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


Meadow Hay

It seems hard to believe that it was only Wednesday morning that Mr Uphillldowndale and I took a turn around the field wearing Wellington boots, the meadow grass was flattened to the ground,

Wet grass 2


by the weight of rain that had fallen over night. 

Wet grass


Jammy the kitten cat got wet feet,  he was unimpressed and protested loudly, and completed the rest of the walk along the wall.


Jammy wet feet


Spud, well, he was just  Spud,


wet springer spaniel_


By late afternoon the sun had come out, our neighbouring farmer had come along and mown the grass, he obviously knew what the forecast had in store. Because since then it has been wall to wall warmth and long sunny days, by this afternoon, the grass had been rowed up and bailed, job done.


In a previous post I mentioned not really knowing what made a ‘traditional meadow’, then by chance I heard Jim Dixon, The Peak District National Park Chief Executive  (his blog is here) being interviewed on BBC radio Derby, on the very subject.  The roll call of species should include buttercups, yellow rattle and pink clover we have lots of those!


Natural Meadow Derbyshire_


So the surrounding fields are now empty, Spud the dog will be able to find his ball.


Spud hay field_


Since the fields have been mown there has been a forlorn curlew banking around the fields and across the valley, calling  plaintively. I suspect it might have lost it’s nest to the mower;




I’m surprised, I didn’t know it was there, I hadn’t seen any curlews around on a regular basis since spring.   Most curlews around here are up on the higher, rough pastures, where there are nests and young will not be disturbed by the pressures of making hay while the sun shine and  the timeline that dictates  commercial farming. Sad.  It wouldn’t have been done intentionally of that I’m sure.  As Jim Dixon mentioned in his interview,  in trying to preserve traditional meadows we are asking farmers to be ‘farmers, factories and museums’. It’s not easy.


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Where’ve You Been?



Apologies for my absence, many things have been happening around here. Including a game akin to ‘musical chairs’ with computers, it all started with an upgrade to the photo editing software I use for my images, Lightroom: only to find my laptop had not the brain to cope with such a new fangled thing.

Fortunately Mr Uphildowndale is  a bit nifty at sorting such matters. I write this post at his desk, where his computer is linked to  both my old laptop and what was Tom’s laptop (soon to be mine, Tom gets a new one ready for his studies) and it is humming away shifting ‘stuff’ from one place to another. It’s all beyond me.  All I know is it may take some time.


What was simpler and swifter to action was the move of my RSS feed from Google Reader to WordPress, that was a breeze and I managed it all on my own.  I’d been rather tardy at bothering to seek out Google Reader of late, it was a bit of a faff,  I can now see that with all my favourite blogs in one place there is a much better chance of keeping up with things and catching up with old friends.  Talk soon.