Friday, 11 September 2009

"Not a breath of wind....."

".....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?


Heather said...

I felt I was right beside you as you drove through all that wonderful scenery Weaver. Howgill Fells are similar to the Malvern Hills not far from us. Walter de la Mare wrote a poem about the moon which I loved as a child - sadly I can't remember it apart from the bit about 'her silver shoon'. The little main street looks as if it hasn't changed for generations - I love that. You may have to put up with harsh weather at times, but your surroundings surely make up for it.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Weaver: You had me with you in the passenger seat all the way. Yes those hills do look like faded green velvet!

I feel exactly the same when confronted with exquisite scenes - like I do not want my camera as a barrier between me and the beauty. I particularly feel that with people I love. There are times to put down the camera.

Hope you have a sweet visit with Dylan tonight.

The Abbot said...

Lovely Blog.

We have rented a farm cottge just ouside of Sedburgh for the last two years and cannot wait till we again visit the wonderful Dales.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

What a lovely day and journey. And such a beautiful, interesting land. I love the little folded hills.

Thank you for taking me along.

PS: You'd have had to drag me from that bookshop!

The Solitary Walker said...

I love the Howgills. And I think I know that bookshop! Such a lovely part of our country. This week has been so perfect weather-wise: a true Indian Summer.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Your description is wonderful. I can tell you were observing with all of your senses...and you're right! That is good for your soul!

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Weaver, It was a wonderful experience feeling your day through your descriptions. Thanks for sharing. Your area sounds like a wonderful place to be. I even smelled the new mown grass with you...thanks!

Pam said...

How wonderful when an experience is too beautiful to capture with the camera! It sounds like a perfect day, and reminds me of the beautiful weather we experienced one October when we visited this area.I hold these memories dear, when the scenery is so different from our own here in Australia. I enjoyed your post Weaver, thanks for taking us along.

Arija said...

How wonderful for you to have such a golden day.
Here we are being blown off the face of the earth by searingly hot, dry North winds. Although Equinox is not yet here to herald Spring, ours is alreay behind us as the earth is being dried and the dust on the road starts swirling. A frightening reminder that another hot, dry fire prone Summer is lurking on the doorstep.

steven said...

weaver the howgills and sedbergh are so beautiful but your words were pure magic for me. i used to travel to the north of england in september because it is (for me) the most incredibly beautiful place in the world at my favourite time of year. these pictures are filled with feelings for me. so thankyou. steven

Red Clover said...

That sounds simply beautiful. Why is it that we don't take more time for moments like these?

Pondside said...

Thank you for taking me along for that beautiful ride. I enjoyed clicking on your photos to look at the detail - especially the countryside different from here and so lovely.

Golden West said...

I do so enjoy your writing - what a pleasure to join along on your outing.

Hildred and Charles said...

I'm glad you had such a lovely day, Weaver. Every bit of it sounds perfect, - and thank you for sharing it and your few pictures, - especially the one of the faded velvet hills.

Cloudia said...

Oh Bliss!
Perfectly, simply conveyed.

Thank you!


Comfort Spiral

mrsnesbitt said...

Was there many bikers around Sadberge? Would think there was, being such a lovely day!

acornmoon said...

I can well imagine your beautiful journey, such fabulous weather we are having. They say today should be a good one too.

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

I'm happy to know that you were concentrating on the road as well as the beautiful scenery! It's a great sunny spell although it always seems a shade on the cool side (some people!). Have seen the Sedbergh sign often so it's good to get a peek.

Teresa said...

That was lovely, Weaver. I could imagine myself there, seeing the sights and delighting in the fresh clean smell of grass.

Enjoy your books!

Jenn Jilks said...

Great post, Weaver. There is a time to weave, a time to snap photos, a time to simply taste with your eyes!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Here - especially for Heather - is the Walter de la Mare poem she mentions. Enjoy Heather -


Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log
with paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

Just think - if I hadn't gone to Sedbergh and bought the de la Mare book yesterday I would never have read that delightful poem.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The Bookshop is Westwoods (I think they also have one in Hay on Wye) and it is a very large second hand book shop with a huge selection beautifully laid out. I cannot resist it and go into it every time I go to Sedbergh.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to everyone - glad you enjoyed my journey. No-one mentioned the hornet - I now have an e mail from the friend who I met saying that he doubts it is a hornet!! I think it might be a queen looking for a winter resting place. It was certainly a fearsome creature - anyone any ideas on it?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Denise (mrs nesbitt's place) hit on one of the problems up here. The road from here to Sedbergh is full of motor cycles and we have regular fatal accidents on it. When i came home this morning from meeting friends in town for coffee, three police vehicles and an ambulance went through at speed with lights and sirens going - you immediately think "motor bike accident" - do hop0e it wasn't.

TheChicGeek said...

Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. I felt as though I was right there with you. Simply beautiful!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Janice Thomson said...

What a beautiful area Weaver. I am curious about the coloured markings on the animal...