Making Hay while the Sun Shines

Making hay while the sun shines

 

 

The fields surrounding Elmet Farmhouse are grown for hay each summer. As well as feathery grasses, they are full of wild flowers, including buttercups and sorrel. During the spring they turn from bright green to golden yellow tinged with red, providing a wonderful backdrop to the cottage garden. Watching the meadows grow to their full height is one of the pleasures of midsummer.

 

 

Hay-making normally takes place at Elmet from mid July to early August, depending on the weather. Roger and William Tennant from Horse Hey Farm just along the road at Crimsworth Dean cut and bale the hay for use as winter feed by their cattle. Their brother Jonathan, who delivers milk to the farmhouse, also lends a hand.

After the grass has been cut, it is left to dry for a day or two, then turned so it dries out more. The cut grass is then gathered up into long rows so that it can be sucked up and compacted into bales. The bales are stacked up in the field, before being loaded onto trailers and driven off to the farm.

That’s it for another year. All that’s left behind is pale stubble. But the grass is so lush that it soon starts growing again. Within a week or two the fields are green once more.

 

 

Haymaking August 2016

 

 

Silaging July 2017

 

 

© Text and images copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

Photo Journal – August 2016

Have you had your Five a Day?

Five photos taken on walks in the countryside around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, interspersed with views from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well. Yorkshire at its finest. Enjoy!                        (Lesley Jackson)

31 August 2016

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Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Packhorse bridge at Lumb Falls

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

30 August 2016

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Looking along Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike through a forest of lush green bracken

 

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Heptonstall church tower peeping over the hill at the end of Crimsworth Dean

 

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The mellow august meadows of Crimsworth Dean

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

29 August 2016

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View from Great Edge towards Grey Stone Hill

 

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A shard-like outcrop cutting through the heather moorland above Widdop

 

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Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

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Heather lapping at the rocks above Widdop Reservoir

 

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A gritty landscape softened by the tidal surge of heather each August

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

28 August 2016

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Vibrant August colours on the heather-carpeted banks of the reservoirs above Luddenden Dean

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

27 August 2016

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Heather-clad reservoir above Luddenden Dean

 

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Red rowan berries

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Heather on the hillside above Luddenden Dean

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

26 August 2016

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Elmet Farmhouse with shorn hay meadow

 

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View from the bottom of the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

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View from Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike in the distance

 

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Newly-cut hay meadow in the foreground, which will soon green up again

 

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Buddleia, veg beds and herbaceous border in front of barn next to Elmet Farmhouse

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

25 August 2016

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Moody mist in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Old Town Mill above Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

24 August 2016

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Shafts of light and pockets of mist in Crimsworth Dean early in the morning

 

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Emerald  green grass illuminated by sunshine in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Grain Farm bathed in the dazzling early morning sun

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Looking back towards Stairs at the far end of Crimsworth Dean

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

23 August 2016

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Ah, the famous River of Mist in the valley below Elmet Farmhouse…

 

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There’s nothing quite like it…

 

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Breathtaking is the only way to describe it

 

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Stoodley Pike swaddled by mist at 6.50am this morning

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial echoing Stoodley across the fields to the west

For more photos of the River of Mist at other times of year, click here

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

22 August 2016

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Looking along Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

 

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Heather-clad rocks…

 

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…on the aptly named Great Rock

 

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Above Widdop Reservoir

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

21 August 2016

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Dramatic panorama on Great Edge above Widdop Reservoir

 

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Huge lumps of sculpted rock…

 

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… cresting the hillside for miles and miles

 

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… like a giant tidal wave

 

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… with an ocean of heather on the moorland plateau behind

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

20 August 2016

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Roe deer in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Heather on the slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

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Heather and boulders near Wheat Ing in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Scabious in abundance in this beautiful hidden dell

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

19 August 2016

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View through the bracken towards Stoodley Pike from Crimsworth Dean

 

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It’s haymaking time here as well

 

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Rows of mown grass ready for silaging

 

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Herringbone pattern of mown grass in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Pinstripes on a long narrow field running horizontally on the slopes of Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

