Sunday, 20 March 2011
Along the riverside.
All the rivers in the Yorkshire Dales are rivers which flood easily. Water comes down from the fells in times of extreme weather and some of the rivers can rise as much as twenty feet in an hour. This afternoon we walked with Tess to where two of these rivers converge - the Ure and the Cover. It is one of my favourite walks as there is such a wealth of wild flowers.
As I suspected we were a little too early for most of the wild flowers. But the pussy willow was just coming into leaf, and we saw our first sprig of hawthorne (we used to call this bread and cheese when we were kids and used to eat the sprigs while they were young.)
Purple violets were blooming amongst the grass and small tuffets of butterburr were just beginning to push their strange flowers through the ground elder.
This land belongs to the Scrope (pronounced Scroop) family who have lived in Danby Hall for generations. I took a photograph of the distant hall and tried to include a flaming orange willow on the river bank - they are all over at present and look liked lanterns.
Both rivers are very low at present and the land is drying up nicely. The photograph shows the Cover as it is today and the stones show where it has brought down material when it is in flood. In the foreground the large stones have been put there to stop the bank eroding away.
From the bridge I spotted Mr and Mrs Duck bush in the water. They are there in the photograph somewhere, although whether you can see them or not I shall not know until I put the photo on my blog.
All among the stones pied wagtails worked busily, their tails tipping up and down making them easy to identify. The whole earth is waking up; there is a smell of Spring in the air and tomorrow it will be here. Here's wishing you all a Happy Spring Equinox.