Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fox House, Longshaw Estate, White Edge, Baslow Edge, and Baslow

By the time I reached the railway station at Sheffield this morning, before I'd even started the walk, I was absolutely shattered; stiff all over, sore, and aching...and I even ended up with a numb backside because of the shaking, rattling, and vibrating of the train's engine and the hard and uncomfortable seats; it might have been better had I been standing up for the journey. I normally get the Cross Country Reading service, but the local stopping service was running late and so I was able to get that; I probably won't be doing that again though. I'd like to say that this morning's journey was the worst I've ever experienced, but I can't - there have been several that were even worse.

The train arrived at platform 5 and so it was only a short walk to the toilets, the exercise bringing some feeling back to my bum cheeks. I was aware of this as I was sitting on the toilet in one of the cubicles; a powerful Intercity train, or freight train, passed by the platform causing a drop in the air pressure, resulting in the toilet's plumbing making a gurgling noise and me having a sensation that my bum was stuck to the toilet seat and my balls were being sucked, licked, or tickled - I'm sure there must be Latin term for people who actually enjoy this; I wouldn't know where to start though.

After my experiences on the train and at the railway station I was looking forward to an uneventful journey up to Fox House; the bus was five minutes late, but that was all. I got off the bus to be greeted with what I thought would be excellent conditions for photography, a mixture of sunshine and several different types of cloud. Most of my photographs didn't turn out how I expected, or was hoping for. I seemed to be quite often standing in the shade and pointing my camera towards distant objects that were lit by the sun. All that I seemed to get was dark silhouettes in the foreground and everything in the background bleached out. This photograph is the best of the early ones I took, taken near to Wooden Pole.

Just beyond this location I climbed up onto Big Moor. I was hoping to spot some deer and I wasn't disappointed, soon seeing four hind on the horizon. I pointed them out to two women who seemed totally oblivious to anything, or anyone, other than their conversation. One of them seemed to be quite knowledgeable about deer though, telling me that they were female red deer.

Although it was sunny and quite bright there was a cold wind which was rather unpleasant at times. It was very exposed as I walked along the top of White Edge, and so at the earliest opportunity I crossed the moor to reach a lower path which I hadn't walked along before.

I had a similar problem with the light when I reached Curbar Gap, but did manage to get one decent photograph.

The small herd of Highland cattle was in its usual place, close to the footpath and not too far from the road, meaning that people could quickly and easily reach them. Other people were already taking photographs and getting up close to them. Although they do seem to be very friendly and docile I still kept my distance as I was taking my pictures.

I continued the walk towards Baslow going right along the top of Baslow Edge; it wasn't anywhere near as windy as White Edge was, and I was able to stop and enjoy a bit of sunbathing. I was taking things easy on this walk again; my Achuilles' tendon in my right heel is still very tight and my right knee is starting to creak a bit. These days, there always seems to be something.

At the end of Baslow Edge, just above Bar Road, the track that leads down to the village, I photographed a couple of primroses that caught my eye; a bit of guerilla gardening that the National Park authorities might not be too pleased about. I think they're pretty though; I have a lot in my garden.

A few minutes later I came across some more Highland cattle; in this photograph I'm trying to re-create Constable's 'The Hay Wain.'; even though there's no cottage, no pond, no horses, only one tree, and no people...but I do have Highland cattle and inflatable tyres.

John Constable - The Hay Wain

When I reached Baslow Nether End there was only five minutes until the bus was due. Since there are now buses back to Sheffield every thirty minutes I'm never going to have to wait for long for one to arrive...meaning that I won't have to kill time in the café; but maybe I'll just linger in the café and let the bus go one day...when I'm not so tired.

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