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.

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.
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.

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.

All I want for Christmas…


My camera’s been playing up recently hence the lack of activity on this blog. The dreaded ‘Err099’ message appeared on the display, which all Canon users will recognise as being code for ‘not the foggiest idea what’s wrong, mate – probably a big bill to follow’. I gave it a good clean and took it for a spin this morning. It worked long enough for me to take this shot showing the familiar outline of Ingleborough against a turbulent sky, and the early sun trying force a way through. But the camera spluttered to a halt once again. After almost ten years and more than 17,000 photos with a camera that cost just over £400, maybe some would say I’ve had my money’s worth. Have you got the hint, Santa? Merry Christmas.

PS there was a fair gathering of snow on the top of Ingleborough.

Another day in the Dales


I know it’s not that unusual but I watched the sun rise this morning and set again tonight. With more than a tinge of envy I took two friends to Manchester airport for one of those ridiculous ungodly boarding times and waved them off to Cuba. Never mind, I thought, I’ve still got my bit of Yorkshire. In the evening I watched a couple of hang gliders (or should that be gliderers, or maybe glidists?) floating effortlessly above Victoria Cave near Langcliffe, then I witnessed a glorious sunset. By messing about with the camera settings (I MUST read the instruction book one day or go on a course) I captured this shot over Ribblesdale which I rather like for some reason. Who needs foreign lands anyway?

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