I concluded this week that drystone walls make up the greatest man-made structure in the Dales. I’d looked at all other elements such barns, abbeys, viaducts, quaint cottages and posh houses etc and decided that the humble wall reigned in the dales. No fancy drawings by architects, no cement, no GPS help needed — not much more than a hammer, a bit o’ twine and a good eye have created a masterpiece in the landscape. Above is a photo I took on Thursday evening looking south-west from near Winskill showing the waller’s art.
Hobbyist photographers like me need a bit of luck to end up with photos we’re happy with. I just carry a medium quality digital camera around with me and if I something catches my eye I snap away. I often come across photographers who look like they’re setting up an outdoor studio, and who sit around for hours awaiting the perfect conditions — I’m not knocking them; their results are usually fantastic, and if it’s how you earn a living then you need the best possible results. Last Sunday evening I briefly popped out for a breath of air and spotted these two opportunities as threatening clouds drifted over Ribblesdale. Within a few minutes the scene was completely different — such is the luck of the draw in the dales.
Similarly, on Wednesday I was just walking back home over a railway footbridge near Langcliffe when I heard the sound of a steam train approaching and was able to capture this shot with Penyghent in the background.
I had to spend most of Thursday indoors but fortunately by teatime and with the sky clearing I was able to head up to Victoria Cave. I can see why prehistoric tribes made their home here. The views together with the limestone escarpments of Langcliffe and Attermire Scars plus Warrendale Knots make this one of my favourite regions in the dales.
Photos below show the views east and west from near the cave.
Friday had been pretty dismal but I caught a bit more luck in the evening when I visited one of the former quarries at Helwith Bridge. There’s a small one by the main quarry entrance which has been given over to Nature and I’ve been told that around dusk long-eared owls can sometimes be spotted here. I didn’t see one but was lucky enough to capture some late rays of sunshine both on the water and on Penyghent, one shot reminding me of Ayers Rock in Australia – not that I’ve ever been, but you know what I mean.
I don’t usually have much luck with plants so when I stock up pots and baskets in spring I usually include more than enough, presuming some will die. However, this year it seems all the fuschias in my hanging basket have taken and are now complaining of overcrowding.