Saturday, 30 April 2011

Pastoral View

Pastoral View
A peaceful view from Ossom's Hill near Grindon towards Wetton village on the near horizon. The Manifold Valley lies between with the rock outcrop containing Thor's Cave to the right.
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 53mm, 1/640s @ f/7.1)

Friday, 29 April 2011

Hay, Peter and Monk's Dale

A selection of photos from today's walk through Hay Dale, Peter Dale and Monk's Dale.

Top of Hay Dale
Lower Hay Dale with the English Nature sign board
My walk today took me through three of the dales in the north of the White Peak area of the Peak District. Hay Dale, Peter Dale and Monk's Dale are three separately named parts of a single valley running from Peak Forest to Miller's Dale. They are surprisingly different in character. Hay Dale is quite open, with grassy banks with some exposed limestone. Peter Dale is wilder. Sometimes tightly enclosed by limestone cliffs. Monk's Dale is deep and dark with a very stony path leading through the bottom. Hay Dale and Monk's Dale are both part of the English Nature's Peak Dales National Nature Reserve. The main natural interest is the wide variety of plants tolerant of calcereous soils.
Early Purple Orchid

Peter Dale
Path in Monk's Dale
The path through Monk's Dale is very good for strengthening the ankles ... or for breaking them!
Moss covered wall in Monk's Dale
Speckled Wood

Wood Sorrel (Shamrock if you're Irish!)
Near the bottom of Monk's Dale
The three dales (and Dam Dale to the north) are dry except for the bottom few hundred meters of Monk's Dale where the stream emerges from its secretive underground course. A pleasant walk if a little tough on the old ankles! All the photos will enlarge with a click.

(All Photos: Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm lens)

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Waterfall Church

SS James & Bartholomew, Waterfall
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 19mm, 1/400s @ f/9.0)

The tiny village of Waterfall is between Leek and Ashbourne and close to the Manifold Valley. My walk yesterday Started from nearby Grindon, headed down into the Manifold Valley and along the Manifold Track (now a cycle route, but once a light railway line) and then up to Waterfall. The church is beautifully maintained in a well-kept churchyard.

Waterfall Low

(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 62mm, 1/400s @ f/9.0)

A hill nearby is called Waterfall Low. Many of the hills in the Peak District are called "Lows". The name comes from the Old English word "Hlàw", which simply means hill. Many of the Peak District Lows have neolithic burial mounds at the top and Waterfall Low is no exception. In the photo you can make out the profile of the tumulus to the left within the clump of trees. The sites have been viewed as sacred or magical through the ages which explains why these hilltops often are blessed with a small clump of trees, never cleared for fear of disturbing the spirits of the ancients!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wolfscote Dale

Wolfscote Dale
The River Dove in Wolfscote Dale on Easter Monday.
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 10mm, 1/400s @ f/8.0)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Canal Reflections

Caldon Canal near Froghall
A quiet bend on the Caldon Canal near Froghall. I liked the reflections.
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 19mm, 1/200s @ f/9.0)

Friday, 22 April 2011

Dandelion Field

Dandelions and Spring Trees
I know that Dandelions are a pain when they go to seed. Not everyone enjoys seeing them but, in spring, they put on a glorious show. The trees in new leaf also look superb on a sunny spring day. This photo taken near Butterton in the Peak District National Park.
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 10mm, 1/1000s @ f/8.0)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Butterton Ford

The Ford at Butterton
Speaks for itself really. A beautiful spot.
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 24mm, 1/400s @ f/8.0)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Field Horsetails

Field Horsetails and Dandelions
Field Horsetails are coming up in profusion alongside the Caldon Canal. This photo was taken between Froghall and Consall.
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 53mm, 1/250s @ f/9.0)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Lud's Church

Lud's Church

This deep, mysterious chasm was formed by a massive landslip many centuries ago. It has been considered a sacred place since pagan times and was used as a secret place of worship by the Lollards in the 15th century. It may have been named after Walter de Ludank, a Lollard who was captured here after one of their secret meetings.

Lud's Church is associated with the legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
"A hole in each end and on either side
And overgrown with grass and great patches
All hollow it was within, only an old cavern
Or the crevice of an ancient crag"
So says part of the 14th century poem about the location of the battle between Sir Gawain, one of the Arthurian knights, and the mysterious Green Knight.

(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 12mm, 3 exposures HDR in Photomatix)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

1940s weekend at Cheddleton

Austin Seven Boat-tail Sports
The 1940s themed weekend continued at Cheddleton today. There was a rally of pre-war Austin Sevens and, for me, this was the star of the show!
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 10mm, 1/1000s @ f/6.3)

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Steaming out of Consall

Leaving Consall station for Cheddleton
This weekend is a 1940s themed weekend on the Churnet Valley Railway. The platform of Consall station was "invaded" by a garrison of German troops (hence the 3rd Reich Battle flag) and the local Black Lion pub was taken over by the French Resistance!
(Canon EOS 60D, Canon 55-250mm IS @ 60mm, 1/160s @ f/6.3)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Evening in Cheddleton

Evening view from my study
Looking south-east from the study/spare bedroom this evening.  The farmland of the Staffordshire Moorlands with Morridge, in the Peak District National Park beyond.
(Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 17-70mm @ 20mm, 1/200s @ f/11)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Three Shires Head

Three Shires Head
Misnamed on the Ordnance Survey 1:25000 map as "Three Shire Heads", this local beauty spot is the point at which the counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire meet. The young River Dane flows through the attractive packhorse bridge and over a series of cascades. In earlier times it was best known as a venue for illegal cock-fighting and prize fighting. The protagonists would flee to one of the adjacent counties when the authorities arrived as their jurisdiction finished at the border! Now it is the meeting point for several public footpaths and is a popular place in the summer months.
(Canon EOS 60D, Tamron 10-24mm @ 11mm, 1/30s @ f/22)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Staffordshire Sunset

Staffordshire Sunset
Sunset and crescent moon from the Leek-Buxton road. (A bit of a cheat as I have enlarged the moon to make it look more significant!)
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Local

The Boat Inn, Cheddleton
The Boat Inn is only 10 minutes walk down the road from our house. It is next to the canal and near to Cheddleton Station (steam railway). It's a nice pub with good food and well-kept (Marston's) beer. What more could a man want!
(Panasonic Lumix TZ10)