A fond farewell and those frightful Dales

DalesTravelling through the Yorkshire Dales in 1724 Daniel Defoe got to Settle Bridge. In his diary he wrote: “Looking to the north-west of us we saw nothing but high mountains, which had a terrible aspect and more frightful than any in Monmouthshire or Derbyshire, especially Penigent Hill. So that having no manner of inclination to encounter them, merely for the sake of seeing a few villages and a parcel of wild people, we turned short north-east.”
You’d think that the chap who created such strong characters as Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders would have had a bit more about him than to worry about the good folk and the landscape of upper Ribblesdale. Anyway, he missed a treat.

During my own travels up this ‘frightful’ part of the Dales this week, I sat in the shade beneath a beautiful tree showing off its new spring clothes. I listened contentedly to the cackle of water over the pebbles of a low Ribble, and to the chirping of excited birds. Sheep and lambs, cows and calves mingled in a field across the river – there was no human-style dispute over who had the right to graze here.

The smell of wild garlic filled the air, and a small fish popped up briefly to cause a ripple on the shallow water – and surprise a duck and her tiny offsprings who were showing cowardly Defoe-type tendencies. The scene reminded me once again of how lucky I am not to be shackled to some hectic city street or suffering in a war-torn country.

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All the above photos were taken by the Ribble near Langcliffe.
Clouds and steam

As I waited for this week’s Dalesman steam-hauled train to pass over Ribblehead Viaduct I watched wispy clouds floating aimlessly over the Dales. The mass of Whernside, seen in the panorama below, looked glorious in the midday sunshine.

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This week’s Dalesman steam excursion on the Settle-Carlisle line… with Penyghent in the background, on the way up (above) and back down (below).

Farewell for now

I’ve been blogging here every week for more than four years now. That’s well over 3,000 photos of the Dales and goodness knows how many meaningless words. It’s time to give it (and you) a rest. I’ll continue to post photos on social media and, occasionally, on here – and I’ll also update the Yorkshire surnames section of the site once a month. Thanks for taking an interest in the blog – have a great summer. My Twitter feed is @paulinribb

While at my son’s house I asked if I could borrow a newspaper. He said, “We don’t have newspapers any more Dad, get with the times – use my Ipad.”
I’ll tell you what, that annoying fly never knew what hit it!

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St John’s, Langcliffe.

Nakedness, monks and dry Dales days

dales13 photos. The cackle of a stream over water-worn pebbles; hidden birds striking out perfect notes. The sight and smell of wild garlic; bluebells gently swaying in dappled sunlight. A Dales wood is a delight on such a day. The few people I meet are cheerful; happy to be out and about in this peaceful haven, forgetting the world’s troubles and its greedy fools.

At the start of the week I was contemplating changing the name of my blog to Scribble by the Pebbles, such was the lack of water in the Ribble and elsewhere in the Dales. Many stretches of the riverbed near my home could easily be walked across which is very unusual as this is an area where water has traditionally been collected for meadows and powering mills.

One day I popped over to Wensleydale to see how low Semerwater was looking. The two large boulders by the car park (top pic) were totally exposed. I took photos of the naked rocks for posterity. In fact, I got a bit carried away with camera clicking this week and had a job whittling down the choice for the blog so I’ll let the pics do most of the talking.

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No water heading over Langcliffe weir earlier this week
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The millpond provided sanctuary for this family
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Outbreak of wild garlic at Langcliffe

 

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Bluebells and ramsons basking in the sun by the Ribble

 

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Looking down on Semerwater
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Bainbridge in Wensleydale

 

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Time to top up the tan in the Dales

 

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Looking across the meadows towards Malham Cove on a walk to Gordale

 

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Standard Dales shot of Gordale Scar. I posted more on Twitter and Facebook earlier in the week.

 

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I find it hard to get the exposure right when inside steep-sided Gordale which is usually in strong shadow. Again, the waterfall was nobbut a trickle.
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Sawley Abbey lies beside the Ribble on the traditional Yorkshire-Lancashire border. The monks at Sawley owned the land around Langcliffe and Giggleswick for around 400 years.
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Stone carvings at Sawley Abbey, done a almost 1,000 years ago – I wonder if my blogs will still be hanging around the Dales in 3017?