18 August 2016

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The heatwave continues  – early morning mist in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Sun bathing the shoulders of the hills

 

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Long shadows and hazy early morning light…

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… As the sun rises over Crimsworth Dean

 

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It’s not even 8am but the heavy mob are already out

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

17 August 2016

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Hot on the heels of Jonathan…

 

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… his brother Roger Tennant arrives with the baler

 

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The rows of loose dry hay are sucked up and compacted into bales

 

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Bale being extruded in the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Hay bales ready to be collected and taken along the road to Horse Hey Farm at Crimsworth Dean to be used as cattle feed this winter

 

©Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

16 August 2016

 

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After a week of unsettled weather, haymaking resumes at Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Jonathan Tennant at the wheel… 

 

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… gathering the mown hay into rows, ready to be baled

 

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Hand-raking a few last strays

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Hot thirsty work in the afternoon sunshine

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

15 August 2016

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Looking down from Raven Stones to Widdop Reservoir

 

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Monumental weather-sculpted boulders with heather springing up between

 

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Dramatic rocky outcrops on the hillside above Widdop Reservoir

 

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Heather amongst the rocks

 

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Looking along The Scout towards the long gritstone outcrop of Great Edge

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

14 August 2016

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Raven Stones above Widdop Reservoir

 

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Intermingled heather and bracken with the gritstone outcrop of Raven Stones in the distance

 

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Looking down from Raven Stones towards Widdop Reservoir

 

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Looking back along the rocky outcrop known as The Scout above Widdop Reservoir

 

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Heather and bracken on the moor above Widdop Reservoir beyond Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

13 August 2016

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Heather-banked reservoir above Luddenden Dean…

 

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… an oasis on the moor’s edge

 

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The heather has crept down from the moor onto the sloping stone sides of the reservoir

 

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One of the area’s hidden gems…

 

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… and one of my favourite places in all the world

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

12 August 2016

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Swaledale sheep in their natural habitat…

 

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… on the moor above Luddenden Dean

 

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… amongst the heather and the bilberry bushes

 

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… a harmonious ensemble 

 

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Heather in full bloom above Luddenden Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

11 August 2016

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Stoodley Pike from Heptonstall Moor

 

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Heather moorland near Widdop in the distance

 

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Heather on Heptonstall Moor

 

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Traditional laithe farmhouse with attached barn on Heptonstall Moor

 

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Pure unadulterated heather on Heptonstall Moor

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

10 August 2016

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Long light on the heather moorland above Hardcastle Crags

 

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Heather on Heptonstall Moor above Colden

 

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The Pennine Way cutting through the heather on Heptonstall Moor

 

 

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Hilltop farms, hay meadows and heather moorland above Hardcastle Crags

 

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Looking towards Widdop from Heptonstall Moor approaching Gorple Reservoir

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

9 August 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at 7.49pm yesterday evening

 

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Early evening sunshine drying out the hay in our meadow

 

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Beautiful light effects on the grass, the hills and the drystone walls

 

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Roe deer taking their evening constitutional near Pecket Well War Memorial

 

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Sun setting in the west, casting a pinkish glow on Stoodley Pike and Pecket Well Clough

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

8 August 2016

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Haymaking at Elmet Farmhouse 

 

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Stage Two:turning the mown grass in our field so that it dries out…

 

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The man at the wheel is Roger Tennant from Horse Hey Farm at nearby Crimsworth Dean

 

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Not a bad backdrop for haymaking – Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall in the distance

 

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Looking across the fields to Higher Crimsworth

 

For more photos of haymaking at Elmet Farmhouse, click here

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

7 August 2016

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A vast expanse of heather up on Wadsworth Moor – one of the best heather habitats in the Upper Calder Valley

 

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Much appreciated by the locals – including swarthy Swaledale sheep….

