Uphilldowndale

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


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Ring leader

Thirty Days Wild, a post each day throughout June, something that is grounded in our wild world. This year posts are from our travels around the  north coast of Scotland  on the North Coast 500 route and a visit to Orkney. Stand by, for lots of sky, sea, wildlife, history, Spud the dog and random musings.

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Well as you can see I’m more than a little tardy, 21 days behind schedule. Oh dear.

Will it surprise you that it was a springer spaniel that was the ring leader of this little bit of mischief? Not our Spud the dog, you understand, but he’d have loved to join in.

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It was at Skaill House  on Orkney, which as well as being rather grand family estate, stuffed full of beautiful antiques and historic items,

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and the odd exotic thing, that you can only wish had stayed wild

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It also has a touch of the 20thC about its decor in some of the rooms,  as it was a family home until the 1950’s

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It just feels familiar, take this wallpaper, for example.

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What Skaill House has, at the bottom of its garden, is altogether more unusual, and its survival is nothing short of miraculous is a  prehistoric village was exposed in 1850, when a great storm tore away the sand dunes that had protected it. I could show you my photos, but I think you’ll be netter served by the Skara Brae website

They do say if you scratch the surface of Orkney, it bleeds archaeology. I’d not disagree.


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Share Nicely

Spud the dog and Bubble the cat,  settle down for the night.  There is no such thing as an empty box with a cats in the house.

Share nicely

Storm Doris has raged around us today,  I think we’ve  escaped lightly, the barn doors broke free of their bolt, but thankfully the doors and hinges survived without damage. The lane is currently blocked by a fallen tree,  but I suspect that Derbyshire County Council have far more urgent cases than our tiny lane, and we can take an alternative route,  I’m very glad not to have been traveling today, it was a bumpy ride for many.

I wrote this  post last Thursday, the 23rd of February, shortly before our telephone and Internet connection disappeared. It’s now the first of March and I’d really like them back now. Our mobile data is disappearing fast.


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Tight Fit

A second belated post from our weekend, back in November in the Yorkshire Dales . We went to

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There was still snow about.  Yorkshire drystone walls have different coping stones than Derbyshire walls

Hawes

You don’t often see paved foot paths around here either, we were glad of them though, it was very wet and muddy.

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The stile however posed a bit of a problem for Spud, they are obviously built for Yorkshire terriers, or maybe Whippets, but not Springer spaniels

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Poor Spud, he needed a lift.

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the local  working dogs have got it sussed though. Gates open for them.

Hitching a ride


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Did someone mention Spring?

Well, it came and went

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Cold winds blew

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Then the sun shone, but it seemed no warmer, although the sight of a curlew always warms the heart.

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Then clouds blew by again, I’m fascinated by how different fields ‘hold’ the snow longer than others.

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Strangely the life force that is spring growth, has kept moving despite the chill of winds from the artic , you know I’m a sucker for larch trees

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The icy jewels were a very pretty adornment, that kept my rapt attention, for quite some time. 

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Then it was drawn to my attention to the fact,

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that I did promise I’d play ball….

larch cones  and spud


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Spud the dog, an update

You may remember, Spud the dog is recuperating from an operation to remove a lump from his shoulder.

The good news is the lump was nothing sinister, and he has been taking his recuperation very seriously

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However the wound wasn’t healing well, so he’s had his stiches removed and after weighing up all the options it was decided the best bet for Spud was to leave the wound open to heal. It’s not been pretty. But he has been a very good patient and has allowed me to bathe the wound in salt water and apply an ointment containing Manuka honey *  The good news is that  it is healing, its not weeping now and  the hole in skin has gone from hens egg size to small plum size in the last six days.

We’ve found a  protective collar that is more comfortable for him and us, a Buster collar

Spud Buster

it just about stops him from reaching the wound, for as you can imagine a combination of salt and honey is as near a salted caramel as he’s going to get, and smells very tasty! So he is keen to give the area a good lick.

He’s in reasonable spirits for a Spring Spaniel under house arrest, nothing wrong with his appetite though.  Here he is fancying a rather delicious egg custard that Mr Uphilldowndale isn’t willing to share.

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He’s waiting and waiting to play ball…

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* I think the vet may well have prescribed the Manuka Honey as a placebo for me, the ‘first-aider’ in me has struggled with the concept of leaving the wound uncovered.


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Spud on Sunday 17/01/16

Spud the dog  is looking rather wistful, he’d really like to be playing in the snow.

poor spud

He’s had an operation to remove a lump from his shoulder. Now he’s recovered from the anaesthetic  he’s back in full springer spaniel mode, which takes no account of his wounds need to heal.

Here he is when he first came home from the vets,  a little dazed and confused . 

Poor Spud_


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Mud Larks

When in Devon,Mrs Ogg and I went mud larking, I’ve a fondness for finding bits of pottery, and down on the foreshore of the Salcombe estuary I’d found a  quiet spot where there was plenty.

I think there must have been an old bottle dump nearby, that’s now giving up its treasures to the waves.

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It took a little while to get your eye in, broken pottery tends to look very much like broken sea shells.  I think Mrs Ogg had the best find of the day, I thought it looked like it might  Gothic Revival style what do you think?

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So what will we do with our treasure trove?

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Earlier in the day I’d seen a rather inspiring piece of recycled ceramics. Mr Ogg thought we should cut out the mud and just buy it.

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I don’t think he quiet realised it was pretty much life size (and pigs, in my experience, are always bigger than you think they are going to be). 

But maybe Mrs Ogg and I should set the bar a little higher?

 

We weren’t the only ones to find treasure on the beach, Spud the dog returned home from his holidays with nine more tennis balls than he started with (and we know how much he loves tennis balls ) he made a nest of them in his bed. Happy dog.

Spud balls