DATE                                         15.04.06

DISTANCE                                4.4 MILES

WEATHER                                BRIGHT AND WARM

START /FINISH                         FORESTRY CAR PARK (SEE MAP)

SPRING AT DOVE CRAG

 After my fish had left the pond and chased me across the garden demanding food I realised that spring had finally arrived, a quick look at there pond confirmed it, millions (well may be not millions but quite a few) frogs and toads where busy doing what frogs and toads do this time of years turning my lovley clear water in something like muddy pea soup. Time to put the pump and filter on I think , a quick flick of a switch and after a couple of gurgles water was splashing down the small waterfall into the pond ,  a quick check for leaking hoses and all was good , unless you was a small pond insect who was busy sleeping in the filter because next minute the pond was full of insects being washed out of the filter , the fish thinking that it was there birthdays soon started to eat them as quick as they could , I threw in a hand full of fish food just because I thought I should and left them to it , my better half came to the door after hearing the noise , the waterfall isn’t really noisy but on a still morning it does make a bit of a racket till you get used to it . Like wise it can make you want to go to the loo with its splashing and tinkling sound effects.

Any way pushing my luck a bit I suggested that seeing as its such a nice day how about getting out someplace  for a wander , once again you could have knocked me down with a feather when Yvonne agreed (hello who are you ? and what have you done with my Yvonne)  so before she could change her mind it was a mad dash to get the gear sorted and thrown into the car and we where off (in record time I think) we made one stop and that was at our local sarnie shop and being the kind generous person that I am treated us both to a sarnie of our choice ……………I know I spoil that lass at times and then  because I am such a nice person I really pushed the boat out and treated us both to a chocolate  bar (does my generosity know no boundary’s)

So we where off, at this time neither of us had a clue where we where going, just heading “up north” towards the hills we got as far as Sharperton when we spotted a few llamas  in the field , a quick stop and a few photos and we where off , I couldn’t for the life of me understand why someone would keep these animals but my better half informed me it was for the wool so there you learn something every day , somehow I found myself driving to  Holystone (just down the road ) we could have gone anywhere but as we where heading that way it seemed only right that we would pay the fairy glen a visit (dove crag)  and who knows maybe mooch around and find some other routes , I have developed a weird and wonderful system of walking a particular area a few times extending it or even overlapping  into different areas  before I move on to a new area , at first I didn’t even relies that I do this pre haps its some sort of safety system that I have developed  that is some sort of subconscious way of keeping myself under control , after all if I get into trouble with the terrain I can always head back to the path / area  that I know is near by then I can cope ( note from today ten years on sadly I still do this on a lot of my walks when I am on my own) maybe it’s a confidence thing who knows !

We parked up at the forestry car park, gear was sorted and off we went, our route for the day was nothing we hadn’t done before (see above map for route) we stuck to the paths that we knew , the one footpath that I hadn’t been on before was so overgrown we turned back after a hundred meters or so , it might have been spring but there was still several places where the ground was wet and boggy the only trouble was you didn’t know about it until you sunk up to your knees in wet brown smelly peaty muck , but that didn’t really matter because it was just one of those days where it was just great to get out into the fresh air and have a nice chilling day , we saw a Deer which is always  nice to see  but it buggered off before we could get a photo , we also saw a few red squirrels jumping around in a few trees , we did get a few photos but unfortunately you cant see them on the photos , I am thinking of spending some of my hard earned ££ and treating myself to a new and better camera , as this is not the first time I have missed things out when I have taken photos of smaller animals …………time to do a bit of research on cameras and find something better.

On getting back to the car and having coffee I had a sudden brainwave right out of the blue, I remembered a photo that I had seen about Biddlestone Chapel and the biddle stones   it seemed such a shame to head straight back home seeing how it was such a nice day and as we are in the area as well we decided that we would go and pay the Chapel a visit on our way home a bit about the chapel:

http://www.hct.org.uk/chapels/north-east/biddlestone-rc-chapel/9

Sadly the chapel was locked up and shut when we got there but it nice to have a mooch around and of course it planted the seeds in my tiny brain about setting off and wandering around the Biddlestone area.

A few photos from today:-

Llamas 

 

Lambs with mums enjoying the spring weather

 

My better half with a smile on her face (wind?)

 

A gap in the trees

 

Old row of trees I am certain that there is a story about them but haven’t found anything yet

 

Again a gap in the trees

Me striding out, it was that warm the coat came off

 

Cut down tree stump

 

Walking alongside a deer fence

 

Frog spawn and tadpoles

 

Looking towards the crags

Walking up a fire break (it looks ok but it was like a swamp under the green covering) we both went up to our knees in several places

 

Yvonne having a pose at the entrance to Dove Crag (the fairy glen)

 

A few photos of the huge sandstone blocks / walls as we make our way in

 

The very small spring waterfall

On our way out its always damp and very mossy here

Looking back you wouldn’t think that the glen was here

Just kidding

Our path

 

Tried this path but it was totally overgrown after a hundred meters or so

 

Now on a forestry track

 

Yvonne ……and she are laughing (what is going on?)

 

There is a footpath down here but we decide to stick to the forestry track

 

Take this on trust there are several red squirrels on the higher branches

On our way back to the car

 

Change of location now walking in the woods towards the Chapel at Biddlestone  an old tree surrounded by “new” fir  trees  (we returned a few years later and the fir trees had been cut down ) the old tree seemed much more happier to be in the sunlight again

 

The chapel

 

Me walking up to it, sadly it was locked up so we didn’t get to see inside

 

End view (read the link above for info)

 

Having a rest (well deserved even if I say so myself)

Last look

The Biddle stones

 

Day after thoughts , once again I didn’t have any problems with my stump or arty leg , I was a bit concerned when I sunk up to my knee in boggy water that the electrics in the knee would start to play up but my gaiters where waterproof and kept things dry for the short time it was submerged . But it is something that I will have to watch out for. (Note from today over the next few years I had multiple failures of this knee when it got wet , sometimes even when it rained it caused problems  but at this stage I didn’t know about this fault in the knee I only found out sometime later )

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