Monday, 26 July 2010

Comings and goings

Knee deep in heather at Wig Stones
My twenty three miles of running last weekend revealed a couple of premature happenings. One of the many things I look forward to at the onset of Autumn is heather coming into bloom as I run the high moors above Hebden and Grassington. The change is usually quite sudden: one week the landscape is a uniform, dullish brown. Next it's transformed into a vast expanse of mauve/purple that exudes a wonderful scent as my feet brush through it in sun and wind. Mid to late August, around the time of Hebden Village Sports, is the time normally associated with this annual display. This year, things are different.  As I ran towards Mossdale last Sunday (July 25th) I was amazed to find patches already in full flower.

And heather isn't the only thing ahead of schedule this year. Something else stopped us in our tracks as we sped through our fartlek session along the riverbank on Saturday. Mushrooms, those tasty, irresistable bright fungi that were sadly missing from our fields and menus last year are back in abundance. So, as soon as we'd showered and changed we were out foraging for more and came home with two or three pounds to make into lunchtime soup or to fry, with copious amounts of garlic, as a starter to our evening meal.

On the debit side one of our much loved Methodist ministers, the Rev Graham Kidman, preached his last sermon in Hebden on Sunday evening before his retirement.  He is one of that delightful breed of orators one always feels enriched for having listened to. He walks with a stick, slowly and awkwardly, and sometimes appears to have difficulty climbing the steps into the pulpit. But once there his deliberate, wisely chosen words and appropriate messages keep his congregation enthralled - for as long as he cares to preach. On Sunday I counted it a privilege to read the New Testament lesson for him, a passage from Paul's letter to the Philippians - that book that has us 'running towards the line for the prize of our high calling', an appropriate text for runners, and everyone else! We wish Graham much joy and happiness in his well earned retirement. 


  1. Very nice - I love mushrooms but wouldn't trust myself to forage for fear of poisoning the clan!

  2. Hi Runningfox,
    Oh my goodness, I would love to be able to run through fields of heather! It must be so lovely:) I love the picture! I am a huge fan of mushrooms too! Do you have a good recipe for mushroom soup?

    Nice job on your running this past week!

    Also, Runningfox, I just wanted to thank you so much for your comments on my blog. I know that you are right....I have been pushing myself and I need to listen to my body a little better than what I have been doing:) I appreciate your thoughts and opinions and feel lucky to have you as my English-poet and blogger friend:)

    Enjoy your week!

  3. Around this time of year, the wheatfields are tall and dark green one day, and then almost instantly everything seems to turn to gold. It's quite amazing.

  4. sure makes for wonderful views while out running.

  5. OO what a lovely pic Runningfox, I was scampering about Roundhill at the weekend but not much yet in bloom... can't wait for the Burnsall trip - hope you've got that entry in!