Uphilldowndale

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


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The Luxury of Lux

The sun shone brightly today, it’s been so grey, I was quite giddy with it.

Tulips on my desk glowed

tulip sunlight

The hazel catkins, as hot as mustard

hazel catkins_

Pussy willow, shooting stars against a deep blue sky.

pussy willow star light

The Christmas lights in the kitchen window (I can never bring myself to take down all the lights, until at least late January, I need  a little sparkle on the darkest days) caught the sunlight and were truly solar powered

solar powered fair lights

Then in a magical moment they flashed a rainbow  across the kitchen sink to the north side of the house.

rainbow and the kitchen sink

(These swift  light markers of the changes of the seasons, we call ‘sun on the lintel’ moments).

Hummm, the light  also indicated that a little house work might be in order, cobwebs on the fireplace,cobweb fire place.jpg

but that can wait. I’m off out into the sunshine.

 


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Between Earth and Air

Earlier this week, Spud the dog and I were out and about in time to watch the sunrise. It was moody and misty, we like that sort of thing*

leaves mist_

I’m not sure what the black bar down the centre of the above image is. Is it some sort of refraction? A reader will know, I feel sure.

sunrise mist_

As the sun climbed higher, and behind a bank of clouds, the electricity pylons on a distant ridge appeared to be striding out along  the clouds.

pylons mist_

that is a bout as pretty as I think you can make a pylon look. Usually they are a blot on the landscape

*Spud likes anything that involves me picking up the camera bag and putting wellington boots on, he always reckons he’s in with a chance of field time.


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Thirty days wild. June 30th

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

That’s it, its a wrap. We’ve arrived a little hurriedly, at the 30th of June.  The long summer days have cast their light through the north facing windows each evening, just for a few minutes; we call it the ‘sun on the lintel’ moment’.

longest day

The meadow is cut and basks in the hot sun. Just as it should.

I took this photo at dusk the other evening, just after they had finished mowing.

Hay down_


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All Mixed Up

I’m still here, there, and everywhere; wearing, as a colleague is fond of telling me ‘more hats than  they’ve got at John Lewis’.

This afternoon I drove to the village of Waterhouses  in Staffordshire, to collect Joe, he’d spent the weekend helping a Cub  Scout pack have a high old time at Orchard Farm. Mr Uphilldowndale took Joe there on Friday evening, through thick fog, not a pleasant journey. This was whilst I was at a rather  feisty public meeting, wearing one of my many hats, that wasn’t particularly pleasant either.

Waterhouses is set in the midst of beautiful countryside, but it was the nearby Cauldon Cement works that I wanted to photograph.

Cement works -1

But there was no time to stay and play,  as Joe needed to get home and get his homework done before his ‘weekend high’ slumped into Sunday night angst.

I’m looking forward to reclaiming some ‘me time’ to loiter around with the camera, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion its not going to be before New Year. So for the time being, ‘happy snaps’ it will have to be.

Joe was particular taken with the silos at the cement works,

silo -1

he said when they were out in a nearby field, they could hear the echo’s of their shouts (of which I’m sure there were many) echoing around the inside of the silos.

We’ve discussed cement works before…


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Spud on Sunday Part LIV

Spud  the dog on a frosty and bright morning

Frosty Spud -1

Stop, look, listen; Spud hears Tom’s voice,

Stop look listen -1

there can be no doubting Spud regards Tom as Uphilldowndale pack leader, his masters voice demands attention if not always obedience .

Joe and I tried to get  creative and get Spud to pose behind a sheet of ice from the cattle trough,

spud and ice -1 

it wasn’t totally successful  project, but we had fun trying.

IMG_8177

It  didn’t really matter, it was just good for the soul to be out in the sunlight.


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Sense of Place

The landscape becomes more enclosed and pastoral away form the
remote moorland tops of the Dark Peak. Within the national park
the landscape remains peaceful but the isolation diminishes as the
landscape becomes more intimate and settled with gritstone walled
enclosures and isolated gritstone farmsteads, often with associated
field barns and sheep pens. The improved fields and tree cover
increase towards the valley bottoms creating variety in the landscape and intermingling with gritstone buildings.

Peak District National Park Authority, Dark Peak Western Fringe

Change in the weather-1

On Sunday morning I woke very early, I left my teenagers and Spud the dog to their slumbers and zipped off to one of my favourite hills and watched the weather ebb and flow. I took these shots around six am…

Change in the  weather 3-1

 

Change in the  weather 4-1


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Land Lines

I took Tom over to Bamford today, I was hoping for a bit of photo time on the way back, but the weather wasn’t very inspiring. But I’ve had my eye on the this spot for a blog post for a while and I doubt I’ll ever be there when the ‘light is right’ So here they are.

Walls sheep buttercups-1

I just like the geometry (or lack of it ) from the drystone walls and the colours, from different of grazing and pasture management.

Both shots are taken just outside Castleton, at the foot of the Winnats Pass

Looking down on the village from surrounding hills, you can see a distinctive pattern of narrow fields near the village. Dry-stone walls trace curving lines that preserve part of Castleton’s medieval open field. Different families had rights to share use of the field between them. Over time, this changed so that parts of the field came to be for the sole use of individual farms. Then the walls and hedgerows were built.

Fields and walls-1

Eagle eyed readers will note a snake of petrol blue smoke, just above the sky line, that will be from Hope cement works, somewhere I’ve photographed before