Carless in Settle, accommodating cows, synchronised sheep and the Simpsons

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I think I’m developing RSI in my camera-clicking finger. The week has seen some amazing atmospheric conditions in Ribblesdale and, although I’ve been carless and stayed local, I’ve managed to capture a bucket-load of pictures. The thing about being a point-and-shoot, capture-quickly-what-you-see snapper like me is that you usually end up with a hard drive swamped with flotsam and jetsam and just a few pearls hidden in among. This week, however, it’s been difficult to narrow down a selection to use in the blog. The cows provided me with a perfect foreground for shots of Ingleborough (above) and Penyghent (below) taken from Winskill Stones.

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Just a little further down the lane Samson’s Toe erratic helped with my view down Ribblesdale over Settle and Giggleswick.

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There were some clear shots looking south-west this week, and I particularly liked this one with the dappled sunshine. In the distance you can see the natives of Lancashire burning witches in the borderlands.

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I fair galloped out of the house one evening on seeing a large dark cloud passing overhead. It came and went quickly and happily deposited its contents elsewhere, but it was certainly a scene-changer in these parts. Here are a couple of many shots I grabbed. The four sheep, unconcerned about what’s happening above, seem to have established their own space with some accuracy.

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I do enjoy being a photographer-on-the-hoof, but occasionally I wish I’d been a bit more professional and taken with me more equipment (and had more technical know-how – and patience!). A tripod and remote clicker would have improved my shots at Catrigg Force and the Hoffmann Kiln (below).

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Walking up to Stainforth Foss I spotted this heron. Every time I got within 50 yards of it it flew on a little further up the Ribble. We played this enjoyable little cat and mouse game for about ten minutes. This is a poor shot (below) I know, but it shows that I did at least try to be a bit more Ray Mears.

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The foss and bridge looked splendid and I was the only person around. This, and strolling up to Stainforth to have a grand pint of Wainwright’s in the Craven Heifer, reminded me of how lucky I am to be retired and to live in such a lovely place.

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Walkers heading up Goat Scar Lane from Stainforth to Catrigg may often have their head down wishing the steep climb would soon end. But stopping and taking a look back across towards Smearsett Scar and Ingleborough is well worth it.

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The clouds on that photo and also on the next one showing Penyghent, remind me of the start of the Simpsons cartoon on TV. No manipulation on my part – the sky is exactly as I took it at the time.

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Looking up at the magnificent Stainforth Scar (below) during the week I pondered why this wasn’t more of a Mecca for climbers. Some crag rats will probably tell me the rock isn’t stable enough, but even for a definite non-climber like me I can see the obvious attraction here.

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sculptFinally this week – who needs the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (a wonderful place by the way) when we have our own version in Ribblesdale. Every time I visit Lower Winskill there seems to be another welcome addition to the landscape. Some talented folk up there.

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