Tuesday, 31 May 2011

ABC Wednesday - Traffic Cones

Why are there always lines of traffic cones but no sign of anyone working on the road?  I pass a line of them every morning with the added twist of temporary traffic lights. No sign of anyone doing anything, maybe they will disappear as mysteriously as they came. Perhaps to take a relaxing bathe in the local reservoir
Or have a group hug while waiting to come into action in Trafford Park
On the road again.  Coming to a highway near you.
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
But not when travelling by train. 

Travel to ABC Wednesday where there will be lots more words beginning with T

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Green Lanes

I have a few old nature books which I love for their illustration. This is the frontispiece of one of them. The swallow in pursuit of another hunter, the dragonfly.  The sight of swallows as they first arrive and when they swoop through the air in summer is one of the joys of the natural year.  The book does not credit its illustrators but their names are on the drawings, this one is in the bottom right corner, Whymper.  I think this may be Edward Whymper mountaineer and explorer, who is probably most famous for the first ascent of the Matterhorn. When he was not climbing he was an engraver of illustrations for books and magazines.

The book has a slightly battered cover
which I like to think is from being in a pocket while wandering those green lanes, maybe getting a bit damp when observing life in a tarn.  This book is a seventh edition published in 1890. Its author John Taylor was curator of the Ipswich Museum and both a geologist and a naturalist, writing about his specialist subjects in an entertaining way.  In his preface to this edition he ends by saying if the reader "has developed a love for the multitudinous natural objects which surround us, his pleasant labours have not been in vain".

 An entry to Sunday Scans.  A weekly meme dedicated to anything scanned.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Pedal Power

If only they had made the sign of the same material as the bicycle, but although aged, it is still selling the bike. The slogan was to differentiate this bike from their competitors who used cast iron for some of the critical parts, making them heavier than the all-steel Raleigh. .  
I can imagine this workshop being filled with bicycles in its heyday. Perhaps with another sign inside
in stainless steel.
A world away from today's bikes. 

An entry for Signs, Sign

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

ABC Wednesday - Scarecrows

Some scarecrows were dressed for relaxation, at the end of the year when the crops had been taken and only squash were left to guard.
Some were snappily dressed, perhaps ready for a night out.
Some were on their uppers, possibly the stress of guarding both cabbages and squash.
I met this quaint group of scarecrows in the walled vegetable gardens at Tatton Park last September. I wonder if they will have a new set of clothes this year as spring planting goes ahead.

 The Scarecrow by Walter De La Mare

All winter through I bow my head
beneath the driving rain;
the North Wind powders me with snow
and blows me black again;
at midnight 'neath a maze of stars
I flame with glittering rime,
and stand above the stubble, stiff
as mail at morning-prime.
But when that child called Spring, and all
his host of children come,
scattering their buds and dew upon
these acres of my home,
some rapture in my rags awakes;
I lift void eyes and scan
the sky for crows, those ravening foes,
of my strange master, Man.
I watch him striding lank behind
his clashing team, and know
soon will the wheat swish body high
where once lay a sterile snow;
soon I shall gaze across a sea
of sun-begotten grain,
which my unflinching watch hath sealed
for harvest once again. 

Stroll across to ABC Wednesday where there will be lots more words starting with S

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday Scans

An entry to Sunday Scans, a "weekly meme dedicated to scanned pictures, anything scanned welcome".  

I've gone way back in time for this photo, my teenage self has written on this slide "how many people can you get on a trig point?".  The answer is in this case four, which I think is very impressive. I have no idea which high point this triangulation point is located except that it is somewhere on the Isle of Arran in Scotland.
I only took two photos on this day (so unlike my digitally equipped self) and this is the other one, on which I have helpfully written," Looking towards the hills, Sunday Walk", so no clues there.  My friends and I spent two weeks on Arran in August '69, which I remember as being wall to wall sunshine. If you are wondering whether we could have squeezed another person on the top of the trig point perhaps I'll show you the size and type of all Ordnance Survey triangulation points.
 I'll confess this one is a digital photo, and it is in my home county, not Scotland, but I don't think I have delved far enough down in my old slides and photos to find anything else. 
Join Sunday Scans here

Friday, 20 May 2011

Goose Step

Come on family time to get going, walk like me
Thats it now you are moving
We've got a hill to climb, don't drop off the back.

