Uphilldowndale

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


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New Neighbours

We’ve new neighbours bouncing around in the field next door.

lamb_

They are as playful as spring lambs should be, doing their level best to do jumps with vertical take off; Tom commented ‘it’s just as well fully grown sheep don’t bounce around like that; the countryside would be mayhem’.

I always think their fleeces look two sizes too big for them at this age, a bit like the jumpers of school kids returning for the Autumn term.

I took these photos last week, when the sun shone, briefly.

sheep and lamb

This evening we have a weather warning for high winds, and rain is lashing down.The lambs have taken shelter in the lea of the walls, the ewes keep on with their relentless grazing, backs to the driving  rain. There are mouths to feed.


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No Angels

They may have an angelic glow, but these sheep can be mean, moody and destructive.

no angels_ 

Whilst we’ve been at the seaside, these three and the rest of their flock have been munching their way through the lanes and gardens.

At home a team of builders have been toiling away in the summer sun, building an extension for us (carrying on where we left off a good while ago) The boss reports he had a standoff with the sheep over right of access to our garden.

When they returned  a few days latter, I tried to send them packing with my best ‘GERRROFFF’ cry and waving of arms, windmill fashion which had none of the usual effect of sending them back across the fields. Instead they (some twenty woolly souls) crashed through the building materials, charged across the flower beds, past the back door and off up the drive. Our display of Michaelmas daisies will be somewhat diminished this year.

 

Over the hills they’ve been having a bit of trouble with sheep rustling, with some 77 lambs being stolen in Edale, I defy anyone to try and steal this  feisty flock at the dead of night.


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 6th April 2014

 

Have you missed Spud? Here he is, his leg is much better, but not quite right yet.

IMG_8558

 

He got a bit excited today, Jimmy the farmer turned up in his big red tractor, with blade harrow in tow, to do a bit of remedial work on the field, where the pipes for the ground source heat pump were laid*.

big red tractor

 

Jimmy  jumped out of the cab for a natter, leaving the engine running. Time passed we carried on, nattering , putting the world, and the meadow to rights. When somewhat startlingly, the big red tractors engine went ‘Vrooooom, vrooom as only the engines of big red (and possibly green) tractors can.

‘Ahhh’, said Jimmy, knowingly,without missing a beat, ‘the dog will be ready for off then’.

big red tractor dog

Just as well, that as bright as they are, border collies can’t quite mange the clutch and the handbrake as well as the accelerator. A working dog has no time for idle chat and needs to put his paw down firmly from time to time.

 

* I will eventually get around to telling the full story of our magical heating system


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A Second Glance

Amidst all that must be done after a bereavement, I have managed to slip away for a day of good company, delicious food and a little creative play time, it was such a tonic. My destination was near the Derbyshire village of  Sheldon. I hadn’t realised, approaching Sheldon from the direction of the village of Ashford in the Water, just how close I was too Magpie Mine, which seems to be a place I always stumble upon rather than a destination (although I have promised Mr Uphilldowndale I’ll take him there on one of our Friday excursions when we mange to get them back on our radar).

 

sheldon_

I paused by the farm (to let the moths out of my camera bag,it feels such a while since I took photos for fun!)

The cows were curious

Curious cow

and the farm cat had no option but a cold tin roof.

cat on a cold tin roof

 

Old time readers may remember my story of the bears in the belfry, well this story in the press today, totally upstages my furry flying friends. All thanks to the deliciously named and refreshingly successful Raspberry Pi  Well done you Pi makers.


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Sheep and Neeps

I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess if these sheep are eating turnips, swedes or something completely different,  as the more I tried to work it out the more confused I became.

 

I rather like the  unexpected, delicate pinkness that’s going on here.

 

sheep and neeps_

 

Excuse the focus on this one, I should have looked closer at what I’d got before driving on.

 

sheep and neeps 2

 

I was on my way to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, to see the Angie Lewin exhibition. An artist that taps into my  childhood love of a nature table, actually, something I’ve never grown out of, I’ve a bowl of cones, shells and feathers, on my desk as I write…

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and did a blast of Christmas shopping in gift shop to boot. Winner.


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On Edge

Tom has been to Derbyshire this weekend, with his university mountaineering club, he was too close to home, for us not to pop over with Spud the dog to say hello*, first of all we had to find him, it was busy on Stanage Edge (we’ve been here before)

 

Stanage_

 

Spud found him

 

Spud

 

A beautiful crisp day, the visibility could not have been sharper

 

Stanage 2

 

Bouldering is the done thing.

 

Stanage 3

 

We came across this rather fun gate, I couldn’t move the sun, or the gate, so I’m afraid you’ll have to take the photo as it is; loving the shadows.

 

cow gate

 

cow gate 4

 

 

* We asked Tom’s permission first, we didn’t gate crash…


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Drifting

Drifting_

How long have we been home from the seaside? It seems like an age, the blog has been drifting, we’ve been rather busy.

I’ve just about managed to stuff everything back in the cupboards from whence it came. The airing cupboard* was a particular challenge. Mr Uphilldowndale (Mr Uhdd) if far more competent at such things than I am, its all that folding of sails he’s done over the years. He can make it look like an up market shop, I  can only ever achieve something at the jumble sale end of the retail spectrum

 

On holiday Mr Uhdd had an exciting time sailing his new boat, watching him from the beach it looked more like he was playing Buckaroo than sailing.

RS 

The general consensus of the deck chair critics was that Mr Uphilldowndale needs to eat more pies (or Devon pasties) as a little weight for him, unlike the rest of us** would be a good idea as it would help him keep the boat, an RS100, upright, she’s a feisty little number. (There  did seem something inherently wrong in the suggestion of a weighted lifejacket)

I would add, that we, the deck chair critics know very little about sailing, and that our extensive knowledge of the state of the tide is only founded in the need to know if it is low enough to make it possible to walk along the beach to the Venus cafe to buy ice cream, or if it is so high its necessary to take the less picturesque route along the road.

 

*Not sure why I’ve bothered, the whole lot will have to come back out again in a few weeks time during the installation of our new  central heating system, a ground source heat pump, watch this space.

** How annoying is it that Mr Uhdd lost weight on holiday, however he did gain a lot of bruises.

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