My Peakland Journal entries will be fewer for the present time due to an extremely busy period of time folks x Evenings are beautiful though!! Continue reading May 2017.
April ended with a flurry of activity preparing for Open Studios for Beltane. The weather turned cold and overcast with a few bright days.A great day wandering west of white edge was a highlight as we followed an old trackway. Nearer home part of another old way is Dark Lane.A sunny morning revealed buzzards and we could hear but not see a Woodpecker near by. We also took ourselves out west to another of our “secret places” . The countryside is quiet though. A few Lapwings we heard Curlew s but not seen them in the flesh!
Listening : Dean McPhee “Fatima’s Hand”
Walked to the top of Coombs Road today .So quiet and peaceful. We were entertained by a nuthatch in an old oak tree .3 Buzzards circled Manners Woods and we spotted a couple of early Red Admirals. Lots of Hawthorn blossom and pussy Willow adorning the hedgerow. Wrens, robins Goldfinches and unusually for Manners wood a pair of ravens! A lovely place to be.
Listening : Cunning Folk
April has blessed us with fine weather but a recurring calf injury has curtailed any serious exploration s. After setting up my installation “Times Past Remembered” at the Old House Museum we managed a couple of walks around town .Much activity in the hedge rows and the rookery nearbye. We also took a trip to enjoy the Tony Cragg sculptures at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on a glorious day.An added bonus a Brigit Riley as well…
Listening : Citizen Steely Dan
A glorious March day finds if wandering on the Eastern moorland .The day is truly lovely with a warmth in the sun . The highlight of the day was finding a sunbathing Adder by the side of path .What a beautiful creature he was. He was certainly sleepy but once aware of us the snake casually slipped away into the undergrowth.A wonderful gift. We were making our way back commenting on the lack of bird life when almost out of nowhere a Hen Harrier flushed a lark (?) into the air and proceeded to catch him in mid flight. Absolutely amazing. The hawk took his prey to ground before flying overhead his catch clearly visible in his talons. Our day was capped by a pair of beautiful Ravens , their glossy plumage glistening in the afternoon sunlight, landing close by, unconcerned by our presence. Tea and flapjack with a great view rounded things off perfectly!
Listening : Pefkin/Bell Lungs
Another glorious day. The ancient is calling . Minninglow . The sun is warm and the ancient site awaits . Breathe in the air ,the views are spectacular and we have fun creating an offering to the spirits of place. Sue spots a Buzzard so high it is almost out of site .He or She is joined by a partner and they mew to each other high above.It is hard to leave such a special place on a day like today. Just as we are moving off the familiar “cronk” of a Raven .Not one but two .They bless us by flopping and swooping ,their strange noises echoing down to us.They head off South West and we follow.
Listening : Piblokto “colourless fields”
After a period of very inclement weather March delivers the goods. Lathkill is glorious.The river is full,flowing freely ,the first time in ages there is enough water to bypass the old mine workings that cause the river to almost dry up in summer.Tufted Ducks ,goosanders ,swans ,mallards coots ,moorhens and dippers.Everything is alive. The sky is blue ,the sun is warm dappling through the still bare branches. At Bateman’s House we relax in the tranquility. The ghosts of old miners can be heard in the underground stream as it gurgles away through the ancient underground caverns. We can hear buzzards somewhere then they appear swirling above the trees mewing to each other. Happiness ? You can’t buy this feeling of belonging . Still and peaceful with just the sounds of Spring for company. Thank you.
Listening : Pefkin “liminal rites
A very strange few days with storm force winds heavy rain and airport journeys . I was saddened to see a row of old hawthorn trees downed near us! Home to Blackbirds ,wrens and a stopping off place for little owls in the evening and a winter feeding station for redwings and fieldfares They were no danger to anyone Seems so pointless. An brief encounter with a badger nosing around on the road one evening was a highlight !! He soon galloped off into the cemetery !
Listening : Toby Hay “The Gathering”
Reading and finishing “The Outrun” by Amy Liptrot (read it please). February doesn’t know what to do ! Fog ,wind ,rain ,spring sunshine… Fortunately nature does know what to do! The first signs of spring. Early on Sunday I was woken by a blackbird singing! First time this year! A walk down town via the rookery and sure enough the gang were chasing and mewing,pairing off and generally busying themselves in the tree tops. By the river the Mallards are very active. Havnt seen a goldfinch in the garden this year until yesterday .One called in for a chat as I was cutting back the sage bush. Last night around 11-30 pm as I was reading in bed (H is for Hawk) I heard Tawny Owls . It’s been a while. So things may be on the turn ,there are even crocuses and snowdrops showing off.
Listening: The Magnetic North “Orkney Symphony”