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A walk in the beech wood

Monday, March 17, 2014

Well, yesterday was another morning of sitting watching DH garden whilst I itched to be helping but there's only so much you can do with one frustrating!

It was a bright day with a clear blue sky, scudding fluffy white clouds and just right for a long walk. The only bugbear being the very strong and very chilly north east wind.

DH is an upholsterer and part of his job entails three visits to customers in their homes. The first is to see and measure up their items, the second to take away the items when the material has arrived and the third to return the items in all their finished glory.
Yesterday was the third visit to a customer who used to live near us but then moved away down towards the Holderness Plain after buying an old water mill. They're renovating it themselves and it meant a nice trip with their furniture.

The Old Mill is set in a little shallow sided valley on the banks of the mill pond and race, a manmade structure that saved enough water to work the water wheel to grind the flour. Sadly none of that is left now, just the mill pond, the race and the millers house.
As we rounded the bend into the drive way it looked breath takingly gorgeous. We could see that the beautiful elliptical pond had small streams running from each end of it, snaking their way across the fields in a thin silvery line.
It's ingenious how the pond was constructed to change an ankle depth little brook into enough depth of water to force the water wheel to turn. The narrow wide stepped run off from the pond is called the mill race, it actually generated enough force to make the water race across the mill wheel's wooden bucket paddles to turn the mill wheel.
It's a pity that part of the building has been demolished.

The pond was sparkling in the sunlight, swaying green fronded weeping willows and yellow blossomed forsythia bounding the edges as the wind ruffled water displayed breath taking reflections of the blue sky and the pretty.

Further down the drive pretty yellow dancing daffodils were swaying in the wind under the protection of a small grove of horse chestnut trees. The tree's sticky buds were already reddening up with the first of their new spring leaves.

It reminded me of a verse my dad used to say:

She wore her yellow petticoat.
She wore her greenest gown.
She turned to the north wind
And curtsied up and down.
Who am I?
Answer: A daffodil.

After leaving the mill we drove back up into the wolds again leaving the flat Holderness Plain behind us. Wind turbines, those huge blots on the landscape, were abundant on the tops of the wolds, you could hear the 'whumf, whumf' of their huge arms as they steadily turned in the sunshine .

Eventually they were behind us and the greening fields of the wolds met our gaze. We were aiming for Londesbrough Hill and a walk in the beech woods that lead down to the rim of the valley with it's distant views of the flat plains of Holderness.

We stopped in a lay-by and donned our walking boots.
it was quite sheltered behind the belt of trees but it was deceiving as DH found out to his the brave man he didn't put his coat on...Uh! Uh! he should have known better!
Out of the tree line the wind was fierce and very cold. I was snug in my fleece, complete with hat, scarf and gloves whilst DH'd actually said in the car "I won't need my coat, I've got my vest, flannel shirt and a thick jumper on so it won't be cold'...famous last words!!

We stepped out into the first ride, originally fenced around the wire mesh and occasional piece of barbed wire showed through the greenery of ground elder and ivy which had covered it almost from view.
The wood is actually part of the Londesborough Estate and private property but the fence has been down for years and no one seems to mind who walks there so we were happy enough even though we were technically trespassers!

The undergrowth was carpeted in the new bright green shoots of ground elder and occasionally little purple sweet violets and yellow primroses poked their pretty heads through their ruffs of green leaves to brighten the way a little.

Tiny little paths converged into the ride which was carpeted with the fallen russet leaves of the beeches. Crisp and crackly they crunched underfoot as we walked.

A brave little marmalade hoverfly sat on the bright yellow head of a dandelion, it didn't move when I took it's picture, perhaps it needed to warm up in the sunshine.

The beech trees were still bare of shoots though some of the smaller branches were still clothed in their crisp russet brown leaves, remnants of autumn which hadn't fallen yet. The leaves rustled in the wind.

Looking upwards the beech's bare branches swayed and shimmied in the wind, I felt dizzy after taking the shot, from looking upwards and the trees seeming to move, and had to hang on to DH until I got my orientation back!

The loggers had been at work thinning out the trees and large piles of logs lay in uniform lengths and piles dotted between the trees, the smell of sap was redolent and the ends of the logs seemed to glow in the sunlight which dappled down through the canopy to the woodland floor.

A squirrel's drey caught my eye, the perfectly round construction wedged high in the tree, built around and between two forks, it was bedecked with russet beech leaves and you could even see the little entrance hole...not sure if anyone was home but we did see a little grey squirrel further down the track.

As we neared the rim of the wold the wind seemed to get stronger, blasting into us making it difficult for me to take a photograph as I couldn't seem to keep the camera still...I'm only using one hand properly...hence the blurred picture of the squirrels drey!

The loggers had trimmed the brushwood at the edge of the wood so we had a clear view across the Holderness plain to Drax Power Station and beyond to Londesborough Hall itself.

Every time I see Drax it reminds me of my eldest son.
The cooling towers are always belching steam out and often the clouds seem as if they are almost to the tops of the towers so he dubbed it a 'cloud factory'. He was only four at the time but the name stuck and we always call it that now.
Yesterday the clouds were very low and it seemed misty in the far distance so the power station looked ethereal, like it was a fairy tale castle rising from the mist...silly I know but I wanted my son to be there to see it!
Not sure what he'd have's forty now!

The only thing wrong with the woodland walk was there didn't seem to be any birds, no birdsong or pretty littlies flitting from branch to branch as we disturbed them...very odd!

DH seemed minute as he strolled through the tall young birches, lots of them were being well and truly hugged by the parasitic ivy. They looked pretty but it will eventually turn to a deathly hold for the trees.
The ivies were still sporting their purpley-green berries, their leaves looked so pretty with their delicate veining.
Some of the little twigs also had lichens on them, pretty sage green and pale yellow, caused by the wet weather we've had.

Arriving back at the car windswept and rosy cheeked I took my coat off and re-parted my hair whilst DH put his coat and the heater on!
He sat warming his hands around a steaming mug of coffee as the warmth flowed back into him.

It was a good walk, a little cold but very invigorating and it didn't rain which is a bonus after all the wet weather we've been experiencing.
I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The beautiful mill pond

Pretty yellow forsythia

Daffodils under the horse chestnut trees

Marmalade hoverfly on a dandelion flower

DH looks small under the tall young beech trees

Parasitic ivy hugs the beech trees

Log piles

The swaying canopy that made me feel dizzy!

Pretty yellow primroses

Yellow and green lichens on a twig

Delicate veining on an ivy leaf

A well constructed squirrel's drey

Londesborough Hall c1589

Drax Power Station aka The Cloud Factory!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Enjoyed your blog and the pictures. Maybe we will get spring soon!
    1463 days ago
    My goodness you are a good writer! I could almost picture it without the photos. Then I got to your photos and they are so beautiful! You are a good photographer too!

    1464 days ago
    What beautiful word pictures you paint! And your walk was lovely. Are you one-handed temporarily?
    1464 days ago
    Wow! As usual it was wonderful reading your writing and looking at your pictures! Thanks for sharing!
    1464 days ago
    such a beautiful walk and always a pleasure to read such a fine writer thank you.
    1464 days ago
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