Walking the Track.

 

Monsal Dale Trail

She adjusted her backpack higher onto her shoulders for comfort as she walked in the drizzle that fell from a cloudy sky.

It was a humid morning and she noticed the slight headache from the pressure of the long drive, but she knew once she was on the path her head would clear. She breathed deeply and repeated her now familiar simple mantra of Sa Ta Na Ma silently to herself and as she walked, calm surrounded her being, it was going to be a good day.

The trail she had chosen was straight and even, she had walked enough rugged tracks in her life time, now all she wanted was a smooth road with no hidden surprises.

She had walked this part of the trail many times, and she never tired of it, there was always something new to see within each step of her journey. The breeze was gentle, she loved to feel it brush against her cheek, caressing her skin like an old friend. The wind always fascinated her how one moment it could be so gentle and the next it could be so fierce. Nature was always about extremes and balancing the two.

It wasn’t long before she saw a cluster of crab apple trees laden with fruit. It had been a good year for her own apples and she was grateful for their harvest.  She wondered should she take a photo of them, but her camera was in her backpack, so she left it there. She logged the sight to memory as a long ago thought of her Grandfathers allotment came into her mind. She sent him a silent thought of thanks for his own encouragement when she was a child, she loved nothing better than sitting in the wheelbarrow while he wheeled her to his plot, many happy hours were spent in among the cabbages and peas..

A station platform

The track had once been a busy railway line which had connected an important route in the Peak District from Derby to Manchester. But like so many other things, progress in the 60’s which opened up many new motorways had given rise to many railway lines and stations being closed down in 1968.  Something only time would dictate had been a huge error as now many motorways were congested with heavy goods which could have easily have been transported by the railways. She smiled at her thoughts, ‘Progress often took a step backwards’.

Just one of the bridges we need to pass in life.

Monsal Dale gorge was carved out over five million years ago by glacial melt-water or so the geologists experts say, from the last ice-age. It carved a huge valley out leaving behind the limestone layers which geologists say are over 335 million years in age. These limestone outcrops were all over the National Peak District and the woman had seen evidence with her own eyes that all had once been beneath the ocean, for hadn’t she and her friends from her childhood village found fossils  of whole fish pressed in the side of the limestone rocks in Coombes Dale near her childhood home. They had since been covered by brambles as she had tried unsuccessfully to find them, but that trail also nature had closed in on the once busy track that had led up to the long disused Sallet Hole  Mine, but which was very much active when she was a child as it mined Fluorspar. And the village had known to its cost when in 1968 one of the flotation dams which processed the fluorspar had sprung a leak and part of the village where she lived had been flooded by mud. Many people woke up that day to find their homes flooded in water and mud.

Amazing what takes root in the limestone walls that were carved out along this track.. These trees all growing in the rock face.
All we need is to seed our thoughts in the right places and allow them room to grow.

The Track she now walked had been converted into a walking and cycle path and also served as a bridal trail. And although the hour was still early in the morning already the path was becoming quite busy as people drove and then hired bikes at near by Hassop Station.  And a couple on horse back had already trotted by.

She would often played a game with people who were passing her on her walk. She would smile into the eyes of walkers as she greeted them with her ‘good morning!’. Some responded cheerfully back while others would never look up, avoiding eye contact altogether. These would often just mumble a response, surprised a stranger would speak.  She loved playing this game, and could almost guess who would speak and who would keep their eyes in a downward glance as she sensed their energy.

The Human race were a funny lot, some so closed within themselves as they shut the rest of the world out, fearing strangers. The world had taught them to mistrust and fear. She felt sad for these beings who didn’t look past their own horizons. Many walked and talked head bent, never looking up to see the scenery or wildlife around them.   This morning a happy group of what looked like foreign students had all stopped on their hired bikes. Their origins perhaps Japanese or Chinese. Each happy snapping away their selfies on long poles laughing and giggling in their own language, they were  all enjoying their biking experience. She smiled and greeted them and they respectfully greeted her back, which brought another smile to her lips. Strangers from a foreign land it seemed were more trusting of her than her own fellow countrymen and women. Yes, we’re a funny lot.

Hawthorn Berries in abundance

Her headache had disappeared as she knew it would, the drizzle had also stopped as the sun began to peek a little behind the low cloud. And as her gaze looked skyward she saw a blaze of red. Now this had her reaching in her back pack for her camera as she looked upon the magnificence red berries of the Hawthorn.

