What a wet week in the Dales. But there are a lot worse places to be when it’s chucking it down, so mustn’t grumble. One of my favourite perching places is on Bowland Knotts where the Western Dales can be seen in all their glory. On Tuesday, while sitting on this gritstone outcrop at around 1400ft above sea level, I took this layer-cake of a photo. The Lakeland Fells weren’t visible this time but the Three Peaks were.
The above photo shows bleak Clapham Common from the same spot. Clapham is a few miles away but the smallholders from the parish were (maybe still are?) allowed to graze their stock here. The area was probably once forested and as I sat here I thought this would be the perfect kind of land on which to plant much-needed native trees.
With forests on my mind I drove down to Gisburn Forest and Stocks Reservoir for a few more photos and a stroll through the woods where the colours are rapidly changing.
Hoping in vain for another day without rain, later in the week I headed up Wenningdale to High Bentham and attempted the town’s Heritage Trail. A couple of miles in I had to turn back such was the rain and boggy ground. Another one to add to the list of dry-day walks.
Referendum for Yorkshire?
Talk this week about Yorkshire becoming a self-governing country got me wondering if all of us who voted to remain in Europe would also vote for our county to remain in GB should there ever be such a referendum. What would our stance be over immigrants from Lancashire and the North East? There would be no problem about passports for Yorkshire folk, as we never leave the county anyway, but would we allow people from London and the South East safe passage through to Scotland for their skiing or golfing trips, or even let them cross our air space? The Dalesman has a test to see if you qualify as a Yorkshire person – take it here. Ashamedly, for a former editor of the magazine, I only got 11/12 (I know nothing about films – had that question been about Yorkshire football I’d now be a fully qualified Tyke. More revision required.).
The Ribble was a bubbling cauldron at Stainforth Foss one evening this week. I tried to capture the violence and chaos – and a rainbow.
Also, here’s a short video of the scene…
Dales churches (again)
Adding to my collection of Dales churches are these two – St Leonard’s at Chapel-le-dales and St Batholomew’s at Barbon.
Standing on top of Great Stone of Fourstones, which marks the Yorkshire border with that other county whose name escapes me, you can enjoy one of the best ‘driveable’ views of the south-western dales. The Three Peaks, Gragareth, Howgills and the distant jagged teeth of the Lakeland Fells are laid out before you. The 16ft-tall glacial deposit is the only one of four large stone outcrops remaining on this spot on Tatham Fell, near High Bentham – the others probably having been broken up for buildings and tools. I wanted a view but not a trek on Wednesday and this monolith once again proved an ideal location. With a 200mm zoom lens I was able to make out the layered-cake effect of Ingleborough and capture Whernside looking particularly dominant above Twisleton Scar.
After writing last week’s blog on Sunday I wandered up Ribblesdale and on to Stainforth Foss where dozens of people were on salmon-leap-watch. I wondered whether there would be any conflict here today, as just a few yards down river from the falls were two anglers … salmon fishing? Poaching? I didn’t stop to find out, but headed further downstream to Langcliffe where the colours on the riverbank and millpond stood out starkly against a drab sky.
I reckoned this week would be one of the best for capturing the changing colours and I was right. On Monday I took a stroll around Malham Tarn – almost ignoring the tarn and concentrating on the surrounding bogland, shrubs and trees. The last time I’d been in this woodland I’d been startled by a deer but there was no sign this time.
The blue sky came out later and I got some good shots of the eastern side of Penyghent. I was also able to snatch some great scenes around home later that day in the evening sun.
St John the Evangelist in Langcliffe might not have the history or ancient architecture of older dales churches but it is certainly a pretty Victorian building within well-kept grounds and it looks a picture when caught in the evening sun.
At this time of year I like to raise my eyes above the area’s wonderful landscape and take in the ever-changing autumn sky. It’s been a treat this week with a variety of clouds, shades, and sunsets. On Friday I sat above Winskill and watched an invasion of aliens beaming up all before them … I woke up Saturday morning with ‘REJECT: Beyond Best Before Date’ stamped across my forehead.
Yesterday, after strolling by the Ribble in some glorious changing light, I drove up to the old road between Settle and Feizor to watch the sunset. I also waited as long as I dare for an unsteady hand-held night shot, to capture an outline of Ingleborough.