Monday 4 April 2016

A pre-dawn run.......

      Owls were calling from deep in Mellor Wood as I ran through frosted fields towards a red light hundreds of feet above me, the beacon on top of the tower on Castle Hill.  Dawn was still far away as I reached the summit in almost total darkness but for a thin red line across the eastern horizon. There was a dark shadow in the grassy kite flying area so I moved onto the path to avoid it and almost collided with a tripod set up to film the sunrise. The shadow was a photographer sat amongst all his paraphernalia, waiting, expectantly.
Back home at breaking dawn   (Click pictures to enlarge)
After a quick circuit of the hill I ran back down, sliding over mud in the breaking light, branches brushing my face, blackbirds beginning their morning matins and a fierce redness spreading ever further across the morning sky.  Before the sun rose, before neighbours had stirred from their beds, I was home again, feeling good, smug, satisfied - and hungry.  It was my first pre-dawn run for many a week and boy, did I enjoy it..
Along muddy Tinker Lane on Sunday
 With Sunday morning's lack of sunshine to open up early wood anemones around Appletreewick, we set off in the opposite direction in search of wheatears in the ghyll. 
Young ferns growing from the moss on the Miner's Bridge
Past a green haze of hawthorn hedges, where chaffinches, robins and dunnocks will soon be nesting, we crossed the old Miner's Bridge bedecked with young ferns and ran up the stony track into wilder regions. "Look, there on the wall" my wonderful partner whispered excitedly, "that's a wheatear".  Sure enough, before we'd reached Bolton Ghyll, we'd spotted our first of the year.
A stile, so must be on route.....
 We carried on running, up the 'slag heaps' where another wheatear crossed our path, on towards Yarnbury serenaded by curlews, lapwings and skylarks, across fields where hungry sheep thought we might have something interesting for them to eat, and back to the village through sodden fields - the last one boggy enough for a pair of mallard to have taken up residence.
....but off route among the sheep
We arrived home spattered in mud, with filthy shoes and soaking wet feet.  As we stripped and bundled dirty clothes into the washing machine I was jokingly accused of leading my wonderful partner astray, of taking her off-route through places we'd no business to be.  And I was thinking to myself 'but we're fell runners and we'll run wherever we jolly well like!'   Then again, it might be time for a re-think.   We can't run as fast as we used to do!


  1. Replies
    1. Aye, but it will be even better when there's a bit more warmth in the sun. Cheers Karien...

  2. Sounds like a great run. I love the stone walls.

    1. It was good Karen, but we'll be glad when the ground dries up a bit. Dry limestone walls are a distinctive feature of the Yorkshire Dales. Don't you have similar ones?

  3. No pictures of your wheatears... That say I never get anything more and a view and me!

    1. They're very shy when they first arrive Coach, and don't sing or hang around. Take a bit of spotting. Cheers!

  4. ... well I didn't like to say anything but it did look muddy! LOL!
    Thank goodness for washing machines.

    Applause from me for getting up early.
    Loved your photo's especially your wonderful partner and the sheep.

    Hope this week is going well for you - it's certainly going quickly!

    All the best Jan

    1. I suppose the week is going well Jan - Hospital appointment for stitches out of my eye, Dental appointment for filling, Optician to arrange for new lens in specs. It can't go quickly enough!

    2. Yes, sometimes weeks seem to go with visits such as these.
      Well now it is Friday evening I hope you may be sitting relaxing with a glass of something nice and that the hospital, dental and optician appointments are behind you!
      I sincerely wish you (and hope you have) a good weekend

      All the best Jan

      P.S. I have to admit to enjoying a chilled glass of Chardonnay ...

    3. Yes, those are all behind me now Jan. I've some funny things scheduled for next week though!