Category Archives: Animals

A Baa-rilliant Day On The Moors

Tuesday was due to be snowy, so I set the alarm for early and headed down the lane near home to a location I’d had in mind for a while. As the light came up it all looked promising, but just before sunrise, a snow squall blew in and obscured the colour in the sky, so I headed home for a coffee and a warm up, then loaded the car for a day out on the moors.

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Despite all the dire warnings on the news, the Whitby moor road proved to be clear apart from a little slush, so we pressed on towards Goathland in the hope of getting onto Egton moor. As it turned out the council had done a great job ploughing the back roads and we made it up to the crossroads above Grosmont without any problems. Understandably the Egton moor road hadn’t been ploughed, so I was faced with walking the last half mile to the famous lone tree. It was fascinating to see such a large area of pristine snow untouched by human, but absolutely covered in bird and animal tracks. As I reached the tree, the snow wasn’t quite deep enough to fully cover the heather, so I wasn’t able to produce the pure white image I had in mind. Two disappointments before 9 o’clock, this was proving to be a difficult day!

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After Egton moor, we backtracked towards Goathland and suddenly spotted some sheep on a bank near Two Howes moor. Janet had the camera on her lap ready to go and as we jumped out of the car the heavens opened and a blizzard started to fall horizontally. At first only a few sheep came to see us, then more, then loads more, until we must have had nearly a hundred. I crouched in the lee of the car to shelter as the sheep lined up on the bank, whilst Janet headed into the group like the pied piper of Goathland. As she walked away they all followed, then she turned back towards the car and they all followed her back again, what an amazing sight! They were obviously hoping she would feed them. We left this scene smiling and hopeful we’d some good shots in the bag, but with all the milling about by the sheep, who knows what we might have got. As it turned out, we’ve come away with a set of good images.

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After Goathland, we headed for Egton Bridge in the hope of getting to Danby, but met some ice on a sheltered hill so failed to get up the slope towards Limber Hill. A quick detour back to Egton Bridge and we stopped for a nice lunch at the Blacksmith’s Arms in Egton Bridge, where a cheery landlord served us a huge beef sandwich, lovely!

Suitably refreshed we headed for Lealholm on dry roads and little snow! A quick look up Fryupdale, soon showed we wouldn’t be going up on to Danby Rigg as that hill hadn’t been ploughed, so we backtracked again and ended up at Fat Betty to marvel at the wind sculpted snow drifts.

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Then on down to Bell End where the light on Hill Plantation was great so we stopped for another shoot only for the sky to cloud over with another squall just on sunset.

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A grand day out with mixed results, but now we’ve had a chance to review our images it certainly looks like having been a productive one with a whole flock of sheep images that we are really pleased with and quite a bit stock as well.

Wolds

With the fields full of buttercups in Ryedale, the Yorkshire Wolds promised to be a riot of wild flowers and we weren’t disappointed. We passed through a heavy shower as we drove over early in the morning, but this only served to make the air clearer. We spent a happy morning watching roosting Tawny owls in Fotherdale, then headed to the pub for a leisurely lunch whilst dodging another heavy shower.

The sky cleared again mid afternoon, so we headed for Fridaythorpe to shoot a wonderful field of red and white campion. Once we felt we had done this justice we headed for Thixendale where we were able to shoot huge arcs of cow parsley and buttercups in Frendal dale, then headed off again to try and capture some more campion in Scoardale.

Conscious that the light goes off these deep dales long before sunset, we headed for one shoot at Horse dale, arriving just in time to catch the last rays of sunlight on the trees in the bottom of the dale.

We returned home 12 hours after setting out, happy in the knowledge that we had captured a really nice selection of images. Now all we need is for the poppies to burst into bloom.

Sheep & Highland Cows

Apologies to our readers if we’ve been a bit quite on the blog of late, but a mixture of exhibitions and decorating have taken a lot of our spare time. Excuses, excuses……

Anyway none of that has stopped us getting the shots. Travelling back and forth to the Saltburn exhibition meant our journey times were very dependent on sheep activity, so Janet took the opportunity to shoot a few (Tempting!) With the sheep standing on the grass banks, it made for a good eye level shot from the car.

Jan has also managed to come up with a great set of Highland cow images, which were immediately snapped up at the Danby visitor centre.