There is a tradition here in the UK that whenever a Bank Holiday comes round the weather always takes a turn for the worse. This weekend - our May Bank Holiday Weekend - the weather is dull and the wind is blowing from the North East and the temperature struggled yesterday to reach 7 degrees.
However, up here in the Yorkshire Dales we are hardy folk, so yesterday the farmer and I drove to Hawes in Wensleydale, principally because I wanted to see if the newsagent had sold any of our Writers' Group book, which he has on sale or return. There was also another agenda though, as I wanted a new pair of sandals and there is a lovely shoe shop there. Bought a super pair!
After shivering round Hawes we drove on the extra two miles to Cotter Force. Regular readers of my blog may well remember earlier visits - this time I was hoping that the marvellous collection of native wild flowers would be out. No such luck, they are hardly daring to show their faces.
Here and there our beautiful native primrose was peeping through the grass - is there a more exquisite flower? I doubt it. The yellow dead nettle had the odd bloom and there was one patch of struggling pink campion. The young rowan trees were beginning to bud - a pretty little white throat was flitting through the branches.
In the field which borders the footpath up to the force, the lambs were charging up and down. It seems to be that one has one of two reactions when watching them. Mine is to think - how can I eat lamb again when they are so lovely - but the farmer's is more along the lines of lamb chops.
We are seriously short of water here now. I read that they had over an inch in the South East yesterday - as you can see from the force, we have had hardly any rain here for weeks. Tess enjoyed sniffing about on the rocks of the dry river bed though - and a pair of grey wagtails were busily getting mud for their nest.
By the time we arrived home we were very chilly (for May) but were soon cheered up by the first rhubarb crumble of the year (with custard).