Uphilldowndale

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


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Unseasonal Colours

You could have been forgiven for thinking a splash of colour was hard to come by today, heavy rain and weighty clouds have consumed us. But having watched the Met Office rainfall radar for a window of opportunity, Spud the dog and I grabbed it with enthusiasm. 

We made it to the post box today, another milestone for Spuds recovery, and its the first time he’s been a muddy dog for many a month.   The ‘new’ post box is a more useful size than the old one, but its sad to have lost the heritage of the old one.

We did find some colour, in the understory of a wooded area, from where we recovered the yew tree. I’ didn’t know (or hadn’t thought about) that woods have four distinct levels, canopy,understory, field layer and ground layer (todays blog learning objective has been met).

The understory of young beech trees, have kept their Autumn leaves, why do they do that when the mature trees don’t I wonder?  I’m also not sure why suddenly their are so many of them either, maybe the  grazing sheep have been absent long enough for them to become established, or maybe it was  the result of what a farming friend would call a mast year?

little beech-122921

The  sycamore  soaked by the rain, showed off  its  beautifully textured bark to good effect

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The lichens, seemed to have drawn up the lovely pink hue of the local grit stone;  dressed, this stone is very a very precious  commodity to us and our neighbours, and any that becomes available for sale, is snapped up and kept on the hill from whence it came for any building projects.

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Seasonal Selection

Striding out in the light and fresh air, can be a challenge on short winter days.  I’m lucky that I can flex my work a little, so as to grab the best of the day, for a cobweb blowing yomp up the hill.  My was it chilly today, the wind was biting.

A seasonal selection of photos.

Banks of cloud sit on the hills

low cloud December-1066

I find it interesting how some fields at the same altitude seem ‘hold the snow’ more than others, I imagine it is  to do with how they have been grazed

Berry Sky Snow-1088

So nice of the drystone walls to underscore the beautiful view

Rushop Edge -

Feasting sheep,

Hungry sheep

and no place like home at dusk on a snowy winters day

Home -


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Seasons Greetings

We seem to have skipped along a season since I last published a post.  Which is a shame, its not that there hasn’t been anything to blog about, there has been plenty.

Lets start with an easy win…

A beautiful thrush, feasting on the berries of my pink rowan. 

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He’s quite protective of this crop, I can’t quite work out if he expends more energy chasing off the blackbirds than he gains in berries he could have eaten.  Surely there is enough for everyone?

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Sharp

A sharp frost and a foggy morning, and more than a little black ice.  I must be getting to be a grown up, because I chose to travel the road more travelled, not less, where I could be more confident of some salt on the road. I managed to find some pretty things though.

Frosty Taddington_

These burrs look much more attractive on the plant, than they would entangled in Spud the dogs fur.

Frosty Taddington 2

The seed heads of the cow parsley looks poised for the insertion of ice diamonds

Frosty Taddington 3


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Gale Mill

Dark and Satanic*, or Warm and Welcoming?

I can’t quite make my mind up. This is  the wonderfully restored and  preserved, Gale Mill in the Yorkshire Dales;  it was late  afternoon in November  and the light was fading.

Gayle Mill 2

There had been heavy rain the day before, and the river was thundering by.  The roads were awash.

Rivers were not to be messed with.

Langstrothdale

And then there was the snow, we’d chosen quite a high route to get to Gale and Hawes, but traveling in the campervan, we decided discretion was the better part of valour, turned around and took the low route instead!

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In the end the snow didn’t become a problem, but the local highways department were in a state of preparedness…

Gayle 2

I was glad we were in the campervan and not camping!

Not camping_

I’m also glad we spent money on  a diesel heater for the van,  rather than spending the money on a van in any other colour than white, which comes at a premium. We were snug as bugs.

snow van 2

* Dark and satanic mills, might not be what I always thought they were!


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And so to work…

Back to work tomorrow. I have a beautiful commute.

Late for work, again

It’s 14 years since I worked in retail, but the novelty of being able to have a long break at Christmas and New Year has still not worn off.

Tomorrow I think an extra layer of clothing may be in order, our office can be chilly on a summers day. Two weeks of the office heating ticking over on thrifty frost setting, may mean there is an unseemly dash for the fan heater, first thing. Lets call it an office huddle, we can at least try and look like we are back in harness.