Ash Keys

This Magical tree was laden with berries, branch after branch weighed down with natures harvest for wild life. She  remembered back walking with her father who had broken off young leaves of the newly shooting hawthorn in Spring, saying they were what his father had known as Bread and Cheese. As the leaves were eaten and were filling when not much else was about.

Rose Hips

Tree after tree were full of berries, even her neighbours Rowan Tree was full of berries. Each year she would look at the signs of nature who knew exactly what she was doing. And the Rosehips too, although not as large because of the drought, they were still plenty of berries around.

It was a pity more Humans did not pay attention to what nature was doing around them, even her little hedgehog was busy collecting leaves to make a cosy place for his hibernation.

This part of the trail took her under one of many bridges over the trail which took roads over the railway track. Each bridge may look similar in size and shape. Yet each brick was placed there by different hands through blood and sweat. These bridges dated back to when the line was first constructed from 1863.  Those who worked upon the railways back then were mainly Irish Navvies, who laid the track dug out by hand and who built the tunnels.  Theirs was a hard life, full of danger and it was said nothing was thought out of the ordinary of one or two men losing their lives along each mile of track laid.

Amazing what takes root in the limestone walls that were carved out along this track.. These trees all growing in the rock face.
All we need is to seed our thoughts in the right places and allow them room to grow.

She now looked at each bridge she passed beneath with a different pair of eyes. While each bridge looked similar in construction, she now envisioned what it was like back in its day of being built. Each brick laid by a different pair of hands. Men who had left their families back in Ireland who were in search of bettering their lives, who were not afraid to leave their homeland to work.

We all have to walk our paths over which are placed many things we need to over come.. But we are all given the chance to bridge our differences..

Nothing any different from the people who leave their homelands now around the world to enter a foreign country who are also striving to better their existence.

We have so much to learn upon our journey, So much to learn about Judgement and prejudices .

Some lessons in life can look the same, Until we learn to over come them.

She looked at each bridge with new eyes, seeing we too were like bridges – each carrying our loads as it spans it own journey to get to the other side to its own destination.

Monsal Head Tunnel.. coming around the bend.

We are all walking our paths, carrying with us what we need to sustain us, All of us have walked along rough terrain at certain junctures in our lives. And some have had to walk through their own dark tunnels, not knowing how long the bend will last before we see the light at the end.

Light at the end of the Tunnel.

But when you finally emerge and you stand on your own Bridge, The Viaduct and look down, you begin to see the landscape from a whole new perspective.

You then can look back through your dark tunnel, and give thanks it led you to where you now stand.

As you look back at the tunnels you have come through . Monsal Head Tunnel.

The train had made its last journey through the tunnel carrying passengers back in ’68. But its demise had allowed thousands now to find their own feet and place them one step in front of the other along the Monsal Trail.

View from the other side of the viaduct bridge

This is the viaduct from which the view of the Valley below was taken from

View from the other side of the viaduct bridge

She hitched up her backpack once more, and began to place one foot in front of the other as she continued along the Path..

I hope you enjoyed this little story of a journey along a railway track… May all of your tracks in life be smooth and straight.. 

Happy Walking 

Spring is Springing..

Tree Damage.. In one of our Storms

Tree Damage.. In one of our Storms

Well what a month we have had again weather wise… It seems the weather can not make up its mind what it wants to do.. One moment it is warm and mild with Sun and blue skies. The next its cold, frosty with snow showers and Gales as Storm Doris swept across the UK..

( if you hover your mouse over the images you will see what is growing)

I have not felt like tackling the allotments as  yet due to not feeling 100%.. But my hubby has made a start and has hoed up some winter weeds and started to turn over the earth in places which were not dug over at the end of last years season.  But I went a walk to the allotments and took my camera with me to take some photos..

This was my first visit to the allotment this year for me.. I really can not wait to get back into it.. I have instead been pottering around the home garden clearing and cutting back dead growth.

We have made plans to where things will go as we rotate crops.. And the seeds we planted are already through and have been transplanted into larger pots and put in the green house to slow down a little .  More are still on our home window sills germinating. Which include tomatoes which are now showing signs of growth.

So to show you more signs of Spring , we did a round trip walk as we walked from the allotments we went on an hours walk this is literally  begins five minutes from our allotments ..  So I have included these in a slide show.

Thank you to all of you who have recently subscribed to my gardening Blog.. Please make yourselves known and I will get back to you.. 🙂 I was amazed at the new numbers of new followers this month so thank you for subscribing.

