Photo Journal – March 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 March 2016

 

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Ivy-clad gateposts leading into the field in front of Elmet Farmhouse with Pecket Well panorama beyond

 

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View from Elmet Farmhouse with Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike on the horizon

 

 

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Early evening sunshine bathing the meadow in front of Elmet Farmhouse – a host of daffodils all set to bloom

 

 

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Elmet Farmhouse catching the rays on a sunny spring evening – goldfinches flitting about, first sighting of the spring

 

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Elmet Farmhouse garden awakens – hellebores in full bloom, daffs poised for action, bench in position

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

30 March 2016

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Turned out nice again…. The sparkling panorama from Elmet Farmhouse at 3.15 pm

 

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The Lodge at Hardcastle Crags

 

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Daffodils making a splash in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Velvety moss upholstering tree trunks, boulders and anything that doesn’t move down in Hardcastle Crags

 

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An enormous tree bole swollen out of control down in Hardcastle Crags

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

29 March 2016

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View from Pecket Well at 9.51 am. Where did this come from?!

 

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Daffodils in the snow in front of Elmet Farmhouse

 

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Mist in Crimsworth Dean as the temperature starts to rise

 

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Mist in the valley, sun lighting up the snowy hills

 

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And then it was gone! View from Elmet Farmhouse at 14.23

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

28 March 2016

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Fiery sunset at Pecket Well on Easter Monday

 

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Turneresque sky as the sun disappears below the horizon

 

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A beady-eyed mistlethrush staking out his territory in the garden

 

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A marvellous chorister, he starts the day with a dawn chorus and ends with a dusk serenade

 

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“How much would that have cost in Bettys?” Elmet Easter Simnel Cake – a Pecket Well Co-Production

© Photos copyright Ian Fishwick and Lesley Jackson

 

27 March 2016

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Rainbow over Luddenden Dean on Easter Sunday 

 

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Rainbow slicing Luddenden Dean in half after a day of schizoid weather – sunshine, hail and thunder, then sunshine again

 

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Where’s that pot of gold? Somewhere near Jerusalem Farm in Luddenden Dean

 

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Early evening sunshine brings Luddenden Dean to life

 

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March hare or Easter bunny? Well both actually, as it used to be thought that hares laid eggs, hence the origins of the Easter Egg. This fine chap was spotted on Easter Sunday in a field above Pecket Well – how’s that for serendipity!

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

26 March 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at Easter – another peerless Pecket Well panorama

 

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View of Heptonstall from Elmet Farmhouse

 

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The grass is definitely getting greener and the days are definitely getting longer here in the Kingdom of Elmet

 

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Horses grazing on the slopes near Pecket Well War Memorial

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial with the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags beyond and Slack in the distance

 

 © All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

25 March 2016

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Good Friday at reservoir above Luddenden Dean – a glorious sunny day in a glorious place

 

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Two small reservoirs hidden away on the hill above Luddenden Dean, one full, one half empty

 

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Reservoir with heather, bilberries and willow growing on its banks – an oasis for wildlife high up on the moor’s edge above Luddenden Dean

 

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Ruined tower in Luddenden Dean, all that remains of the Victorian mansion of Castle Carr

 

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Standing stone on Limers Gate, Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

24 March 2016

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Looking towards Heptonstall from the hilltop above Colden Clough

 

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Heptonstall Church on the horizon in the early morning mist

 

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Colden Water at ‘low tide’ near Lumb Bank following several weeks of dry weather

 

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Mallards swimming through pond weed on one of the overgrown millponds in Colden Clough

 

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Close up of pond weed – or is it an abstract expressionist masterpiece?

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

23 March 2016

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Meet our neighbours! 

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A medley of Pecket Well ponies on the neighbouring farm… and not a bad view!

