I suppose I have to talk about this week’s weather here in the Dales. As a nation we’re not very good at dealing with cold winds, snow and ice, are we? Thankfully, there are a lot of individuals who can cope – and not surprisingly they tend to live in the country’s higher, more exposed regions.
I had an early* walk in a blizzard for some emergency tea bags one day and saw that a farmer had been up early* to bring his sheep down off the hills and spread out some hay on a low-lying field for his animals.
(*The difference between my retirement early and a farmer’s early is about five hours.)
Dales hill-farmers knew what was coming and when it would arrive; they were prepared, took action when needed and just got on with dealing with the job without much fuss. On TV I heard someone complaining because he was being restricted to driving at 30mph in his 4×4, and another person moaning about her recycling bin not being emptied. Before I start on a Jonathan Pie-style rant (he’s brilliant, by the way) I’ll move on …
My son ‘kindly’ reminded me that I was a child during the bad winter of 1962/3 by asking what it was like in those days. I lived in a town in those days but there were plenty of hills, and I remember the enormous icy slides and much sledging … and scraping ice from the inside of our bedroom windows.
He and I have also being trying to identify paw prints in the snow around our houses. Stray dogs seem to be the most numerous – I say ‘stray’ because I’d hate to think pet owners were chucking out their dogs on such cold nights.
Photography-wise, I’ve not felt inclined to dig out the car for a drive around the Dales looking for stunning snowy scenes – I’m not sure I can justify that heading into the wilds to take pictures is a ‘life-or-death journey’ (unlike the aforementioned tea-bag catastrophe). But I have managed some local shots …
If you haven’t already seen this, please watch the video here, uploaded by the Dales3Peaks people, and help maintain our paths around the Dales: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcrZftnuhqw&feature=youtu.be
And finally … ice monsters emerging from the depths to slowly climb the memorial in Langcliffe. Don’t have nightmares, folks.