April 8th – Spotted in the meadow at Waterhouses, this venerable, grumpy looking puss.
Peak District cats are a tough breed, and often look as weathered as the landscape they inhabit. This white cat was just sat, taking the air and enjoying the sun (one presumes, although the expression doesn’t give much away). I like to think it was taking stock, and looking forward to another summer of hunting, stalling territory and snoozing in the sun.
As befits any older cat, really.
April 8th – The first big hayride of the year – out to Staffordshire, Weaver Hills and the Manifold, then around the Moors and Roaches and returning from Congleton on the train.
More photos on my main blog later today – a cracking ride; I was fluid, had energy to spare and it was a fast, warm ride on a day more usually expected in May than April.
Nice to be back in the saddle for long rides again!
September 23rd – At Calton, high in the Weaver Hills, I was surprised to find a tree with a huge crop of ripe plums, so ripe that they were falling off the tree and rotting on the ground, food only for birds and a huge army of wasps.
A taste of one of the purple fruit told me why they were untouched – so tart my face nearly turned inside out.
This was no deterrent to the wasps, however, who were too busy to bother the inquisitive human with the camera.
August 10th – The Weaver Hills are one of my favourite bits of Staffordshire. From the floor of the Manifold Valley at Steeplehouse, to the ruins of Throwley Hall; from the picturesque, weathered beauty of Calton Village to the solitude and fine views of The Walk, they are a fine, pagan place. Hell to climb up from either side, but a heavenly descent. This is Staffordshire, the county I adore, at it’s finest.
April 22nd – The long Good Friday.
Another big panorama image, about a mile further into the Manifold Valley. The road descends nerve-wrackingly to a 90 degree righthand bend through a farmyard, otherwise known as Throwley. Nearby, the ruins of Throwley Hall are preserved. Few really seem to come here, and it’s why I love the area so much – there’s unexpected delight in every turn.
Further down the valley, people throng at Dovedale and Milldale, yet seldom stray up the hill. Their loss.
April 22nd – The long Good Friday. 2nd 100 mile plus ride this year, a 114 mile spin up through Staffordshire, into the Dove Valley and up over the Weaver Hills to take some photos and video for top twitter guy @66usual (Steve Lightfoot), who’s interested in the area. Dropped down into the Manifold Valley, then up onto the Tissington Trail, back down the High Peak Trail to Brassington and home via Ashbourne, Hatton, Barton and Lichfield.
This image was taken from the back of the Weaver Hills, just north of Calton, overlooking the Manifold Valley. Few people here, only livestock and bird song to break the silence. And, of course, an old, sweaty cyclist singing tunelessly to the Stone Roses as he descends on one of the best downhill runs he knows.
A great day and a fantastic ride. Seem to be in good shape for early spring, and didn’t crap out once – although the climb out of Thorpe to the Tissington had me sweating a bit.
Look out for a post and video here and on the main blog in the next day or so. This is a large panorama photo and you’ll need to click on it to get the full impression.