Uphilldowndale

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


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Spring Day

It has been a glorious Spring day, we’d not be hasty enough to say the worst of the weather is over, oh no, snow as late as April is entirely possible.

But we enjoyed the beauty of the moment,  listening to croaking frogs in the pond, watching  bees feasting in pussy willow.

Happy Bee

Sad news recently reached us, that Tim Green of Village Farm, East Portlemouth South Devon (a village with a special place in the hearts of clan Uphilldowndale) has tragically died in an accident on the farm; we send our condolences to Rebecca, Tim’s family, all at Village Farm and the community of East Portlemouth; sad and difficult times. There is a beautiful tribute to Tim on the Village Farm website. I’m sure his memory and passion will live on at Village Farm.

I suspect few of us give a second thought when we sit down to our meals of the risks faced on a daily basis by the farming community. Working with machinery and livestock will always present dangers, sadly this February has been particularly harrowing

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Did someone mention Spring?

Well, it came and went

snowing april_

Cold winds blew

snowing april lamb

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

Curlew_

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

All kinds of weather_

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

larch cones  3

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

larch cones  2_

Then it was drawn to my attention to the fact,

larch cones_

that I did promise I’d play ball….

larch cones  and spud


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Theories Welcome.

In a bit of a dash between dental appointments and a Macmillan Cancer Support coffee morning, I squeezed in a couple of photo stops.

Well who could resist? It’s near Wildboarclough, Macclesfield Forest.

Macclesfield to Buxton_

There is a lovely little holiday cottage, just around the corner and a cosy pub.  what could be nicer?  (Doug’s Dad should take note… )

Then, chasing the light, I zipped  off down towards Derbyshire Bridge, the light was too fast for me. But this caught my eye.

I’m not sure how best to explain, the terrain is rough moorland, peat and heather, as you look at the next photo, you can perhaps see (or imagine) how there is a clough, or gully, running from the  ‘10 o’clock’ position towards the centre of the image, where it opens out into a boggy area, full of rushes, I’d expect the rushes to look like the swath of bright green in the centre of the image, 

rushes flat 3

but something has laid them flat, like a thatch, a surge of  water maybe? Or a vortex of wind? its a very exposed place.  It did make me think of crop circles.  Maybe at a certain point in the year, the rushes need a lie down?

rushes flat 4

Come along dear reader, what do you make of it?


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Other Routes are Available

I’m not a fan of the A515, if I can find an alternative route I will.  Especially if it is as photogenic as this,

High Wheeldon_

It’s taken near High Wheeldon 

I was returning from Hartington Wakes Show, which had a lovely atmosphere, and is set in a beautiful location. I even bumped into my geography teacher from secondary school, he was fresh out of university back then, and now he is retired…  don’t know how that happened, it doesn’t seem so long ago that I left school.

Vintage tractors, horses a plenty.

Hartington 6

A sheepdog herding ducks, and ladders for every occasion, not sure how you are supposed to get them home.

Hartington 5

Prize livestock

Hartington show

Of all sizes

Hartington 3

A glowing produce tent (my Chinese lanterns, never even flowered, only just surviving the slugs). 

Hartington 7

I wonder what the farms of the future will look like for these young competitors

Hartington show 3


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Taddington Moor High Mere

Taddington Moor High Mere looked nothing like this when I stumbled upon it today. I was on one of my pre work diversions again, I thought I might be in with a chance of mist mantled hills, punctuated by field barns or piercing church spires. But I simply couldn’t get above the cloud that has superimposed the inversion mist I’d hoped for.

Never mind, the beauty was in the detail.

Scabious seed head

scabious_

Rosebay willow herb

rosebay willow herb 2

There were so many beautiful flowers, but it was the cobwebs that stole the show.

web four_

Here soggy  thistledown has caught in the web

soggy down_

web one_

I’ll go back another day in search of the view

what no view_

It only took until lunch time for my trousers to dry out….