Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Friday 22nd April - Lowna and Farndale

Friday afternoon saw me walking with friends in Farndale. Rather than the well known Daffodil Walk from Low Mill to Church Houses I prefer the lower part of the valley starting at Lowna Car Park. Almost immediately we were into the daffodils. In the gardens at home in York the daffodils are pretty much done but here the wild daffodils come into flower later.




 



Along the path we came upon a Goldfinch that was far from happy to fly away from us. It just sat on the mud looking at us quizzically. Eventually it flew up on to the fence but was soon back in the mud.


At one of the farms there was a super grey cockerel. He had a little flock of black hens to shepherd around.




Up here in the dale it was lambing time and as you can see the lambs were only a few days old. One of them couldn't decide whether the daffodils were for smelling or whether they were for eating. Another had decided that the grass was too cold and wet so it was standing on mother's back to keep warm.







We had started in dull cloudy weather but as the afternoon progressed the sun came out and Farndale was at its spring best. The horses looked as though they wanted to be out of the stable and having a gallop.


In one of the cottage gardens there were some nice cultivated daffodils, easy to tell apart from the wild ones because they are so much bigger without the added help of the fancy doubles.




Walking back from Low Mill over Harland Moor to Lowna.


Finally back to the pub for a meal and a fancy pudding, The Royal Oak at Gillamor.







Sunday, 24 April 2016

Thursday 21 April - Huggate to Thixendale - along The Yorkshire Wolds Way

Thursday dawned fine and sunny which made it a great day for getting out and walking on the Yorkshire Wolds. Along the field edges the first of the "arable weeds" are now in flower. So there was the blue of Germander Speedwell, the pink of Red Dead Nettle and golden green of Sun Spurge lining the path in some of the cultivated fields.

In the woods and hedges I saw Larch, this pink female flower will eventually become the cone
 
 I always assume this white blossom in the hedges is the Blackthorn, but when I look more closely I can't find the thorns and the leaves seem too far advanced so I am wondering if this is Bullace or Wild Plum.

 Gooseberry flowering in the hedgerows.

The dry valley of Horsedale, last year's dead grass is hiding the young green growth of this year but soon it will be truly green.

Fridaythorpe is a village I have only ever driven through on the main road going to Bridlington. The residents have a sense of humour with a weather forecasting stone, a special blue plaque and a super new bus stop for the 12 buses which stop here each week.
 



For me it is more importantly the half way point of the Wolds Way,

 and it has a lovely pond where I sat and ate lunch watching the ducks and ducklings and saw my first House Martin of the year.




As I was leaving I realised the shallows of the pond were bright orange and this was because there were hundreds of goldfish warming themselves in the shallows.
 



Fridaythorpe has a lovely church which was restored in the early 20th Century by Sir Tatton Sykes of Sledmere. The clock face dating from this restoration has the reminder "Time is short: Eternity is long" dated 1903.



The altar and most of the internal woodwork dates from this restoration, although the altar had previously been in Sledmere Church.
 The arch over the doorway is believed to be Norman and at least 900 years old.


Still and almost cloudless blue sky, quite unexpected for mid-April

More sheep, it was so warm that many of them were sheltering in the shade of the trees although there was still no leaves on these Ash trees the sheep are definitely congregating in the shadows of the branches.


 

 Later I walked under a tree with a female Kestrel in the top branches


Finally a reminder of my childhood, when the road signs were all rather different. One of the farmers has acquired an old sign and used it to warn drivers to be careful as they enter his property.