 

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… and hardy hikers on Deer Stones Edge, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Bilberry bushes and heather above Luddenden Dean…

 

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… yellowish green and vibrant purple, a perfect pairing

 

For more photos of heather, click here

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

6 August 2016

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Start of haymaking in the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Roger Tennant from Horse Hey Farm at Crimsworth Dean mowing our meadow

 

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Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon

 

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Haymaking in the evening sunshine

 

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Aerial view of our felled field – stage one of haymaking completed

 

For more photos of haymaking at Elmet Farmhouse, click here

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

5 August 2016

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View from Walshaw Moor towards Hardcastle Crags…

 

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…. with heather on the slopes

 

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Heather on the hillside above Blake Dean at Hardcastle Crags

 

For more photos of heather, click here

 

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View towards Blake Dean at the top end of Hardcastle Crags

 

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Emerging out of the woods into the bracken in Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

4 August 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse with schizophrenic blue / black sky

 

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Wisps of mist rising up from Hardcastle Crags after a shower

 

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Last view of our hay meadow before it gets cut

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial with patchwork of fields on the hillside at Slack, near Heptonstall

 

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Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon with fringe of hay and wraith of mist – a view that never disappoints

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

3 August 2016

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Crimsworth Dean, near Horse Hey Wood…

 

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… just along from Wheat Ing

 

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Crimsworth Dean, view towards Abel Cote Wood from near Wheat Ing

 

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A small pool of sunshine spilling onto the grass through the trees in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Several buzzards mewing and circling overhead

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

2 August 2016

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Long shadows at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Crimsworth Dean with Grain Farm in the hillside in the centre

 

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Top end of Crimsworth Dean with Haworth Old Road climbing up to Stairs

 

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Wheat Ing nestling in the valley in Crimsworth Dean

 

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View from hillside above Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

1 August 2016

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Crimsworth Dean looking idyllic in the soft early morning light on the first day of August

 

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The landscape is constantly changing colour throughout the year….

 

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The pale pinkish meadows are those where the grass is still long, whereas the green fields have either been cut for hay or grazed

 

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Upper end of Crimsworth Dean – an oasis of tranquillity

 

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The muted palette of Crimsworth Dean in hazy early morning sunshine

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

Photo Journal – June 2016

Have you had your Five a Day?

Five photos taken on walks in the countryside around Hebden Bridge and the Upper Calder Valley, interspersed with views from Elmet Farmhouse in the village of Pecket Well. Yorkshire at its finest. Enjoy!                        (Lesley Jackson)

 

30 June 2016

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View towards Hardcastle Crags from Walshaw Moor above Crimsworth Dean

 

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Crimsworth Dean, near Pecket Well

 

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Walking in the footsteps of Ted Hughes…

 

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… who roamed this valley as a child

 

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Foxgloves by the beck at Crimsworth Dean, curlews and lapwings overhead

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

29 June 2016

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Photos from last saturday’s circuit around the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop

 

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Inspiring views across Hardcastle Crags with Stoodley Pike peeping out on far horizon

 

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Late afternoon sunshine turning the hilltop meadows luminous green

 

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Above Hardcastle Crags near Walshaw

 

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Moorland meadow with reeds bursting through the grass above Crimsworth Dean – accompanied by a chorus of curlews

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

28 June 2016

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Goldfinch feeding on a thistle in Crimsworth Dean

 

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There seem to be a growing number of goldfinches in Crimsworth Dean – spotted regularly but difficult to photograph because they are usually flitting about at speed

 

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Hay meadows at Pecket Well earlier this month

 

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Elmet Farmhouse hay meadow in the foreground, Pecket Well War Memorial in the centre amongst the trees

 

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Sorrel, buttercups and grasses in hay meadow at Elmet Farmhouse

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

27 June 2016

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Elmet Farmhouse high cholesterol hay meadows full of butter(cups)

 

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These photos were taken from our top field on 5 June when the fields when the wild flowers were at their peak

 

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The mixture of red sorrel and yellow buttercups creates a dichroic effect

 

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Later this summer the meadow will be cut for hay to be used as winter feed for the cattle at Horse Hey Farm in Crimsworth Dean just along the road.

 

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Useful and beautiful – William Morris would approve.

