Tuesday 20 December 2016

'Decking the halls' for Christmas at Hillcrest Holiday Cottage

Christmas is so special.  
I love getting Hillcrest ready for my Christmas guests.


Adding a few little touches such as freshly picked holly ....

and a living Christmas tree ......

topped off with a dolly-peg angel!

New for Christmas 2016 is a delicately lit outdoor tree looking pretty as dusk falls.

Pink Sky at Night - Shepherd's Delight

A beautiful evening in Swaledale and a spectacular sky.
Taken from the garden at Hillcrest on the 19th December,
almost the shortest day of the year.

Thursday 1 December 2016

Upper Swaledale looking down to Thwaite

Meadows and Cow Houses

A favorite view of many looking down at Thwaite meadows. 
Each is enclosed by ancient stone walls and each with its own cow house 
(they are not called barns in Upper Swaledale).  The Cow House, pronounced cowus, is in two parts; one end being for three or four cows to be housed during winter and the other the hay mew for storing hay.  In summer the grass from the field was cut and made into hay which was then forked by hand into the hay mew ready to feed to the cows during the winter.  In late winter early spring the muck from the cows (a natural fertilizer) was spread on the field.  The whole procedure was done by hand and very labour intensive.

Today the same traditional methods are employed which produces the same flower-rich hay however the cows are wintered in modern farm buildings and modern farm machinery is used at hay time. 
Thank goodness!  

Thursday 24 November 2016

Winter in Swaledale

Snow covered Swaledale hills glistening pink at the end of the day

Dodd Hill at the top of Gunnerside Moor taken from Pry House Farm

Green dale, white mountain and pink sky as sun sets over Sleddale

Winter at Pry House Farm

The advantage to short, crisp winter days ....

....... are the long, warm winter nights!

Sunday 20 November 2016

Snowy Heights

For some a snowy Sunday morning is an opportunity for adventure.

 Close to the top of Tailbridge Hill we spotted two people cross skiing over the moor.

Just over an hour later and the two tiny dots on the top of the hill at Fell's End .....

...... were taking in the view.

Winter Weather

Winter has arrived early in upper dales this year.
 On the 10th November giant snowflakes gently fell until we had 
several inches of soft wet snow making everywhere look very Christmassy!
Fortunately it went as quickly as it came until ......
 A week later and now we have as much again.
 Lodge Gill hogg house/sheep house and walled enclosure with a line of shooting butts above.
Many years ago this walled enclosure was a meadow and hay would have been made here and stored in the hay mew section of the building to feed stock through the winter.
The B6270 between Cumbria and North Yorkshire and our road home. 

Thursday 6 October 2016

Kirkby Tup Shearlings

This year's Kirkby Tup Shearlings relaxing in the October sunshine

This is my favorite - I like his style!

Monday 3 October 2016

Shepherd Hut at Home

My perfectly crafted, cute-as-could-be Shepherd's Hut
is finally at home in her permanent site.

Still a lot of landscaping to do ......

and we're no where near the finishing touches stage yet .....

but its coming together slowly and ......

with views like this from every window ......

..... I can't wait to share it.

Saturday 1 October 2016

Boys and their Bigger Toys

Chris has bought himself a vintage upgrade!

He's now the proud owner of a Massey 165 and he loves it!

However it does mean that Clive the 35 is now up for sale.  
If you know anyone looking for a really good little Massey please get in touch.

Max and Gem

We have two new young dogs, Max and Gem.  They are both very loveable. 
Chris has Gem and his brother has Max. 

 Both dogs are untrained so can't be let off the lead.  
Everyday I take them for a walk up the road but its arm-wrenching work and 
they nearly have me off my feet but today I had a brainwave.
We had been selling lambs and our building is empty so I let them off in there to play.
They ran and ran and ran and played and messed about until they could go no more!

Thursday 22 September 2016

Muker Show 2017

Muker Show - 7th September 2017

The weather couldn't have been kinder for Muker Show this year.  
The sun shone, the atmosphere was magic, smiles all round.

The Swaledale sheep play a large part in the show

  Competition time for the general public
 Examining the finer points of a winner
 The serious side of showing sheep

 There was a good entry of vintage tractors - popular with many

 The first time a pony has been on the showfield for over 50 years!

 Relaxing in the sunshine whilst watching the Fell Race
 Our B&B guests from New Zealand really enjoyed the show and to our amazement
 Christine even ran in the Fell Race.  She is a legend!
 As the show comes to an end, exhibitors gather up their entries .....

 ... and gather outside the Farmers Arms to listen to Muker Silver Band,
take part in the community singing ......
.... enjoy a pint and reflect on the day.
The perfect end to a perfect show

Black Grouse

Black grouse enjoying the September sunshine.

Haven't seen a black grouse since the spring so feel very lucky to have been 
in the right place today, at the right time, with my camera. 

Saturday 23 July 2016

Fledgling House Martins

Lots of activity in the yard today as a brood of young House Martins
leave the safety of their of nest.
This little chap took some persuading to leave his perch....

Bird on a wire..... I fear for my washing today. 
Its directly below their flight path!


Fledgling House Martins

Lots of activity in the yard today as a brood of young House Martins
leave the safety of their of nest.
This little chap took some persuading to leave his perch....

Bird on a wire..... I fear for my washing today. 
Its directly below their flight path!