 

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Up close and personal…

 

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Another member of the Crimsworth crew, a couple of fields over from Elmet Farmhouse

 

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When I grow up I want to be…. probably not much taller than this actually

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

22 March 2016

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Climbing up Shackleton Hill from Midgehole at Hardcastle Crags, sheep grazing in the foreground, Old Town Mill just visible on the far horizon

 

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A steep ascent up Shackleton Hill on one of the ubiquitous stone causeways or causeys that criss-cross the hillsides throughout the Upper Calder Valley, once used by convoys of packhorses delivering wool and collecting cloth

 

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Table Rock, as I call it, a great place for a picnic with splendid views overlooking the precipitous wooded slopes of Hardcastle Crags

 

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The trees in Hardcastle Crags may look uninhabited but a chorus of birds provided a glorious soundtrack to this view across the valley towards Slack Top near Heptonstall

 

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Back along the river through Hardcastle Crags past the familiar stepping stones across Hebden Water

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

21 March 2016

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Pied Wagtail looking rather dapper in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Crimsworth Dean from the fringes of the moors where the lapwings have recently taken up residence.  More demented aerial acrobats (see yesterday) and lots of curious kazooing as they stake out their territory and perform their strange mating rituals.

 

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An elusive lapwing with its distinctive plume and plumage hiding behind some reeds… And a couple of common or garden mallards waddling up the hillside in Crimsworth Dean

For more photos of lapwings and other birds in the area, please click here

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Pussy willow in Crimsworth Dean, another welcome sign of spring

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

20 March 2016

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Gadding about at Gaddings Dam, a disused reservoir up on Langfield Edge above Todmorden, now a nature reserve

 

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Gaddings Dam is almost as high up as Stoodley Pike, visible in the distance, but remains hidden from view until you get right on top of moor 

 

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The moorland around Gaddings Dam is a haven for skylarks, who were performing their aerial acrobatics and filling the sky with song

 

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Approaching Stoodley Pike along Langfield Edge

 

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Hang-gliders were also out in force at Stoodley Pike today riding the thermals and performing their aerial acrobatics too

 

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

19 March 2016

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Sun setting across the fields from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

 

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Big skies and arresting sunsets are one of the joys of life up on ‘the tops’ at Pecket Well

 

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View of Stoodley Pike from Old Town just along the road from Pecket Well

 

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A fine castellated wall and avenue of trees next to the cricket club at Old Town

 

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Old Town Mill, originally Mitchell Brothers, now home to various small businesses. The tall chimney dominates the skyline and can be seen for miles around

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

18 March 2016

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Percy the Pheasant posing on the gatepost, surveying his kingdom at Elmet Farmhouse

 

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With his gleaming plumage, no wonder he attracts the ladies!

 

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Blue tit scavenging for titbits on a moss-covered lilac tree

 

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A rather aggressive red grouse on Walshaw Moor with a reputation for attacking innocent passing hikers

 

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‘Heather bird’s eyebrows’, as beloved by Sylvia Plath

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

17 March 2016

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A perfect day for the Crimsworth Walshaw Loop – a horse-shaped walk starting in Crimsworth Dean,  with a panoramic stretch on the tops  above Hardcastle Crags 

 

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Looking across Hardcastle Crags near Walshaw towards Slack Top above Heptonstall

 

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The spring sunshine was so warm there was no need for coats . First frogspawn of the year spotted glistening in a puddle

 

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Even though there are no leaves on the trees, their outlines create feathery silhouettes against the green meadows along the top edge of the woods in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Crimsworth Dean Beck near Grain Water Bridge, the start and finish point for today’s walk

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

16 March 2016

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Gibson Mill, an early 19th century textile mill in Hardcastle Crags in an idyllic setting on Hebden Water near Hebden Bridge

 

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Built by Abraham Gibson of Greenwood Lee shortly before his death in 1805, it was originally a water-powered cotton spinning mill but a weaving shed was added in 1840 and a steam engine was installed in 1852.  

 

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Following its closure in the late 1880s, Gibson Mill became an entertainment emporium, housing a dance hall, a restaurant and a roller skating ring. It was transferred to the National Trust in the 1950s as part of the Hardcastle Crags estate.

 

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Gibson Mill was one of a series of mills on the banks of Hebden Water, but it is one of the last to survive, along with Bridge Mill and Nutclough Mill in Hebden Bridge. Remains of other dams, weirs and watercourses can be seen along the river in Hardcastle Crags, as with this embankment near Midgehole.