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Happy Gardening I hope you now have Spring in your Step

~Sue~

Whiling away an Afternoon

I am surknitting-for-barbiee all of you Mums and Grandmothers out there have at some time  been creative, knitting dolls clothes..For me it was a rainy afternoon last week when I got out some scraps of wool to add to my Granddaughters Barbie wardrobe..

In fact for nearly a week we have had rain most days.. Yesterday being the worst day  as Storm Angus  swept across Britain. I know we struggled taking our granddaughter home  after school through roads which were flooded. Thankfully our car made it through the flooded roads ok.. But some in front of us were not so lucky as their cars got flooded and cut out..

My thoughts are with the family of the lady who lost her life in the storm and for those whose homes were flooded yet again as rivers broke their banks and roads just couldn’t take the amount of rain which fell in such a short space of time on already soggy ground..

Needless to say nothing much is happening on the allotment front, but the good news is the green house and sheds are still standing as we had several wild mini tornadoes in our area last Thursday which caused damage.

But I will leave you with some peaceful scenes as these pictures were part of our Sunday walk a week ago when the Sun came out for the morning.  We spent a time watching the Inland Seagulls which are quite common now in our area dive down fishing in this small pond which feeds several man made small lagoons stocked for the fishermen to fish.

This whole area once belonged to one of the many coal mines Shirebrook Colliery.  Now all the coal mines are closed. And the Slag heaps that were once an eye-saw around every Pit village  mostly have now been converted into trails and nature reserves.. I worked for 5 years in Shirebrook in textiles just after the Coal mine was closed.   And for those interested in History I found this video of the Town and its history. My Granddad worked all his life in a pit such as this from the age of 14 until his retirement aged 65..  He worked with pick and shovel in those early years when there were Pit ponies then down the mines and often would work with water up around his knees.

I hope you enjoyed this post as I whiled away  yet another late afternoon as the rain keeps falling..

Take care of yourselves..Wishing you all a Peaceful Week where ever you may be .

~Sue~

 

 

 

 

 

Autumns Golden Treasures

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Autumns Gold early morning along a favourite local walk.

The end of September saw both my hubby and I busy getting the allotments straight for our short break away in Scotland so it would be low maintenance upon our return.. Little did we think it would be so mild.. or that in England the rain coupled with the mild weather give our newly cleared weed free allotments time to grow. But as we all know weeds seem to have a growth spurt known only to themselves.. So we still had plenty to keep us busy when we returned..  Our time in Scotland on the other hand was Sunny and dry, not one drop of rain did we have until the day we departed for home.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

Tarbert Scotland Loch Fyne.

There was much to do still, as the tomatoes had all about finished, and I made lots of fresh tomato soup daily as my husband cleared out the greenhouses both at home and on the allotments.  A tasty fresh tomato recipe can be found here. on my recipe pages.

The next thing we did was gather up the squashes.

For what ever reason, this year has not been half as good as last year for our butternut squashes.. They have not really ripened and many were decaying and going bad.. In fact those you see we put to ripen on the window ledge a third have already have had to be thrown away.. 

I spied this lone Nasturtium  amid the Squashes..  A splash of Gold amid the leaves.. 

The Autumn raspberry canes were cut back down to the ground.. The Spring ones we did in the beginning of September as I showed you below how we had thinned out the old shoots  and spaced them and tied them to the frame.. We have since cut back the tops to the top of the wooden framework. 

Raspberry Canes And Gladioli

And no Autumn post would be complete with out a few Autumn pictures. So here is a local walk we often do to a wild life lake close by. 

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Vicars Water

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined :-)

We came across this quite tame Robin. He stayed posing for us for some time.. My husband held out his walking stick to invite him to hop onto.. He considered it but declined 🙂

This week has dropped colder and we have had our first overnight frost.. I gathered in what was the last of the Dahlia’s I think, they have given me a tremendous amount of pleasure this  Summer and Autumn and an abundance of flowers which have been share between family and neighbours. 

Dahlia's

Dahlia’s

As the garden winds down for the year, my craft work will now come out. My Knitting and Artwork will replace the gardening..  And already I am well into a knitting  project which I will share when it is finished. 

Happy Gardening

~Sue~

7 Day’s of Nature Photography Day 6 ~ Chatsworth Derbyshire

 This is day 6 of the Photo Challenge.. Pauline over at   Gypsy Life   has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along and Link back to here. 

If you have not already been to see her amazing Blog I recommend that you see all the beautiful photo’s Pauline has shared.

