Why I love the dramatic Dales sky

dales sky120 Dales sky photos in this week’s blog. In the Yorkshire Dales, where Man and Nature have produced a glorious painting for me to wander through, I gaze at the sky and realise I’m actually in a play. Not in a still-life masterpiece but a never-ending action drama where all the characters interact to create the unexpected. Mood and lighting constantly change. Acoustics stretch from eerie silences to frightening howls. All my senses are touched by the sky – yet, to it I am irrelevant.
Sheep was last week’s Dales theme for my blog and if you haven’t already sussed it, the sky is what I’m focussing on today. What follows is a selection of my sky shots all taken during 2016. Ribblesdale and the Three Peaks of Penyghent, Ingleborough and Whernside are featured along with my home village of Langcliffe.

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Yes, It’s enjoyable to bask under a clear blue sky during a sunny week in some exotic country but any longer and I’m itching to get back to an unpredictable Dales sky.

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The western Dales are particularly good for sky watching. Here the south-west wind from the Irish Sea and Morecambe Bay meets the first real obstacles in its path as well as any warmer inland air. Clouds bubble up rapidly – and often also clear quite quickly so the scene constantly changes.

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I was playing a form of Scrabble against the iPad the other evening when to my disgust it wouldn’t accept the word ‘thoil’. How could it possibly not recognise such an important Yorkshire word I demanded to know. Thoil was an oft-used word by my parents and therefore it should be in the iPad’s dictionary. I turned it off in a huff (yes, I was losing heavily at the time and I couldn’t thoil it).

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Have a great time over Christmas and New Year and make sure you get plenty of fresh Dales air.

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Clouded vision over the dale


Watching the clouds over Ribblesdale last night – yes, I know… Saturday night… get a life Jackson – was like seeing a drama unfold. To the east (above) a cloud was forming into some kind of enormous alien spaceship. It was moving quickly and gobbling up all the light blue sky before it. To the west (below) were layers of different, overlapping clouds. The sun was setting and rays of light kept coming and going, creating patterns in the sky and on the landscape. Hard to believe these two photos were taken less than ten minutes apart. A great display and far more entertaining than all that guff on Saturday night TV.


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