Thursday 28 December 2023

Pen y Ghent - 1 April 2022 first of the month climate walk and Purple Saxifrage

 This was one of our most ambitious climate walks and I am actually writing it up nearly two years later - because Angela just told me it was a favorite walk.  But I have all the pictures from the day, so no problem writing it up:  

We walked up the easy route from Horton, (rather than the shorter and much sharper) route from Dalehead on the Stainforth - Halton Gill Road.)

But this did mean we were able to visit both Hull Pot and Hunt Pot en route.

Setting off - It's 11.28 and I suppose we have been walking about half and hour.

Hull Pot

Keith and Sally pose at one end of Hull Pot, with Pen y Ghent in the background.
Just beyond Keith's left shoulder at the opposite end of the pot hole is the hollow where we shelter from the wind - and bask in the sun ..

Have a coffee and read from Green Christian's April Prayer Guide 2022 and from the Pray and Fast for the Climate Sheet for April 2022

After this we ascended a narrow path which eventually led back to the wide path.. now always upward towards Pen y Ghent. A detour then enabled us to find the Purple Saxifrage

We continue up the path 

Purple Saxifrage has been growing here since the end of the Ice Age. It is an Arctic Alpine plant and must have loved the weather on the day we went.

On a ledge nearby was Green Spleenwort - this is much less common that Maidenhair Spleenwort.

Striking to look at and not uncommon on the limestone high up round here is Rhizocarpon umbilicatum - It has a very thick and bright white thallus and big black apothecia (reproductive bodies)
Distribution Map of Rhizocarpon umbilicatum 2019
from British Lichen Society

What a splendid view we have from this corner of the path. The others are getting cold and have started to descend. (If you blow this picture up (press control +  several times  you might see them or others descending))  But wait -  and just look.

In the pictures after this, the top left of the picture is magnified.

Top right is Ingleborough

(Centre of the picture is Helwith Bridge Moss  (Another of our climate walks) and to the right of it Arcow Quarry

Helwith Bridge Moss (Swarthmoor) bigger - now in the foreground..
Then look over the cloud-shaded hill to the green valley beyond. This is the water divide between the Ribble (flowing left to Settle ) and the Wenning (flowing right to Bentham), fed by streams coming form the rough grassland and moorland (brownish) of the foothill of the Bowland Fells/ Forest of Bowland. We once went on a Climate walk to Rathmell Common. 
The forest bordering the top of his ridge is Gisburn Forest  (Another Climate Walk) . And in the valley beyond that before the last ridge with some trees on a higher part - is Slaidburn and Newton by Bowland.. Another Walk

But look when I blow up another picture taken form that point and crop it and darken it-- 
You can see Wales Beyond. Cymry am Byth! (Wales for Ever)

I have to walk down pretty fast to catch tho others up. 

We make a detour to look at Hunt Pot - equally delightful to the bigger Hunt Pot - perhaps because it is off the beaten track so many people mus miss it.

Coltsfoot growing on a ledge beside the Pothole

Homeward bound.
One of my favourite photos for composition.

Judith, Peter, Keith, Sally, Ken, Angela, Jules, Mike, Stephen - safely down. It is 3.38. 

Do read about more of our Climate Walks here, and maybe join us one day.  

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Boxing Day Pilgrimage 2023 Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey - Bishop Anna

Have you been on a Ripon to Fountains Boxing Day Pilgrimage before? Enjoy coming with us this year by reading this account. 26th December is about the only day with sun forecast this part of December.

(For my records 1. I had spent a happy Christmas afternoon with  Sharon and Peter Flint and Sharon's mother, Angela  in Bentham..2. this walk should do me good preparign for the Settle Harriers Winter Handicap in 10 days time)

This pilgrimage has been taking place for 45 years. I have walked on about five or six of them.  It is four miles there and four miles back. 

Previous blog accounts:   1. 2011 general and cellarium carol video   2, 2011 furry  friends and fungi   3. 2018 Bishop Hilary-Ann Hartley     4. (this one) 2023  Bishop Anna  

I missed the pre-pilgrimage St Stephens Service at the Cathedral, but met the pilgrimage at 10.35 outside the "Ripon Inn"- (Previously called the Spa Hotel - It is newly refurbished and opened just two months ago.)