 

© Photos copyright Elmet Farmhouse

 

26 June 2016

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Views from Elmet Farmhouse at 9.30pm last night…

 

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River of mist in the Calder Valley after a heavy shower

 

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The swathes of mist are constantly shifting…

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…as the trail of mist flows into Hebden Dale and Hardcastle Crags

 

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It looks like smoke but it’s water vapour trapped in the steep-sided valleys

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

25 June 2016

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Highlights from the Crimsworth Walshaw loop – my favourite walk

 

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Hardcastle Crags in the foreground, Stoodley Pike in the distance

 

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Late afternoon sunshine over Hardcastle Crags…

 

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… very different to early morning light

 

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Roller coaster view across Harcastle Crags, with Slack Heptonstall on the brow and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

24 June 2016

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Elmet Farmhouse with its cottage garden in full bloom

 

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Just look at that amazing peony!

 

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How many holiday cottages have such a pretty garden to sit out in?

 

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And beyond the garden wall is our beautiful hay meadow…

 

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… which is at its peak of perfection in June

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

23 June 2016

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Elmet Farmhouse – perched on the brow of the hill…

 

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…  surrounded by hay meadows

 

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Why not beat a path to our door?

 

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Lilac and laburnum trees on either side of the gate

 

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Elmet Farmhouse with its beautifully preserved 18th century stone mullion windows. The adjacent barn, dated 1861, is also Grade II Listed.

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

22 June 2016

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Views from Elmet Farmhouse with hay meadow in the foreground and Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial viewed from Elmet Farmhouse, with meadows full of buttercups and the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags beyond

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

21 June 2016

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The steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags snaking through the Pennines…

 

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… with hay meadows and lush pasture on the shoulders of the hills

 

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Higher up on the hills, the pasture turns to moorland…

 

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… and the terrain becomes much more wild and rugged…

 

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Tussocky grass and fluffy bog cotton up on Walshaw Moor

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

20 June 2016

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Midsummer at Walshaw Dean.. Has it been snowing?!

 

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Thankfully not – this dusting of white is bog cotton up on the moor

 

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The conditions must have been particularly good this spring as the bog cotton is looking spectacular

 

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It almost looks as though it could be harvested

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Later in the summer the moors will turn purple as the heather comes into flower 

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

19 June 2016

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Sandpiper at Walshaw Dean reservoir

 

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The famous rhododendrons at Walshaw Dean…

 

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… Late flowering because of the high altitude up on Walshaw Moor

 

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An unexpected surprise in this landscape…

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…And a tad surreal

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

18 June 2016

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Lapwing at Walshaw Dean showing its impressive crest

 

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Beak open – emitting comical noises like a kazoo

 

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Lapwing enclave near the lower reservoir at Walshaw Dean

 

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June is the best time to see lapwings as they are rearing their chicks on the moors

 

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© Photos copyright Ian Fishwick and Lesley Jackson

 

17 June 2016

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Crimsworth Dean – vibrant spring colours

 

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Path through the bracken towards Lumb Falls in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Towering bracken in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Crimsworth Dean with Stoodley Pike in the distance

 

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A sea of bracken in Crimsworth Dean

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

16 June 2016

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Goldfinch in Pecket Well

 

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Fledgling treecreeper chirruping in the woods in Crimsworth Dean..

 

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Clinging on to the bark and climbing up the tree

 

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Meadow pipit in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Pair of thrushes in Crimsworth Dean

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

15 June 2016

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Golden plovers among the bog cotton up on Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well, a short walk from Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Here’s one little chick captured mid-peep

 

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They’re not called Golden Plovers for nothing…

 

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…their plumage is iridescent greenish gold

 

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Catch them while you can – once they’ve finished rearing their chicks, they’ll up sticks and be gone

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

14 June 2016

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In praise of golden plovers…

 

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Peeping among the bilberries…

 

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And the tufts of bog cotton

 

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In the early morning sunshine…

 

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Up on Wadsworth Moor

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

13 June 2016

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Finally managed to capture one of numerous curlews in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Although they’re all-pervasive, they’re also elusive

 

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But this one was in a prime position on the horizon with blue sky behind

 

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The early morning light was perfect for capturing the detail

 

