Monday, 18 February 2013

Another burst of Spring.






Yes, I know, the temperature is set to plummet later this week, frosts throughout the night - but dry.   That is a blessing because everywhere is still sodden and every dry day means a little less waterlogging.

But yesterday (and today actually) the temperature 'soared' to 7 degrees, the sun shone, there was little or no wind and the farmer and I, with Tess in the back, set off after lunch for a 'ride out'.

On the moors leading up into Swaledale they were burning the heather.   This is done every year to keep the heather short - it is a kind of pruning really.   These are grouse moors and grouse (and moorland sheep) feed on heather.   If it wasn't burnt back it would become leggy and die out.   The air was filled with the aromatic smell, which was not unpleasant.

Up on the tops we could see the little town of Reeth in the sun; we made for there and then turned North up into Arkengarthdale (named after the Arkle beck - all dales are named after their watercourses).   Once up on the really high moor we looked down on the village of Langthwaite with its church and typical grey stone cottages - a lovely little village which featured often in the James Herriot series (particularly The Red Lion pub).

Higher up still there is no vestige of Spring anywhere.   Patches of snow lie and the watercourses look cold.   We stopped at a track to have a walk with Tess only to find that after a short distance it was a ford across a beck and too deep to cross.   So we carried on climbing until we came to the Tan Hill pub - the highest pub in England, on the edges of Swaledale and Teesdale.   In the distance the higher hills of Teesdale were swathed in snow and even at the Tan Hill pub there was enough snow lying around for children to be snowballing.  

And so we tootled back through Swaledale until we came to Ivelet - one of my favourite packhorse bridges over the River Swale.   Here we stopped, walking down the hill and over the bridge and into the field to walk by the river.   The river was in gentle mood and how Tess enjoyed the new smells.

We were out for three hours - one of them spent in the fresh air and goodness me, how much better one feels for that. Coming home past plenty of churchyards, gardens and roadsides awash with snowdrops in bloom did the soul good too. 

12 comments:

MorningAJ said...

More photos of wonderful Yorkshire. You make me so homesick!

Where's that bridge? It looks a lot like Glaisdale.

The Inchie is up here now. I was a bit late posting it today.

Gwil W said...

I always enjoy your rides out. The beautiful photos make my heart ache with pleasure. The Alps are nice but they are so jagged. Yorkshire, and dare I say it, Lancashire are the loveliest counties along with Cumberland and Westmorland and Northumberland . . .

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

So beautiful! Your photos are wonderful. And how I love the name "Arkengarthdale". Surely it belongs in Tolkien's Middle Earth. It sounds like a waterfall.

Heather said...

Yorkshire is a beautiful county and I love that packhorse bridge. Every day I notice a little more growth on plants in the garden. I did my first weeding of the year yesterday but the soil is still very wet. I'm indoor weeding today, sorting out books I no longer need.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

OH what a wonderful day - I love the vie of the little village - and the bridge. Everything sounds fabulous! An early taste of spring is always a teaser.

Angie said...

That shot of the bridge is gorgeous.Thanks for sharing in wonderful words and photos.

Mary @ Colony Mountain Folk Art Dolls said...

Must let you know how much I enjoy your photos of your beautiful countryside. I am still getting an education...new words and new places which I must research. Also enjoyed "The Time Is Now." You were such a lovely girl!

angryparsnip said...

Beautiful, the fourth photo really reminds me of the James Herriot stories.
I love these outings that I can come along.

cheers, parsnip

Hildred said...

What a wonderful outing you have had today, Pat - I am happy for you for I know how such days lift the spirits and make spring seem closer. Marvelous pictures.

ChrisJ said...

All the years I lived in Yorkshire I never knew they burned the heather.

Dave King said...

Superb images. And mention of the burning of the heather brought back some wonderful memories. So much thanks.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for visiting. Glad you like the photographs - when you live up here it is easy to get used to the views so that you hardly notice them. Being an incomer I try never to let that happen - we are so lucky. The bridge AJ is Ivelet Bridge in Swaledale, between the villages of Muker and Gunnerside. I love Heather's description of taking out books she no longer wants as 'indoor weeding.' I could do with some of that here - either that or buy yet another bookcase.