 I will enjoy seeing this little family grow up over the weeks ahead.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

ABC Wednesday - Ruminants

Ruminants roaming in a rural environment. There are 150 species of ruminants in the world but I'm showing the domesticated variety as we don't have many camels, bison and giraffes here. It also gives me an excuse to post cute lamb photographs.
These in the  pastures
and these on the low fells. Surrounded by the plant based food they like, ok grass, 
which is eaten and then initially softened within the animals first stomach which is then regurgitated, as semi-digested mass (cud), and chewed again.  No worries on the effect on the teeth of all that chewing for they continue growing throughout their life.  No wonder cows always seem to be dribbling for an adult one produces 100-150 litres of saliva a day.
 I don't think this little chap is up to that amount of saliva at the moment as he keeps a wary eye on me.
Always a good sign when every cow in a field is lying down it means there is continuing warm weather.  This one is modelling her ear tag (there is a tag on each ear). The one showing is the yellow primary ear tag. This shows her unique number, which will be listed on her passport with all her details. When moved this passport will go with her.
  I'll leave you to ruminate on that information.

Roam over to ABC Wednesday where there are lots more words starting with R

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Sign of Sheep

Where sheep do safely graze, in the Howgill Fells
And enjoying the spring grass, not too far away in Ravenstonedale. There has been an inn at this crossroads since the 17th Century.  The 7 acre Crossbank nature reserve is at the rear of the Fat Lamb inn, a popular bird watching area.  I don't know which is the greater attraction the birds or a well stocked bar.

An entry to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

ABC Wednesday - Quarry

An portal to another world?  It certainly looked like it as I passed, the steam rising with a gathering storm.

It is a different world down there. Hartley Quarry, which I have been told produces limestone aggregate. The colour looks like that at the 'portal' but the colour of the quarry is not as expected. The brown pigment apparently is due to iron compounds. Like most of the quarries in Cumbria it burrows amongst the hills.  Looking down the valley, it sits above the village of Hartley

which now runs into the larger place of Kirkby Stephen. In earlier times (the quarry opened in the 1920s) a klaxon used to sound when they were blasting but now I think there must be just a

red flag hoisted. In those olden times a rail connection used to run to the quarry. Eventually the line closed but the 6 miles to the quarry remained and became their responsibility. By 1967 the metals running to the quarry deteriorated and were considered not strong enough to hold the weight of a British Rail steam locomotives and they were stopped.
This photo was taken in 1966 of one of the last runs to Hartley Quarry, showing a freight carrying Ivat 4MT locomotive. Nowadays of course lorries carry the aggregate on the road from the quarry, wonder if some of those loads will end up as roads.

Quoth I take a trip across to ABC Wednesday to see lots more words starting with Q

Monday, 9 May 2011


Living on the north west coast one thing you can be sure of is there will be a wind. But this year's spring has been most unusual, high temperatures for the time of year and still days. When the first Western Lake District kite festival was planned to be held at Haverigg one thing that would be expected would be a strong wind.
Nope. Despite this the Fusion display team did manage to put on a series of musical displays but for the large
Chinese kites the 10 mile wind was not enough. Everybody had fun flying kites so we had a nice afternoon out and of course
an ice cream. You can also tell from this photo that the event was held on the Millom Rugby Union ground. They are hoping to hold another Kitefest next year,

Thursday, 5 May 2011


My local ice cream van is Roy's Ices with his 28 great flavours but if I travel to the other side of the bay then I could call by the My-T-Fine. These two vans may even face each other across the water. One in the little coastal village of Bardsea and this one in the seaside resort of Morecambe.

An entry to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

ABC Wednesday - Poètes Ferrailleur

On holiday near Lizio in Morbihan area of France we kept passing a tower on a hill in the distance, it looked from another world.  When on a showery day we fetched up at he Musée de Poètes Ferrailleur we discovered what it was.
It was part of the whimsy of Robert Coudray, the Poètes Ferrailleur in the title. A ferrailleur is a scrap iron merchant but Coudray has turned the scrap iron into whirling motion (this one wind powered), and to works of imagination, he is the iron poet.
 Perhaps this sail plane is about to take off
the boat-car set sail
The entrance looks as though it is about to be towed into the air. Inside there are automata, a mechanical theatre of fey creatures, rolling balls and lots of kinetic energy. I didn't take any photos inside, how could they capture the motion, so here is a short taste.  

Pop over to ABC Wednesday to see other words starting with P