Monday, 17 January 2011
A Wet Walk
Yesterday was a very wet day. Following on Saturday, which was also wet, there was a lot of flooding further up the Dale where the River Ure had burst its banks in many places and many of the feeder becks were running across the road. But to avoid suffering from cabin fever, we decided to go for a drive and a short walk after lunch yesterday. And Swaledale seemed the better option in view of the floods.
We went the four miles or so to our nearest grouse moors. I must say that the colour of the grass and of the dead bracken and heather was exquisite. Of the grouse there was no sign, although we heard a few calling. They can't be shot, of course, until the "Glorious Twelfth" (Glorious for whom I ask?) of August but their habitat, which is mainly heather moor is annually subject to controlled burning to rejuvenate the heather. Of course, no burning was taking place yesterday but as this week is destined to be dry I expect to see the tell-tale smoke rising from various places on the horizon.
We walked as far as the old lead mine workings, Tess enjoying a whole new range of smells and the farmer and I enjoying the fresh air and the light rain falling.
Then we drove on to Reeth, the only 'town' in Swaledale and pulled into a space at the top of the hill intending to sit there and enjoy the view - but then it really did pour with rain and we decided we ought to beat a hasty retreat and return home in case the River Swale flooded too.
The river was "banking" to use the farmer's expression, but had not flooded any of the fields. He managed to pull into a layby so that I could take a shot of Marrick Priory and its surrounding farm, with the river in the foreground. Then a little further on I snapped Marske bridge where the river was really swirling underneath. What power there is in water.
We came home, lit the stove and settled down to watch the snooker final where two Chinese young men, Ding and Fu, battled it out for the title with some really brilliant playing. We felt much better for having our little sortie out despite the weather, and I am sure that Tess did too.
today's aros: water - its mighty power inspires awe.