".....not a leaf stirred."
Today has been the most beautiful Autumn day. I had arranged to meet friends for lunch in Sedbergh - a small town about thirty miles away - which meant driving through the heart of Wensleydale, over the watershed of the Pennine Chain and down towards The Lake District. Ah good, I thought, I shall take pictures all the way and then write about my journey tonight for my post for the day. Well, I have to tell you, dear readers, I did not take photographs - it was far too beautiful to think of photography. I sat back and enjoyed the journey (and in case you are worrying, Derrick, I did look where I was going!)
It was totally still, totally sunny, totally warm and totally beautiful. All the farmers in the dale were cutting the last of their grass, so that - with the car windows open - the smell of newly-mown grass filled the air. Because the schools are now back there were few tourists about and little traffic on the road. The sides of the road were thick with the seed-heads of rosebay willow herb - it must be the most successful plant there is up here - and there wasn't even enough breeze to blow the seed heads off - they just hung in there waiting for another day!
The trees along the route were still in full leaf although the leaves begin to look tired and here and there were suggestions that they were about to change colour. People were out in the villages mowing their lawns, cutting their hedges, or just standing chatting in the street. Dogs were ambling about enjoying the sunshine - cats were sitting on walls as cats do on sunny days.
The last of the garden flowers were blooming like mad - crocosmia, hydrangea, petunias in hanging baskets. One cottage had an outside staircase and there was a terracotta pot of geraniums on each step. I tootled along soaking it all up - food for the soul indeed.
As I neared Sedbergh I pulled into a layby and took a photograph for you of the Howgill Fells. Sedbergh nestles under Winder, the most Southerly of the Howgills. Aren't they lovely hills - I always think they look as though they are covered in faded green velvet.
Sedbergh is a pretty little town, so I took two photographs to show you the main street and the area round the church. I parked the car and walked to the pub where we were to meet - and there they were, my two friends, already waiting with a drink.
After lunch we walked to the bookshop - one of the best I have ever been in. I bought myself two second-hand books - a book of Dylan Thomas poems and a book of poems by Walter de la Mare - lovely reading for later tonight. In the entrance to the bookshop there was a massive hornet on the wall. I took one quick photograph and before I could take another one it had flown - so, although it is a poor photograph I thought you might like to see it.
The journey home was just as beautiful, in reverse. Most of the grass had been gathered in, but the wonderful smell remained. The river ran through the bottom of the dale, the green hills rose either side, the sheep (clean after all the rain last week) shone white in the fields and the cattle all lay in the sun, enjoying its warmth.
Is there anything better for the soul than such a journey?