From above comes a tinkling sound, like some bizarre wind chime suspended in the crags behind me. It is, in fact, the sound of high tensile alloy, climbing aids swinging below a pair of rock climbers attempting to scale a sheer slab of vertical limestone. Apart from that and the distant sound of the occasional bit of traffic traveling up and down the valley on a road built by the Romans (What did the Romans ever do for us?) all is nice and quiet. It is pleasantly warm but the air has an autumn coolness to it as soon as patchy cloud drifting in from the east blocks the sun.
I’m five minutes from home in Chapel-le-Dale, an ancient remnant of ice ages past. Escarpments of limestone line either side above which flatten out on to expanses of limestone pavement and rough moorland. Standing higher above again are two of the Yorkshire Dales famous Three Peaks, Whernside, and my favourite, Ingleborough.
Despite many visits in the past, this is the first time I’ve wandered over this particular patch. The light is not so good, and the visibility is somewhat restricted by a distinct blueish haze. The sun is never in a good position during the morning but having come across this wonderful hawthorn tree squeezing itself out into the world from between two blocks of limestone I have to stop and take a photograph. Red berries contrast nicely against the green leaves and fields.
Fortunately, the clouds thicken slightly and obscure the sun for a while softening the shadows.
Above is the result.
Hawthorn tree with red berries and Ingleborough.