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Friday, 22 February 2019

Derby Arms/Meathop

Thursday walk with Pete - 21st February 2019 - Derby Arms, Witherslack/Meathop

Today started with a mission. On an earlier post Gimmer brought to my attention a relic tractor situated at the entrance to Castle Head Field Centre at Lindale, so along with Pete we went to investigate. I don't think the model is a rarity so not of much interest, I guess, to Alan R my tractor enthusing friend. But, the state of disintegration it had now arrived at had a special attraction for me, and it was certainly worth the visit before we drove to the Derby Arms at Witherslack to start our walk.

The Derby Arms serves reliable and acceptable food in a rustic atmosphere and it was only a week ago I was there again on a family gathering.

Today we parked there to give us access to the A 590 underpass leading to the quiet road south over Meathop Moss. We were almost completing the circle from our recent visit to this area accessed a kilometre further south east from the Lindale/Grange road, and the two routes enclosing Meathop Moss Nature Reserve where an Osprey has nested and reared young for the last few years. Despite a couple of visits I have not had a sighting - we are hoping it will return again shortly.

The fields were flooded  and the drainage dikes full. We encountered  a few family cyclists, it being half term for many local schools.
Gimmer's tractor, and below. There must be a story to tell?

Pete's knowledge of plants is profound - "Vinca" he said.
I tried with unpublishable results to macro photograph the flowers

A590 underpass

Flooded Meathop Moss - the Osprey nests in a lone tree, high up, away over there to the right. There is a n RSPB viewing point accessed from the A590, but the nest is perhaps quarter of s mile away and only to be favourably seen with a bird watcher's telescope or high magnification binoculars.

Zoom shot to a more unusual tractor type vehicle - comment please Alan R.

This looked more dramatic than the photo as it towered over the road

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Arnside to Kirkby Lonsdale

Tuesday 19th February 2019 - Arnside to Kirkby Lonsdale.

Following recent preoccupation with drawing straight lines on maps and trying to walk close to them I drew one from home (Arnside) to "The Sea" - (east.)

I  doubt whether I will ever complete this route - the logistics are complicated in places, but I can see daylight for the first few days done on daily walk schedules and using public transport. So on a gloomy morning yesterday I set off from home at 7:10 am which Met Office informed me was the time of sunrise - well there was no sun and it was gloomy and fizzly, but light enough for walking. I actually used a new footpath for me only a few hundred yards from  home. It was a concreted path under the railway and across fields. A pleasant bridleway often walked and cycled in the past had views back to Arnside Knott in the gloom, and then a road climb through Hazelslack with posh houses and security gates and my first daffodils of this spring. Another new path for me from Slack Head through the woods to Hale involved a two hundred yard stretch of limestone pavement at an awkward slope all damp and greasy which needed extreme care. I was thinking to myself that it was my age and dread of falling with my two replacement knees and metal in my arm, but a bit further on I met a local competent looking walker who told me he always avoided that pavement when it was wet, so some justification for my trepidation.

I crossed the A6 and walked fields across to Holme. I had decided to photo stiles  guessing that these would be varied on this walk.

On a spell down the Lancaster canal I saw a notice indicating "coke ovens" on the other side. They were used in the early nineteenth century for producing coke for the smelting business and located on the canal side for convenient transport.

Leaving the canal I turned the wrong way down the minor road adding half a mile to my route including the there and back - yes, it still happens - I have said that these days I find out sooner, but it was not the case today.

After crossing the M6 and the A6070 I was into a fine stretch of English parkland, part of the Clawthrope Hall estate I think.

I came out onto a long quiet uphill road to reach the summit between the Farleton Fell massif and Hutton Roof Crags. All the way woods with high fencing and warning notices every hundred yards conceal Holme Park working quarry. Halfway up the road I chatted with a guy parked there and I thought at first he was listening to a radio, but in the middle of our conversation there was a huge explosion; that without any exaggeration was the loudest I have heard ever. The whole of the area, not just the immediate part where we were standing, shook and reverberated. This guy was from the quarry and monitoring the force as a legal requirement. I asked him about the reading - it is measured in feet per seconds or something similar and he told me the maximum figure on his instrument allowed was 6, so I asked him what this reading was and he said 0.7 - my goodness, if it had got anywhere near that maximum I would probably be on the Moon by now.

A pleasant path from the summit rising gently then contouring then descending had fine views to Farleton Fell and Scout Hill - this is archetypal limestone country. There was a nostalgic moment as I passed by Hutton Roof climbing crags, a decent length of one pitch good quality limestone  where we used to climb on summer afternoons.