These photo’s are a continuation of views of  Chatsworth House  Gardens

I got lost of inspiration from walking around the Kitchen Garden. Tomorrow the final day I will show you more of the surrounding land at Chatsworth and some photo’s of the Derbyshire Countryside ..

Happy Walking

~Sue~

7 Day’s of Nature Photography~ Day 5 Chatsworth Derbyshire

Today is day 5 of the Photo Challenge.. Pauline over at   Gypsy Life   has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along and Link back to here. 

This view is from the Kitchen Garden at the back of the house

This view is from the Kitchen Garden at the back of the house Where a wealth of veggies and flowers are grown

 

More views from the Kitchen Garden

More views from the Kitchen Garden where flowers are grown.

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Here we see the flowers within the Kitchen garden lining the path.

Happy Walking in Nature

~Sue~

7 Day’s of Nature Photography~ Day 4 Chatsworth Derbyshire

This is day 4 of the Photo Challenge.. Pauline over at   Gypsy Life   has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along and Link back to here. 

You can get an idea of how large the tree is when you see there is a person walking down a pathway behind it.

You can get an idea of how large the tree is when you see there is a person walking down a pathway behind it.

This beautiful avenue leads you back to the main house

This beautiful avenue leads you back to the main house

Looking over the dry stone wall as far as you can see, this is still on the Chatsworth Estate

Looking over the dry stone wall as far as you can see, this is still on the Chatsworth Estate

A wonderful water lily filled pond

A wonderful water lily filled pond

I hope you enjoyed day 4..

Happy Walking

~Sue~

7 Days of Nature Photography~ Day 3 Chatsworth Derbyshire

 This is day 3 of the Photo Challenge.. Pauline over at   Gypsy Life   has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along and Link back to here. 

If you have not already been to see her amazing Blog I recommend that you see all the beautiful photo’s Pauline has shared.

These photo’s are a continuation of views of  Chatsworth House  Gardens

Today I share more of the Wonderful grounds of  Chatsworth, you can easily spend a whole  day within the Gardens exploring the wonderful views..

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Here you can see the surrounding beauty of the countryside as you look through the two large trees into the distance

Each bend holds more delights

Each bend holds more delights the gardens are filled with Statues too.

And believe it or not, the horse in the distance is also a statue

And believe it or not, the horse in the distance is also a statue

More to follow tomorrow.

Happy Walking in Nature

~Sue~

7 Day’s of Nature Photography ~ Day 2 Chatsworth Derbyshire

 This is the second day of the Photo Challenge.. Pauline over at   Gypsy Life   has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along..

These photo’s are a continuation of views of  Chatsworth House  Gardens

A wonderful huge old tree

A wonderful huge old tree

In 2015 Chatsworth House won a Gold Award for its entry into the Chelsea Flower Show by garden designer Dan Pearson. 

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If you click HERE you can see a video in Fast time speed how the idea to transport part of Chatworth into the Chelsea Flower Show which won a Gold Award

Natural Look

Natural Look

I hope you enjoyed these views and looking at the information about the entry into the Chelsea Flower Show and winning a Gold Award in 2015.

Happy Walking

~Sue~

 

 

 

 

 

7 Days of Nature Photography ~ 1 Chatsworth and Derbyshire

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Chatsworth House Derbyshire from the side view

 Pauline over at   Gypsy Life has nominated me for a 7 Day’s of Nature Photography Challenge..  This challenge I leave open for anyone who wishes to take part and Pass along and link  back here to this post..

Pauline has a beautiful blog where she shares her life in Australia and the spectacular places she visits. So I agreed to take part to share a little of the beauty I love from my home county of Derbyshire in the UK.

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A long walk way of steps leading from the wooded area back to the formal gardens nearer Chatsworth House itself.

During this 7 days I will share a selection of photo’s taken last year when I went to revisit where I grew up.. These wonderful grounds were right upon my doorstep, in fact my late Father-in-law once worked for the previous late Duke of Devonshire  upon his estate .. These photo’s were taken from the grounds of the stately home  Chatsworth House.    on a visit back to my roots in Derbyshire last year.

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Chatsworth House was used in the filming of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly More can be seen along with a short Video and of the filming when you click HERE

I grew up only five miles away and it was here my Husband and I used to spend many a weekend in our courting days walking by the river in the outer estate.

I hope you enjoy these photo’s of Chatsworth and their garden views.

More tomorrow..

Happy Walking in the countryside

~Sue~