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

Land of Snow and Ice


A selvedge of snow still remains, banked up against the drystone walls, it lies in dips and gullies (or ‘gips’ as I used to call them as a child, no point wasting words when you can blend).

April snow -1

There are lanes  that are still full to the brim, some with cars still entombed! Our lane was cleared  of snow this afternoon, by man in a JCB digger.

Tom has returned home from a geography study trip to Iceland*, it has been warmer there all the time he’s been away than it has here. How silly is that.  On his return he said how ‘green’ everything looks at home, but this is only in comparison to Iceland, not ‘as it should be’, at this time of year, in this part of of the world. It is dire for livestock.

Here are Joe and Spud on our walk on Sunday

Spud Joe and Trees-1

Mr Uphilldowndale wanted to show me some mine workings that have ‘opened up’ recently: as a child I used to play no more than a stones throw from here.

mine shaft -1

My Mum has said for over fifty years that she is convinced the loud crash she and a friend heard one summers evening could only have been to do with the old  mine workings, of which there are many around and about, both coal and lead.  It’s not really what you want at the bottom of the garden.

Making them safe is the remit of The Coal Authority.

mine shaft 2-1

* I’ve been envious of Tom, I went to Iceland in the early 1980’s with my friend Bob’s-mum; it seemed a bit off beat for a holiday destination back then. I loved it, however unlike Tom, I didn’t get to swim in The Blue Lagoon, or see the Aurora Borealis… sigh.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “Land of Snow and Ice

  1. It’s cold, dull and flurrying here today but nothing like as bleak as that! Thanks for an interesting post, and informative links. xx

  2. Your snow melt is progressing slightly ahead of ours. Hopefully things will green up soon.
    I am also envious of your husband’s Iceland trip. Husband and I started planning one last year, but decided that now wasn’t quite the time to go – had house renovations planned, eating up vacation budget. Sometime though!

  3. Ah, 1983….Remember those midges at Lake Myvatn?? It isn’t called Bug Water for nothing!!!!

    Happy memories, would love to go back.

    Glad your lane has been cleared at last…

    • Tom came home telling me that there are no mosquitoes in Iceland, that as maybe, they have biting bugs, oh yes…. (then again if there is a biting bug to be found anywhere in the world it will home in on me!)

  4. Hang on, was it 1983, or 1984 – it’s all a distant memory but I will try and dig the photos out (including the horse ones if they exist…!)

  5. Could you tell me if that’s an oak tree? Lovely picture.

  6. What a very good photo of a beautiful tree, the top photo.
    About the mine shaft, – is it an old mine that have collapsed? I wonder if there is some kind of local registration and control of the old mines?

  7. Pingback: Galloping towards Spring | Uphilldowndale

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