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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Higher up the moor much of the trail was covered with snow and some ankle deep water. 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.
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.
|Looking out my window at 6.30am Friday (Click to enlarge)
|Where have my mealy worms gone?
|Getting wet feet
|At the parting of the ways
|"Look, a flappy"
|Past old lead mine workings, into the snow dappled landscape
|Not every runner's cup of tea...
|That gathering storm - and pools where no pools used to be...
|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!