 

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Miniature pony grazing up on ‘the tops’ above Hardcastle Crags

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

15 March 2016

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A new perspective on the hilltop village of Heptonstall – aerial view from high up on Wadsworth Moor. As well the 19th century church tower, the 18th century octagonal Methodist chapel is clearly visible in the foreground

 

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Wherever you go in the Upper Calder Valley, Stoodley Pike is with you

 

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Stoodley Pike – ready for take off!

 

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Dropping down from Deer Stones Edge to the village of Pecket Well. Sunshine on Shackleton Hill,  separating Crimsworth Dean and Hardcastle Crags. Curlews overhead

 

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Not a look-out post or a folly, but a ventilation shaft for an underground water tunnel built in the 19th century to supply Halifax with water from Widdop Reservoir, an amazing feat of engineering, given the distance. There are a series of these shafts on Wadsworth Moor, some of which are Grade II Listed 

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

14 March 2016

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View from Elmet Farmhouse in Pecket Well on a sunny late afternoon in March

 

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Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall on the horizon, with Hardcastle Crags in the steep-sided valley below

 

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Highland cattle grazing in field above Pecket Well Mill

 

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Grade II* Listed Akroyd Farmhouse, the oldest building in Pecket Well, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. All the old farms in the area, including Elmet Farmhouse (which dates from c.1728), were built on ‘the tops’, rather than down in the valleys

 

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Wainsgate Baptist Church (1859) at Pecket Well, with graveyard backing onto Wadsworth Moor

 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

13 March 2016

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Introducing Kevin the Kestrel, spotted perching on a telegraph wire this morning in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Here he is hovering over the fields on the lookout for prey

 

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Just look at those beautiful striped feathers and that killer beak…. If you go into raptures about raptors, you might like to take a look at Barry the Barn Owl as well

 

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Another beautiful spring day in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Rupert and Lady waiting for Penny to put them through their paces in Crimsworth Dean. Look at Rupert’s fabulous glossy coat and his groovy loons – shagadelic!

© Photos copyright Lesley Jackson and Ian Fishwick

 

12 March 2016

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Snowdrops in Luddenden Dean

 

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The tranquil valley of Luddenden Dean, one of the spurs off the Calder Valley

 

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Lodge for the demolished Victorian mansion of Castle Carr in Luddenden Dean

 

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Detail of the archway on Castle Carr lodge in Luddenden Dean

 

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Pigmy goat being taken for a walk in Luddenden Dean, having recently  relocated from Cannon Hall, near Barnsley, apparently. Strange but true.

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

11 March 2016

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River of mist below Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well at 8.51 am

 

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Pecket Well War Memorial in the early morning mist

 

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Mist in the valley below Elmet Farmhouse at 7.14 am

 

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Spring arrived today triggering a wonderful dawn chorus. This robin had a good old sing in the garden this morning, along with his other feathered friends in Pecket Well.

 

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View from Elmet Farmhouse at 2.04 pm after the mist had cleared

To see more views from Elmet Farmhouse, including the famous river of mist, click here

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

10 March 2016

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Elmet Farmhouse (right) with bench in the garden for admiring the breathtaking viewsThe original 18th century stone mullion windows above both have window seats 

 

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Cottage garden at Elmet Farmhouse with hellebores and dogwoods. 

 

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Lots of spring bulbs nosing up through the soil in the garden at Elmet Farmhouse. It’ll soon be full of flowers. To see images of the garden at other times of year, please click here

 

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Herbaceous border and vegetable beds in front of the barn next to Elmet Farmhouse

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Elmet Farmhouse next to the historic barn overlooking herbaceous border and vegetable beds (freshly manured!)

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

9 March 2016

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Tiny pony in field above the National Trust estate of Hardcastle Crags, looking charmingly bedraggled in the rain

 

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The cost of living these days… Toll charges for packhorse bridge at Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Hebden Water running through Hardcastle Crags. One good thing about the rain is that it livens up the rivers…. 

