Uphilldowndale

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


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No Beginning and No End

Yesterday morning it was impossible to say where the sky, or the hills started and finished

The thaw 1-1

Warm air flooded  in

The thaw 3-1

forming a foggy duvet on the high ground

The thaw 6-1

and pools of mist in the valleys

misty moor, field and trees-1

Down the lane you could feel pockets of cold air against your skin and yet in other places it was warm and there were clouds of midges (the birds must be delighted, we are all delighted to be warmer.)

misty lane -1


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What No Snow?

It’s gone! Last nights forecasted snow passed us by, rain came and washed away the snow. There was  a glimpse of green, all be it briefly, then we were shrouded in mist.

Tree in mist-1

I’m sure  the change in the weather has offered some respite for wildlife desperate for food, the ground is still frozen solid but at least there was chance of turning over some leaf litter in search of a grub or two.

A kestrel took things easy, watched and waited for voles with no place to hide, now their network of snow tunnels has melted away.

kestrel -1 

And a squirrel* eyed up my new bird feeder

I'm watching you-1

* he doesn’t look malnourished does he?


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Are You looking at the Sky?

‘Are you looking at the sky?’ Asked Mr Uhdd as he poked his head around the door this morning, ‘ Look at the colours, you need to be outside.’

‘But it looks pretty good from inside.’  I protested

go outside!-1

I donned boots and coat over my dressing gown ( a fetching  sight eh?) and Spud and I strode out down the field, it was nippy, very nippy.

Those shepherds knew a thing or two about sunrises (and sunsets for that matter) Things are on the change, we’ve not been having cloud formations like this for weeks (and certainly not as spectacular in colour as this mornings.)

Outside-1

But the light show got better and better.

Outside 2-1

I think there may be snow heading our way.

Outside 3-1

Watch this space.

Outside 4-1

Today is Sunday, where is Spud the dog? Well like the rest of us at Christmas, Spud hasn’t a clue what day of the week it is,  he needs to catch up, he’ll be along later.


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On Christmas Day

Wishing you a very happy Christmas, wherever in the world you may be.

Seasons greetings -1

It’s taken me a while to get to the PC to write a post, its not been a regular sort of Christmas day. My mum hasn’t felt up to coming up for the day, so I cooked her a dinner and we took it round.

Actually it’s probably been as well we haven’t had a houseful, the house has been in chaos,  it certainly looks nothing like those glossy magazine images of the ‘perfect Christmas’: in the kitchen Tom is building a mountain bike out of his new bike frame, with help from Mr Uhdd who is nursing a bad back . To get the Turkey in the oven I had to move cans of defrosting woodworm killer that Mr Uhdd wanted to use in the loft space yesterday but were frozen solid (wrestling with insulating mineral wool in the loft is how he got the bad back) and to get to the PC you have to crawl commando style round the back of the sofa so as not to interfere with Joe’s Xbox Kinect game. (I’m liking what I see, of the Kinect, instead of ‘gaming’ from a position of slumped on the sofa there is much physical activity and laughter. Yay!)

We shall eat later, everything is either cooked or prepared, so the hard work is done.  I’m ready to relax a bit now.


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Playing Out

Mr Uhdd has been running about with the camera, on a special mission to bring you photographs of Kinder Downfall.

Kinder Downfall Ice 1-1

Kinder Downfall perches on the edge of the Kinder Plateau where the peat stained waters flow over the rocks and tumble down into the valley;

Kinder Downfall Ice 3-1

and when it freezes, the Downfall becomes a mecca for climbers who like the chance to dust off their crampons and ice axes with out spending hours in a car travelling to  ‘proper big mountains’ in Scotland, Wales or the Alps.

Kinder Downfall Ice 6-1

It looks rather magnificent, don’t you think

Kinder Downfall Ice 7-1

Tom tells me that the road up to the nearest access to the Downfall has been chock full of cars, even late at night.

Kinder Downfall Ice 5-1

I imagine climbing this by the light of this weeks full moon must be something special.

Kinder Downfall Ice 4-1


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Unexpected Delivery

For any one trying to deliver anything in the UK at the moment, stay safe.

And what address would you like that delivering too--1

 

One family in  Newton Poppleford, Devon received an unexpected supermarket delivery

If it was a new house we could have been all flat packed and washed out to sea”

(we’re loving the young man  in this interview, he’s a media natural!)

We also like the cream teas in Newton Poppleford


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Now the Day is Over

Well it didn’t last long, what with it being the shortest day. But it is behind us now things will get better.

On Sunday I watched the sunset, no big deal I suppose, it sank very quickly; I took this series of photos in less than 10 minutes, but it wasn’t the rate of decent that captivated me it was how the sun rolled along the skyline, from left to right.

Sun going down-1

note the trees silhouetted  against the sun in the first shot

Sun going down 2-1

within minutes it was clear of the trees.

Sun going down 5-1


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Sun, Snow and Clouds

Yesterday a bank of clouds sat on the hills, the sun put up a battle to either  burn through, or claw high high enough to get clear of them, but it wasn’t to be; goodness knows its warmth would have been very welcome (yes, this is the sun not the moon).

Sun and clouds-1

however it never managed to deliver the goods, much to the disappointment of the chickens, who spent the day, standing one one leg, looking dejected, especially those in moult (bad timing girls).

Sun and clouds 3-1


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Spud on a Sunday part VII

Spud  the dog is partial to buckets (and watering cans) he considers them a high value toy.

Spud and a bucket 2-1

Black flower buckets have just the right amount of ‘flex’ to put up a good, if playful fight. Not only that he can charge around with them on his head totally oblivious to what he might crash into, which is to Spuds reckoning an added bonus (he crashes into a lot of things, even when he can see where he’s going, spatial  awareness isn’t his strongest point.)

Spud and a bucket 1-1

Flower buckets are cheap and in plentiful supply, and last weeks, not matter how manically  a dog might chew at it.

Spud and a bucket-1

Our first dog, Badger also had a passion for flower buckets, after he died a neighbour commented how summer mornings just weren’t the same with out the distant sound of a plastic bucket ricocheting  around our yard.