The young cross-bearer in his red top set a cracking pace. I wore my Salomon waterproof speed cross running shoes rather than my hiking boots, and just took one walking pole. I had my mobile phone and Olympus Tough camera in my green Speaker's-Club day-rucksack; (no  red Panasonic camera- it gave up recently) and an apple and some water and my thin yellow waterproof jacket. The weather forecast was so good I was able to travel light.

I presumed there would be over 1000 people in the walk.  

I worked hard and eventually caught up the leaders just before Studley village so that I could tell them about the lovely Small-leaved lime tree beside the footpath just before the village. Small-leaved Limes are native trees, growing here since the ice retreated ?12000 years ago. - They can be big trees - it is the leaves that are small. It may have been planted on the Studley Estate in the 1600s or it could be much much older. I tried chatting to the young man (well lad -  carrying the cross to slow him down, without much success.  "We must keep moving." said the Dean (I think).

Then at the road into the village a new feature:- A lady was serving hot punch - for donations  in aid of The Friends of Ripon Hospital.

Delicious. It is now 11am

Looking back to the hot punch stall.

At this point I gave up all aspirations of catching up with the leaders again.

Here we enter the field 200m beyond the punch stand
And we are now in Studley grounds

In the distance are some deer

View back to Ripon cathedral

Descending to the lake.
The sun is doing us proud.

Now into Fountains Abbey grounds. -
Looking back at the people still walking here through Studley Park

Crossing the  landscaped river Skell,
 above its waterfall into the lake

following the Skell towards Fountains Abbey.
See the crowds still walking on the main path over the river.

Just before the abbey I notice a man photographing a little bridge over a side stream.

It leads up to a waterfall.  Worth investigating another day.

Note that high clouds are now arriving.

When I reach the Abbey the band is playing and the service is about to start. 
I have a few video clips of this including one of Bishop Anna introducing the carol Silent Night - but I will need more time to add these.

Looking into the cellarium from the side window

Hot punch (again) and an EXCELLENT pastie - well I was hungry. And chatted to some nice people from near Harrogate who took this photo, then a young family (aged c 2) eating whipped cream of the top of chocolate drinks

I set off back at 12.50.
I follow the main path.. well I follow the side of the river on the main path side. I look for fungi but find none.

A rather big little hill extends to the river so I climb this. I examine an oak tree for lichens.

View down from this oak tree.
(You can see the Surprise view point on the hillside opposite)

 Not much on the trunk at all, but I break off a tiny bit of loose bark with this white crustose lichen, which is on the underhang of the sloping side of the trunk (i.e. dry) facing East or NE. SE28086849  Maybe I will identify it later. 

Lower down quite close to the ground is a yellowish lichen which I suspect to be Candelariella reflexa from its location.

I take the Seven Bridges route back.  There is lots of Elodea canadensis.
It is now 2pm. but getting cooler with no sun

I stop with a view of Ripon, Looking towards the North Yorkshire Moors... well Howardian Hills and Sutton Bank. .. and very nearly all the land in between filled with intensive agriculture to support our nation.

I sit on the seat admiring the view. I play my tin whistle.  I enjoy the action of just sitting -  no wind. Now making my poor knees and feet walk.

Cropped picture from the above shot. Can you see the moon? Just rising. It is 14.50

Same picture - surely you can see it now.

I carry on back towards Ripon. Won't get there unless my feet walk.

I stop at the gritstone capstone on the bridge over the Laver.

I wonder if this is Lecidella scabra?
Questions to myself: Has it got soredia on the (snail eaten) thallus. Will the thallus turn K+ yellow? Are the paraphyses separate as in Lecidellas, or anastomising as in Porpidias?

Once  back at my car near the Ripon Inn, I change shoes into some more flexible trainers. I take TWO poles this time (Nordic walking) and go into Ripon. clop clop clop.. to prove I can still walk.  I am keen buy some tiny transparent pots to put lichens in that I had seen three weeks previously. I buy Yorkshire Trading shop out of all their stock (nine packets).

Then it's home and later that evening a hot bath.