Uphilldowndale

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


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Suspended Animation

A hawthorn bush, at the side of a road, add a large puddle and days of sub zero temperatures,  repeatedly douse the hawthorn in  the spray from passing vehicles as they speed through the puddle, and this is what you get.

Ice Hawthorne 3-1

It looks rather magical,

Ice Hawthorne 1-1

What caught my eye was next years buds, at the tips of the twigs, caught under the ice.

Ice Hawthorne 5-1

I had to watch my back a bit, it didn’t seem prudent to get caught up with a fast road and a large stretch of ice, just for the sake of a pretty tree,

Icy patches on roads-1

but it was early on Sunday morning, not many people were out and about so I was able to pick my moment. The snow queen flashed by in her white Porche, but I missed the shot.

Snow queen on wheels -1

But not the magic

Hawthorn 6-1


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Spud on a Sunday, part IV

Spud makes me smile; he makes me laugh out loud. I don’t for a moment think he realises the chuckle value he has.

Here he is in his favourite bush, regular readers might remember, he’s been here before.

Spud bush 3-1

He has with him an apple, a cooking apple, a windfall from the garden, he’s very fond of them. He charges around the field with them in his mouth, as other dogs might with a ball: he brings at least one a day into the house and continues munching on them. The remains are usually left as a sticky mush under the kitchen table.

It takes a certain ritual to settle down in  your favourite bush.

Leap in

Spud bush 1-1

Thrash around a bit

Spud bush 4-1

And then settle down for a good old munch.

Spud bush 2-1


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Photo-fest

It is very pretty out there, cold, crystal bright.

I was out and about first thing (with camera of course) and I’ll be drip feeding you images all week. In the mean time (before ‘Spud on Sunday’ that is, he will be along later) a typical Derbyshire farm house, hugging the hill, replete with stone slate roof and  evidence of a well stoked fire inside.

Derbyshire farm house-1

Extract the polythene wrapped bales of silage, and this view won’t have changed much in centuries.


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Dusted

Well the marigolds seems to have had enough of the cold.

Marigold-1

And who can blame them.

I forgot to wrap up the bay tree in its protective layer of bubble wrap, till late last night. I don’t think I’ll have done it any favours, it hasn’t really got over last winters ‘big freeze’.

We had no more that a scattering of snow, as can be seen on the roof slates.

slates snow 1-1

We are pleased to show you snow on our slates, as it means heat is not leaching out house at the same rate of knots as it did before we had the roof redone and had some decent insulation put in during the summer*. Last winter this snow would have melted, the slates warmed at our expense.

slates snow-1

* I never have written a post about the experience, one day.


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Hardy Annual

Respect the flower

marigold frosty-1

Will someone remind me next spring, to plant a big swath of marigolds. This year I’ve had a few growing amongst the herbs and over the last few weeks their zesty colour has been a  real tonic, call it greed, but next year I want more. This morning it was a chilly –2.7C and they are still hanging in there. Go marigolds go.

We’ve had a dusting of snow today, no drama.


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Riding Off Into the Sunset

into the sunset-1

My, how you’d have laughed if you’d seen me scrambling out of the car to take this photo. I wasn’t very fast on the draw I’m afraid, it was framed better about 5 yards earlier, but there you go, such is life.

And a s we are a neighbourly bunch around here, why not pop across and say hello to The West is Yet to Come I got rather nostalgic for the highs and lows of discovering just what you’ve let yourself in for, by buying ‘a home with a bit of land’


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Spud on a Sunday part III

Before we get on to the main attraction, I’d like to self- certify myself  as a domestic goddess. This weekend I’ve cleaned the fridge*, black leaded the hob grate and the log burner and baked 2 cakes, it would have been three cakes but I had to nip out and save the world.

Here he is, Spud the dog, toasting his toes and tum in front of the Aga (so much for  being the all weather dog, had he become, like the rest of his litter, a working dog, he’d have had no such luxuries.

Toasty paws-1

He’d be living outside in a kennel.

* the  oldest ‘best before’ item found in  the back of the fridge? Margarine August 2010, and  no, I didn’t use it in the cakes, I’ve put it out for the birds.


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Blog Fodder

Is it the blog looking a bit ‘samey’ ? I pondered to myself this morning. I mean just how many sparkly spiders webs can I post, with out boring you all off into cyberspace?

Wonder web 1-1

This is the blogers dilema, more of the same? Or how about something that’s a bit ‘off the wall’, unusual or even startling?

Gerry over at Torch Lake Views, illustrated this point vividly on her blog today, it was not what I was expecting (and fortunately I wasn’t eating a bacon buttie at the time)  I jumped back in my seat, her post was startling. That girl certainly knows how to put a twist in the tale (although, with hindsight, she may have been setting the scene in a previous post)*.

Now I don’t recommend you have a look at Gerry’s post,

  • if the sight of firearms makes you fretful
  • the spilling of blood makes you swoon
  • if you are a vitriolic vegetarian
  • Babe was your all time favourite film.

Just don’t go there, you won’t like it. OK if you are suitable braced, the post is here

Alternatively, look, here is another cobweb.

cobweb beaded-1

*And don’t look at  the previous post if Bambi was your all time favourite film.


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A Feast Fit for a Finch

 

My tree hugging  fest continues, this time it the turn of a pink berried rowan tree. Planted in 2004, purchased from Weasdale Nurseries, ‘growers with altitude’ as they like to describe themselves. Very nice people to do business with and how they pack the  trees for dispatch to the customer is nothing short of a work of art.

pink rowan -1

The variety is ‘Pink Pagoda’  and it seems to go down well with everyone.

Finch feast-1

And as a view from my ‘home office’ window goes, it is hard to beat day, or night.

Moon and Rowan Berries-1