Tuesday 8 March 2016

A snowy weekend......

It snowed heavily last Friday morning. I'd climbed out of bed before 6am and got dressed ready for a run. Whilst enjoying a cup of coffee I happened to switch on the security light to view the weather. It was blizzarding! The surrounding fields were white and it looked like it was snowing heavier by the minute. My running clothes didn't stay on very long!
Looking out my window at 6.30am Friday  (Click to enlarge)
I put mealy worms out for the birds but they soon disappeared under the snow, confusing robins and blackbirds who stomped around peering through the window, begging for more. They'd have to wait. I wasn't going out again in that stuff!
Where have my mealy worms gone?
By Saturday morning most of the snow had cleared and, to our surprise, back in Hebden the sun was shining and fields were green again. A group of people gearing up as we arrived were runners from the Ripon area about to set off on their own version of the Trollers Trot, a 25 mile trail run, the official version of which was cancelled this year.
Getting wet feet
After lighting the stove and downing a much needed mug of coffee we set off in a different direction to that theTrollers group had taken, following a lively Hebden beck up towards the moor. We got wet feet crossing the partially submerged stepping stones, so no point in avoiding any future wet stuff.
At the parting of the ways
We parted company at a higher stream crossing below Cupola Corner, my wonderful partner bound for Yarnbury and a fast run down Moor Lane, me heading for Blea Ghyll and a steady trog down Backstone Edge.
"Look, a flappy"
We'd no sooner parted than a black and white bird with floppy wings flew over and I shouted across excitedly - "Look, a flappy!!!" Some call them Lapwings, others Pewits, some Green Plovers, but to us they're always Flappies. Excitement over, we went our different ways.
Past old lead mine workings, into the snow dappled landscape
Higher up the moor much of the trail was covered with snow and some ankle deep water.  Not every runner's cup of tea.
Not every runner's cup of tea...
 Elsewhere vast pools had formed from rain and meltwater, transforming the landscape, making it a different and more dramatic place to run.
That gathering storm - and pools where no pools used to be...
 I'd been taking photographs of such things without taking notice of the weather. Suddenly it dawned on me a nasty looking storm was brewing in the North East. The sky looked full of snow, and it was blowing my way. At 1,300ft I suddenly felt rather exposed and vulnerable. I turned tail and ran, back the way I'd come. The safer option, I reasoned.
Running back the way I'd come, the storm following behind
  Most was downhill and it wasn't until I reached the bent tree 2 miles from home that the storm caught up, snow highlighting my hair and eyebrows, invoking visions of The Snowman - and Tarja - that soon had me 'Walking in the Air'. Music is never out of my mind, and I love singing, but a hooded couple trogging uphill with their trekking poles obviously didn't.
Back in Hebden, the stove had been stoked and the kettle boiling as I wiped my feet by the door, looking forward to a hot drink - and that half a pork pie!


  1. only half a pork pie, haddn't you earned the whole pie?

    How do you keep your feet warm when they get wet in weather like that?

    1. She'd bought the pie for lunch the previous day - but forgot to eat it. But I remembered it!
      Parts of the moor are soggy all year round, so I'm used to wet feet and rarely feel cold. I can even enjoy it - which all goes to prove fellrunners are not normal people!

  2. All your photo's are lovely to look at, although even looking at snow can make me feel cold!
    Your eighth image showing 'That gathering storm - and pools where no pools used to be...' is my favourite.

    Glad you enjoyed that half a pork pie, and warming cuppa.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thought you'd have gone for the cheeky robin Jan?
      I've had wonderful times running in snow and very rarely feel cold - though once or twice being caught out a long way from home. I'm more careful in my dotage!
      Cheers for now.....

    2. "Thought you'd have gone for the cheeky robin Jan?"
      Yes - I very nearly did LOL! But somehow I just loved the 'atmosphere' created in photo 8 ...


  3. Lovely pictures, as always. May I ask what camera you use on your runs, Gordon? Your pictures are always of such high quality - do you run with your DSLR?

    1. The secret is in the editing Karien. All pictures are taken with a simple, tiny little Panasonic Lumix DMC FS16 (no longer available) which goes everywhere with me. I edit all pictures in Picasa. Then, when I've decided which ones to use in my blog, I'll crop them, put a border round them, then upload them to Google for further editing (brightening, sharpening, etc.).
      But I hate Google. For reasons best known to itself it uploaded ALL edited pictures to my new smart phone. I deleted them to free up space - and scores of pictures disappeared from my blog - permanently. Yesterday I put a more recent profile picture in my blog (see it by this reply) and it appeared on my Facebook page! Hate Google, grrrrrr.
      Thanks for calling.

    2. Thanks for the tip, Gordon. I also run with a small "aim and shoot" weatherproof camera, but obviously I'm not editing properly - my photos come nowhere close to yours! Back to the editing table for me then... :)