January surprises in the Dales

A January day in the Dales can be surprisingly subtle. Yes, there are white-outs, blankets of grey rain as well as striking cold blue skies, but in among there are also plenty of conditions to satisfy those of a more arty nature.

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You could be forgiven for thinking the top photo of Ingleborough and this one of Penyghent were taken on a summer’s evening but if you could feel the freezing hands of the photographer you’d realise both were January shots.
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This one of Dentdale and the following two taken on the old track from Dent Station to Garsdale are deceptive, too. All are January photos taken as the cold morning air was rising.

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And a January sunset in the Dales can be stunning, too. Who says the camera doesn’t lie?
Dales pasture news

You may remember a blog of mine from before Christmas in which I mentioned an appeal launched by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to buy Ashes Pasture at the top end of Ribblesdale. Well the trust have just heard from the Heritage Lottery Fund that their grant application was successful. So together with a contribution from the Garfield Weston Foundation and support received from trust members and the public, the fundraising target has been reached. They will now be able to safeguard and restore this fragile, important and rare habitat. Donations are still needed for the future – visit http://www.ywt.org.uk/node/24836


I’ve been reading a lot recently about research which proves that the closer you are to Nature or green spaces, the healthier you’ll be. Many of us have known that most of our lives without having some highly qualified research team tell us, but it is always worth a reminder. After too many days shackled to the house (voluntarily, of course – none of that kinky stuff here), and despite poor weather, I cheered myself up with a walk around Malham Tarn this week. I had the Tarn Moss boardwalk to myself. The bogland felt quite eerie with trees seemingly being gobbled up by the mire. All kinds of fungi and lichen look to be thriving, although I saw little of the wildlife or birds. I then walked to the Tarn where brief glimpses of sunlight reflected on the cold water. Just a 90-minute stroll in this part of the Dales, thinking about nothing but the Nature around me, left me feeling reinvigorated.

A couple of snow shots from the previous week which I didn’t have chance to post. Salt Lake Cottages stand out against the white background of Whernside, and Langcliffe village with the slightest hint of colour.

A video shot of this duck trying to walk on iced-up Langcliffe Millpond would have been better. Its cartoon walk, together with comic quacking and incredulous looks from the other duck amused me anyway.

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