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Admire the curvature of that amazing beak – and the beauty of those canoodling cries

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

12 June 2016

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Lumbutts on a hazy spring morning

 

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Steep-roofed chapel in the foreground, curious tower in the background that once housed five waterwheels

 

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Lumbutts on the left and Mankinholes on right, separated by strips of fields

 

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The ancient village of Mankinholes, perched on the hill above Todmorden, nestling below Stoodley Pike

 

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© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

11 June 2016

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Climbing up to Stoodley Pike from Hebden Bridge

 

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An impressive row of narrow strip fields enclosed by dry stone walls

 

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Bog cotton thrives up on the moors

 

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Looking down towards Mankinholes and Lumbutts from near Stoodley Pike

 

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Hay meadow brimming with buttercups, flanked by rough moorland and grazed fields

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

10 June 2016

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Abel Cross – a pair of imposing coffin stones above Crimsworth Dean

 

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As featured in a photograph by Fay Godwin and a poem by Ted Hughes in Remains of Elmet

 

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Crimsworth Dean on a sunny spring afternoon

 

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Bemused sheep encircled by a trio of fledglings

 

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Fields dotted with grazing at Grain Farm in Crimsworth Dean

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

9 June 2016

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All change in Crimsworth…

 

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In May the woods were carpeted with blue…

 

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Now the hills are showered with gold 

 

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And curlews circle watchfully overhead

 

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Study in green and gold

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

8 June 2016

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Akroyd Farm in Pecket Well, an ancient dwelling encircled by buttercup meadows

 

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Fieldscape at Pecket Well with scattered handloom weavers’ cottages and farms

 

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View across Hardcastle Crags towards Stoodley Pike from Walshaw

 

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Swerving off into Crimsworth Dean from Hardcastle Crags

 

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Crimsworth Dean – the ‘secret valley’ as we call it, or ‘happy valley’ as it was known by Ted Hughes 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

7 June 2016

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Fields fringed with lacy white cow parsley

 

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Vivid green grass on the hilltop meadows… 

 

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…provides the perfect backdrop

 

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An avenue of cow parsley near Walshaw above Hardcastle Crags

 

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Contented ewes and lambs grazing on the high meadows above Hardcastle Crags, with Slack Top on the opposite hilltop and Stoodley Pike beyond

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

6 June 2016

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Pastoral idyll on ‘the tops’ above Hardcastle Crags 

 

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Sheep grazing on the shoulders of the hills…

 

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…above the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags

 

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Hilltop meadows tinged with yellow as the buttercups erupt

 

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The omnipresent Stoodley Pike thrusting up above the high meadows beyond Hardcastle Crags

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

5 June 2016

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Golden hay meadows in Crimsworth Dean brimming with buttercups

 

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Sheep grazing on the high meadows above Crimsworth Dean, with Stoodley Pike in the distance

 

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A chunky sheep, a rugged wall, pale tussocky moorland grass

 

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The lush woodlands of Hardcastle Crags in all their spring finery

 

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Walshaw Lodge overlooking Hardcastle Crags

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

4 June 2016

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Stoodley Pike  cresting the hill above Mankinholes

 

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Buttercup-rich wild flower meadows on the tops near Lumbutts

 

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Yorkshire alpine meadow

 

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Fields of gold above Todmorden

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

3 June 2016

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Views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well near Hebden Bridge on a perfect spring morning with the meadow in full bloom

 

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© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

2 June 2016

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Doe, a deer…

 

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… a female deer

 

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Circling her new-born kid in the field next to Elmet Farmhouse (see 1 June entry below )

 

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Protecting her offspring from predators…

 

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… and besotted nosey parkers, such as us!

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

 

1 June 2016

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Springwatch at Elmet! This beautiful roe deer…

 

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… gave birth to this tiny little kid in our field last week

 

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Mother and child doing well – here’s the kid having a feed

 

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And this is where it all happened – in the long grass of our hay meadow – with the backdrop of Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike. You can see just see the hind in the field on the lower right….

 

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And here she is leaping through the buttercups and sorrel, circling round protectively while her kid is curled up in the grass

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick