Saturday, 9 April 2011

An Unexpected Outing.







The weather here in the Yorkshire Dales is beautiful. Today the temperature was 20 Celsius and the sky an unbroken blue. The farmer was busy digging trenches so I was intending to garden (digging up buttercups in our front garden is a long term activity). After an hour and a half in the garden friends called and asked me to go out for a picnic. Needless to say - the gardening took an immediate back seat and I went.

Quite near to where we live in Wensleydale there is a little site of Special Scientific Interest - rare wildflowers on old spoil heaps and a pretty beck. We went there and sat in the dappled shade to eat our sandwiches. Then we crossed a newly built little bridge and walked along the edge of the hillside. The blackthorn was just coming into bloom, the ground was covered in wood sorrel, violets, primroses, wood anemones and ground ivy. The dogs (three in all) had a lovely walk with lots of new smells. The birds were singing to perfection. It was bliss.

Then we did a short recce as my friends are keen birdwatchers and a great grey shrike had been seen in the area - but sadly the bird had flown. A tootle home, stopping in the village of Muker for an ice cream, and still home in time for the Grand National at 4.25pm. I have always half enjoyed - been half terrified - watching the race although I do think it is cruel to put the horses through that and judging by the two tents erected on the course it looks as though two horses may have had to be put down. And the horse that won the race was so dehydrated in the warm sunshine that he was dowsed with buckets of cold water to cool him down.

Back home I did another half hour in the garden before lasagne and a rocket salad for our tea. All in all a lovely day.

16 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

Oh, I thought you were going to expose a homosexual. Never mind - nice post and nice walk.

angryparsnip said...

" the ground was covered in wood sorrel, violets, primroses, wood anemones and ground ivy "
Music to my ears...
The newly built little bridge is beautiful.
What a lovely afternoon you had.

cheers, parsnip

H said...

I got so excited when I saw your last photo! I recognise the Literary Institute in Muker. The house on the left of your photo (3 storey) used to belong to a friend, and it is where my husband and I spent a wonderful 2 weeks for our honeymoon back in August 1988!

steven said...

it's such a gift to be able to visit this gentle and kind england - so much like the england of my childhood. thanks weaver. steven

Jo said...

Weaver, your word and photos are lovely, as always.

You are the second British friend today to mention the Grand National Horse Race, and the second to mention its cruelty. Such a pity to put horses to the test that way.

I'm looking for a good spot to put a footbridge just like that...charming!

PurestGreen said...

We've had an absolutely stunning few days here as well. And I also watched the national through my hands. It's exciting and horrible at the same time - a strange national pastime.
Good luck with the buttercups!

ChrisJ said...

Well you could throw a few buttercups my way. What a lovely day you had.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely outing! It would have been exciting to have seen the shrike! We've had beautiful weather here too.

Heather said...

Your outing sounds and, from your lovely photos, looks idyllic Pat, and it's probably a good thing your gardening was interrupted or you might have worked on too long and not been able to enjoy your evening meal. I've just pottered today but there is still plenty of work to be done in our garden. Even my hands are tired today!

Pondside said...

What a lovely day you must have had - and I can tell from the short sleeves that the weather was perfect!

Gwilym Williams said...

What a lovely set of pics! All so green.

John Gray said...

oh tom.... lol
" a homosexual" how OAP of you!!!
I think we all have had a lovely day today!

Eryl said...

How fab to have friends call round on the off-chance and take you off to a picnic, and in such a place! I wouldn't know a wood anemone if one landed in my ice-cream but I love the name so am going to google.

I have a bit of a buttercup problem myself, and am afraid that in trying to dig them up I'll dig up everything else too.

Dave King said...

Idyllic.

We've had the weather. Alas, not the scenery.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Back ache prevails after all that gardening!! Thanks for the comments.

indiwriter said...

What a lovely outing! Thanks for taking us with you.