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


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…


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.


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


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


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


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