It seems ages since I've blogged, my computer's been on a bit of a go slow and is very frustrating. It let me type everything in and then seemed to jump and go back to whatever I was doing before and losing everything so I gave up...lol...lets hope I manage it this time.
It's been the May Day Bank Holiday long week-end here and the weather excelled itself, it was glorious which in its self seems highly unusual for a bank holiday, more often than not it rains! And with the weird weather patterns we've been getting it was a welcome change.
Anyway, we decided on a woodland and moors walk.
We started off in good spirits, driving along with the windows wound down and the fresh spring air blowing around our heads.
There were traffic jams for long distances, queues of cars all travelling in the opposite direction to the one we were going. All trying to get to the coast whilst we were headed inland. We passed them smiling smugly at our good fortune and their ill luck!
Soon we were high up in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park driving through the forestry on peaceful roads without another car in sight.
The silence was tangible with only the occasional bird call.
We parked up and changed into our walking boots, it was so warm we left our coats in the car, and set off on the trail through the woodland.
The diverse weather conditions we've had has meant that spring came about a month later than usual so the canopy above us was almost bare except for the beeches which are always the first to open their new leaves in that quintessential spring green that is so pretty.
A squirrel resplendent with a huge fluffy tail ran daintily among the trees stopping to scrabble in the undergrowth where he unearthed an acrorn, no doubt part of his hidden larder of food, and sat on his haunches devouring it hungrily, holding it tightly in his little paws cracking the hard shell with his sharp teeth before hunting out another one.
Clumps of paigles or cowslips shone bright yellow from the undergrowth.
Great tits and blue tits sang to us, elusive as ever and hard to spot even in the bare branches above our heads and a shy jay chittered at us before disappearing into the trees.
In a clearing a pond sparkled in the sunshine, flashing little starbursts as the slight breeze rippled the water surface. Reedmace stood fluffy and proud and marsh tits flew down to harvest the cottony fluff for their nests...there're going to be some cosy babies in them this year!
A beautiful weeping willow dripped green fronds almost to the ground and in the distance a cuckoo called, a sure sign of summer.
We sat on a huge stone and sipped from our water bottles watching a myriad of tiny flies dancing high in the shafts of sunlight.
The evergreens were laden down with cones and the larches with their delicate clumps of bright green needles were resplendent with bright pink female cones.
Stands of osiers were decked out in yellow puff balls and a lone blue tit worked their branches for insects.
We'd chosen a round route and we arrived back at the car through the pines, their tall trunks towering skywards and their shallow roots poking through the green sward were surounded by hundreds of tiny white wood sorrel flowers...so pretty like little stars on a green velvet backcloth.
Leaving the foresty we headed out onto the moors, winding our way through pretty villages and out on to the tops of Danby High Moor and the unusually named Fryup valley.
The heather by now usually green and welcoming was brown and dead, there were occasional clumps of green grass which the hardy moor jocks were feeding on. One patient ewe stood calmly whilst I took a portrait shot of her and even allowed me to get a close up of her lamb. She gave me a resigned look and carried on chewing as I clicked away. Her lamb was so clean and white he can't have been very old. It looked so cute, like it was waering a white jumper as it's head and legs were completely black.
We passed Fat Betty otherwise known as the White Cross stone waymarker, she looked pristine in the bright sunshine, erected in the twelfth century she shows the way to the now ruined Rosedale Abbey.
Close by is the Standing Stone of the Third Millenium, by contrast, a modern stone erected by locals to mark the millenium.
A startled red grouse whirred into the air, landed just long enough to scold us and then whirred on his way again. The valley sides are a patchwork quilt called a habitat mosaic. The heather and bilberries are first burnt off and the hillside cut into alternating strips of long and short growth which helps the grouse find the sweet young shoots they live on, it looked so pretty even though it was dead and brown.
We dropped down into Rosedale Abbey village where we sat under an umbrella in the garden of the famous tearooms and availed ourselves of a hot drink and a piece of delicious home made victoria sponge cake...mmm, delicious!
Back at the car we changed our boots and ascend the very steep Rosedale chimney before swinging up to Lockton Brow and the Fox and Rabbit Inn. A delicious sounding menu tempted us to have a meal. We sat outside under a large green umbrella and watched as the sun disappeared over the brow of the hill casting a beautiful orangy-yellow glow across the evening sky.
Here are a few pictures:
I love the beautiful bright green of new beech leaves
a clump of yellow paigles
pretty weeping willows
bright pink female larch cones
A 'moor jock' ewe
and her lamb, wearing his jumper...
The Standing Stone of the Third Millenium
the scolding red grouse