From Hutton Roof I climbed to a plateau through sheep grazed fields with that top-of-the-world feeling, then a descent to finish at Kirkby Lonsdale. The double-decker bus to Lancaster was waiting departure in half an hour. I shopped in Booths then went aboard. I was the only passenger until the bus came to the outskirts of Lancaster. The driver chatted to me when he waited at various stops being ahead of time as a result of some pretty hairy driving through the country lanes - he had been at it for seventeen years.

A train from Lancaster had me back in my house for 5:00pm

The walk was exactly twelve miles and took seven hours including twenty minutes stop for munchies and coffee. What a good day.  The Limestone Link runs from Arnside to Kirkby Lonsdale, but I had ignored that so I could conform to my straight line project.

Lots of photos today - click first one to enlarge for slideshow.

Round the corner from home - just after "sunrise"

Twenty minutes later - back to Arnside Knot - from the bridleway

My first daffs this spring

Entrance to woods with scary, wet limestone pavement to come

This was lethal - not a place to have a fall

Photography majoring on stiles today. From the A6 - distant Farleton Fell 

On the way into Holme - Holme Beck

Lancaster canal

Early nineteenth century coke ovens across the canal

From the A 6070 into Clawthorpe Hall parkland

Pleasant parkland walking

The gate opened so no need to clamber here, but a fine example

The quarry guy measuring the massive explosion

This long zoom tried to capture a mass of rooks sampling this tree for nesting, but I, as Photographer of the Year, failed to capture all but two before the rest moved on. How do you do it Beating the Bounds?

From the limestone path over to Hutton Roof - Farleton Fell left and Scout Hill centre - the A65 runs along the valley in between

Hutton Roof climbing crags

Descending to Hutton Roof

Red line = straight Arnside/The Sea. Blue lines one mile north and south

Friday, 15 February 2019

Ordnance Survey northing line 38 (5) - Barrow to Nelson

Wednesday 13th February 2019 Barrow (SD 736 378) to Nelson

Usually the number of photos I take is proportional to the ambient temperature, especially more photos taken when I don't have the faff of constantly removing gloves. Today seemed to be an exception - there was a cutting little wind most of the time, enough to make gloves desirable. But, I have now started using the TZ 40 after the recent TZ 100 debacle and find it much more friendly. It is smaller and goes into a more convenient belt pouch that has an easy to open and close Velcro lid compared with the awkward zip on the larger TZ100 pouch. All the settings are more intuitive and I have developed a fondness almost to the point of anthropomorphism. I took even more photos than shown here, although you may not think I have been selective enough.

BC takes more photos than me - my activity tends to tail off towards the end of the day as pleasant tiredness and thoughts of a forthcoming hot bath take over.

We are getting into hillier country providing more interest and contrasting views. Pendle Hill has dominated this walk for some time and continued to do so.

At a farm a tractor was hooked up to a pump and fireman's type hose pumping presumably slurry. We followed the hose becoming more and more intrigued by the distance it was covering and at one point it had sprung a leak with foul yellow liquid jetting across our path - a wide berth was taken. The hose must have covered half a kilometre until we saw it a field away from our path hooked up to another tractor. We guessed that there was an attachment to distribute the slurry as the tractor would cruise up and down the field. Despite both of us having years of experience trogging across countryside we had never seen anything like this before. Unfortunately it seemed tractor number two was still waiting for full pressure (we guessed) and we were not able to see the anticipated action.

As we came into Nelson walking through part of Lomeshaye Industrial Estate a huge factory network appeared with the name Wellock who it turns out supply a wide range of vegetables and foodstuffs to end users. I think BC may post more history, but I said to him as we walked past that I had done business over twenty years ago with a modest family firm of potato merchants with the same name running only two small lorries, and I surmised that the names were just coincidental, but BC's research tells me that they are one and the same and my modest father and son family affair has grown into this massive enterprise with huge factory space and thirty or so prestigious commercial vehicles.

Crossing the A59 - now moving into hillier country

Kemple End and Longridge Fell. Whalley (I think) in the valley

Any guesses what this contraption is (or was?)

I wonder if SkipXpress know where this one is?

There was a definite smell of gas on the bridge just beyond. We were puzzled that this had not been tackled more urgently, fortunately neither of us smoke or I might not have been typing this

We followed the hose for half a kilometre or so. It became pressurised as we walked

Slurry jetting from a leak

Zoom to hose now hooked to tractor number two. We were intrigued hoping to see it do its stuff wondering how  exactly this could work, but we reckoned full pressure had not been achieved before it was out of our range.

20 x zoom with my modest TZ40 (my new friend)

Dean Farmhouse - 1574 - the extension on the right was added in the 19th Century

More guardians a bit further on

Pendle Hill overlooking part of the wide expanse of the Sabden valley. That valley, or large flattened bowl is not so apparent on the map but its scale made a strong impression on us

BC capturing sunlight on catkins.
The sun only appeared for us during the last hour of our walk

Straight purple lines = one mile north and south of green grid line 38 we are following