January 14 kingfishers

Peakland journal in Yorkshire! After a week of horrendous gales ,rain and snow we sojourned in Yorkshire walking along the canal at Saltaire.The day was still and fresh with some warmish sunshine. We met at lovely couple of birdwatchers who pointed out a kingfisher preening himself on a barge on the opposite bank. My phone camera could not get a decent picture. An added bonus and a surprise was to catch another pair of kingfisher s further along ! Three in one day . Result!

Listening : “The Delaware Road”

January 4

A glorious day in the Peaks encouraged us to pack a picnic and head beyond the borders into Cheshire to Wildboarclough to climber up the Cheshire Matterhorn. After finding a car park we undertook the reasonably short walk to the base of the  “mountain” .To be fair it was higher than we thought and quite a hard ascent no doubt down the the fact we lost the path!There were spectacular views from the summit !

Listening : A Year in the Country “fractures”

January 2

The festive season has quietly past and January has arrived bringing winter .Today is crisp and bright .At this time of year the sun rises over Stanton Moor and breakfasts and coffee are illuminated by fantastic light. Often low cloud and mists make for a dramatic and atmospheric light show.We take an afternoon walk in the cold on one of the “Rivendell Round” walks we invented. It is a beautiful day and we are completely taken by surprise by an incredible Starling murmeration that has made its home not 1/2 mile from our front door.The show is not only a surprise but also spectacular in the dying orange light.A great start to the year!

Listening: The Gentle Good “Ruins”

Winter Solstice 2016

Spent most of the Winter Solstice day with Billy Bye on Bye and How duties .After freshly made cheese scones and coffee ,(thank you Sue) we headed out to the Eastern Moors in the Dark Peak .An atmospheric Solstice day was our companion .Billy was channelling Fay Godwin ,capturing the light on the fells and water and the amazing skyline. Everything was inspirational.I used inks and acrylics working fast to capture the magic of the day.The ancient stones stood proud in the landscape which greeted the Solstice in silent reverence. Truly a day to welcome the return of the light.

Listening : The Memory Band “A Fair Field”

Dec.19. shortening days.

Winter Solstice is almost upon us. The days are shortening. Today is dull with leaden skies,not particularly cold and there is no wind.I love these days , everything is still, there is time for reflection and preparation for the Solstice. There is still time to complete the clearing of old patterns and possessions of the old year. It’s time to look forward to new opportunities.It’s late afternoon and we are walking above Lathkil Dale.In the distance mist is forming over Bradford Dale. The grey skies are suddenly full of starlings heading to roost not just hundreds, there are thousands swirling above our heads. A breathtaking spectacle as they head for the roost. We have a laugh at odd stragglers who have missed the main flocks. Back home our seasonal lights greet us cheerily!

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Dec 12,13,14.

Mid December! Fog bound for days.Everything is still.The land is enveloped in the blanket of low cloud. Bare trees once laden with leaves etched against the bleakness. The stillness is tangible and I let it quieten my soul .

Midweek! Clear blue skies ,the sun is even slightly warm! The light is sharp.Still no wind ,it’s a beautiful day! We get out passing a hidden place where I left a picture ( it’s yours if you find it). It is a day to delight in after the gloom. Nature is quiet though. We come across a track way of funghi as we meander along. The sunset is just breathtaking and we stop and stare in wonder before heading home. Darkness falls and the moon rises ,huge and orange through the trees.

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Listening : Tim Story “Perfect Flaw”

Dec.7th Dusk

Out on the trail near home on a gloomy afternoon. Leaden skies and low cloud. Very atmospheric ,and in its own way, beautiful. Very still ,no wind and dusk descendend quickly. Lost in thought I am considering some words from Brad Warner’s book “Sit Down and Shut Up” dealing with Dogen’s teaching about the present moment. Meanwhile magpies are grumbling in the hedgerow and a couple of bats whirl around above our heads. The half moon appeares as the air cleared. Home beckones as does “the present moment”.20161207_16180820161207_161756

Listening : Tor Lindvall ” The Park”.

Still Days

The last week of November and first few days of December have been still and quiet. Atmospheric morning s beautiful days and starry skies. We have explored old ground ,the edges and moors where not many people wander. A visit to the local Starling roosting site was wonderful with literally thousand of birds wheeling and whirling making graffiti in the skies. Joyous days drinking in the incredible sunsets with a flask of tea and chocolate biscuits.

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Listening : Plinth “Winter Songs”.

ElanValley. ( Repost )

It seems hard to believe that a week ago I was wandering the Elan Valley with Toby Hay and Jim Ghedi. The skies seemed full of Red Kites and Ravens.The scenery was just mind blowing great skies and miles of wilderness and lonely farms.We hung out on the site of Shelley’s house and saw a salmon jumping in the falls at Marteg and had snow. Altogether wonderful.All before the exhibition !!

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