expected, a bit of a bonus seeing as it was such a gorgeous afternoon.

I spent some time by the pond, where the iris leaves are starting to melt back into the depths; from whence they came

Iris leaf-2

And we took Spud for his first walk around the field; he seemed to enjoy himself.

Spud first walk-2


Spud with stick-2

We all did, although there were moments when Spud took a little coaxing.

Joe and Ben-2


What’s in a Name?

Spud is a Springer Spaniel, he is very bouncy, he bounces a lot!


This makes him quite difficult to photograph – if you crouch down he comes running and stuffs his nose up the lens, however every now and again you can capture him.



He is growing every day, his legs are getting longer, as is his muzzle, he is shaped less like a baked potato than he was.  We fear he is entering a chewy phase

Chew shoe-2-2

He’ll sleep anywhere

Sleepy spud-2

We have just been out into the garden, to watch the International Space station, whiz overhead, we waved, but we don’t think they noticed. It’s now in the Middle East. Awesome.