 

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… And greens up the woods. Fallen trees and roots cloaked by moss in Hardcastle Crags

 

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Moss carpeting a dry stone wall near Gibson Mill in Hardcastle Crags

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

8 March 2016

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As winter draws to a close in Crimsworth Dean

 

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… splashes of colour appear, like these dogwoods 

 

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Woodpeckers are drumming and the green shoots of recovery are sprouting in the woods

 

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Wherever you walk in the steep-sided valleys around Hebden Bridge, water cascades down the hillsides…

 

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… Sometimes channelled by human hand, as here in Crimsworth Dean, where it once powered the textile industry

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

7 March 2016

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Snow-capped mountains and alpine meadows. No, this isn’t the Lake District, it’s the Upper Calder Valley in Yorkshire. They don’t call it ‘Little Switzerland’ for nothing! This is the view from Crimsworth Dean towards Stoodley Pike

 

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A light dusting of snow and a splash of early morning sunshine on the upper reaches of Crimsworth Dean at 7.50 am. A solitary dunlin prodding at a puddle and a kestrel on the prowl.

 

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Haworth Old Road climbing up towards Oxenhope Moor at the end of Crimsworth Dean. A glorious chorus of curlews, but all camera-shy.

 

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Dormant bracken, towering Scots pine and clear blue sky in Crimsworth Dean

 

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‘Me and my shadow’

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

6 March 2016

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Snow on the tops. Views from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well

 

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Zooming in on Stoodley Pike from Elmet Farmhouse

 

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White out at Stoodley Pike

 

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A mixed picture: snow falling at Pecket Well but sunshine bouncing off the hill below Stoodley Pike

 

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Hellebores bearing up under the snow

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

5 March 2016

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View from Wadsworth Moor above Pecket Well – blade of sunshine on snow

 

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Snowy moorland panorama, looking back during ascent to Deerstone Edge above Pecket Well

 

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Shaft for underground watercourse on Wadsworth Moor, partially obscured by mound of earth excavated when the shaft was dug

 

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Shaft for underground watercourse on Wadsworth Moor. Running water can be heard hundreds of feet below

 

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Back at the ranch. View from Elmet Farmhouse of distant hills on the far side of the Calder Valley and Stoodley Pike on the horizon. Yesterday’s snow gradually receding. 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

4 March 2016

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Mystery picture… Snow-powdered trees on hillside in Crimsworth Dean

 

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Every twig and branch laden with several inches of snow, which continued to fall for much of the day

 

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Track leading through Crimsworth Dean near Midgehole

 

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The secret valley of Crimsworth Dean transformed into a ghostly other world by the snow. Tawny owl hooting close by.

 

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Snow-capped bullrushes on millpond in the heart of Crimsworth Dean

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

3 March 2016

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Heptonstall Church on hilltop above Colden Clough

 

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Stoodley Pike from Colden Clough above Lumb Bank

 

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Snow on the hilltops above Colden Clough

 

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Stone-paved pathway across field into the woods at Colden Clough. A large flock of curlews taking flight, returning to the Pennines after their winter break

 

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Footpath leading down from Heptonstall to Lumb Bank

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

 

2 March 2016

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What a difference a day makes. View from Elmet Farmhouse at lunchtime after sudden heavy snowfall earlier in the morning. Looking towards Heptonstall and Stoodley Pike across the steep wooded valley of Hardcastle Crags

 

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Blue sky and sunshine bouncing off the snowy fields on the shoulders of the hills at Pecket Well and across the valley at Heptonstall

 

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Gateposts in the garden a few hours earlier at the height of the blizzard, with thunder rumbling ominously in the background

 

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Blackface sheep sifted with snow in the field above Pecket Well Mill, with blizzard storm clouds closing in

 

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Study in black and white. Blackface sheep swishing their white snow-covered fleeces in Pecket Well 

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

 

1 March 2016

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Not a great day weather-wise, but the view from Elmet Farmhouse at Pecket Well, near Hebden Bridge, is still pretty good

 

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Lots of lovely hellebores are flowering in the garden…

 

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… including some beautiful white ones…

 

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… and some in deep purple

 

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The snowdrops are still going strong and lots more spring bulbs are on the way. Watch this space… 

To see photos of the garden at Elmet Farmhouse during 2015, please click here

To view Photo Journal for February 2016, please click here

© All photos copyright Lesley Jackson

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