Easter didn't really begin until the day of resurrection. On Maundy Thursday I'd been prescribed yet another nasty concoction of anti-biotics, peppermint oil, Loperamide and lactulose for my troublesome nether regions, so for three days the farthest I moved was the 20m or so from my rocking chair to the loo, at a speed dependent upon the urgency of the event. All very boring.
The Easter morning communion service, followed by a pint of strong Italian coffee, seemed to recharge my batteries for an hour or two. Come 11am I was donning appropriate running gear for a wild 9 mile run by rocks, heather and bog to suss out yet another of my wonderful partner's planned walking routes to slot into her U3A schedule later this year.
|The solution, a swinging barrier......(Click to Enlarge)|
A 'keek, keek, keek' alerted us to a pair of peregrines mobbing a buzzard by a gaunt old building lower down the ghyll where we suspected the peregrines were nesting. It was a joy to watch them scything the air on swept back wings. Crossing the dam at Grimwith I'd found myself a little way ahead of my wonderful partner and in spite of my internal problems still managed to break forth into song ('Power of Love'
) in the beautiful surroundings.
|Running along Tinker Lane on a misty Monday morning......|
Easter Monday dawned grey and misty. My nether regions were playing up again so I opted for a wild run on my own where there was little chance of meeting any holiday hikers to witness impromptu loo stops! Thankfully there weren't any - loo stops or hikers - as I relaxed into an easy lope along Tinker Lane where brief flashes of sunlight through the mist transformed farm buildings into oil paintings. Dropping into Hebden Ghyll the mist suddenly cleared and I felt the sun's power on exposed bits of my anatomy as I ran for home under a vivid blue sky.
|High Garnshaw farm - an oil painting in the mist on Tinker Lane......|
Every Easter Monday Hebden Methodist Church put on catering in the Village Institute to raise funds for chapel maintenance. We went along for lunch and were treated to some of the most delicious spicy vegetable soup we'd ever tasted. It was more of a stew, very nutritious, and just what we needed to replenish calories we'd burnt off on our individual runs. Thankyou Margaret. The carrot cake was very good too. All of it!
|Big Booth - Alasdair in relaxed mood.....|
Tuesday marked a rare visit from Alasdair, my eldest son, he of the Adonis body who weighs exactly half as much again as his marathon running dad. With his eagle eyes he'd come to help us locate the illusive ring ouzels, once common throughout Hebden Ghyll. So common, in fact, that a book was written about them by an ornithologist called Ian Appleyard who for many years spent lonely vigils recording and photographing their nests and activities.
|Pewit's nest by Grimwith reservoir......|
Such is my son's incredible eyesight that we'd barely left the house before he spotted a wren's nest neatly woven into a clump of flowers hanging from a wall. In ten miles of walking we sighted a total of 38 different species which, lest I forget, are listed here:
Wheatear, meadow pipit, dunnock, Wren, grey wagtail, pied wagtail, curlew, lapwing, buzzard, skylark, golden plover, house sparrow, robin, chaffinch, mallard, redpoll, greylag geese, Canada geese, redshank, ringed plover, oystercatcher, teal, wigeon, jackdaw, song thrush, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, blackbird, reed bunting, greenfinch, wood pigeon, pheasant, red legged partridge, black headed gulls, starlings, red grouse. Last of all, joy of joys, we managed to find a solitary ring ouzel in a rocky area of the ghyll where they've previously been known to nest. It flew away and though we hung around for a while, it didn't return. But we'd watched it long enough to get a clear view of it's white gorget that distinguishes the species. So thanks Alasdair, without your help we wouldn't have seen a quarter of the birds you found for us, especially the ouzel. You can come again....
|Early morning light at Castle Hill......|
On Wednesday I returned to my town residence where, unusually for me, I spent most of the day resting and completing my course of anti-biotics. On Thursday I awoke at 5.45am raring to go. The Easter activities must have done me good for I reached Castle Hill in quick time - quicker than a group of runners from 'Total Fitness' who were being shouted at by their instructor who'd ridden up on a bike! I was on another of my so-called progression runs, each of the five miles faster than the previous one. For a recovering patient it didn't go too badly with a 12.02, 11.28, 9.42, 9.39 and a nice 8.40 to finish. I was happy with that. It rounded off our Easter activities very nicely. Roll on May Bank.