I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Tuesday, 23 August 2011



image  We are a couple of miles or so from the old buses I posted on whilst England was burning. PHIL GATES  he posts CABINET OF CURIOSITIES inspired me to visit.

Last time I was in the area I got distracted by old charabancs. I noticed this word is in danger of being removed from the English dictionary so decided to use it. I’ll use again in upper case CHARABANCS. A lovely word! This time although I didn’t make the nature reserve in Smardale I did have a wonderful wander. I usually go for a stroll or two in a new place………..saves lugging all the gear to no good purpose. Looking critically at my posts. The equipment is rarely carried to good purpose. You suffer, I enjoy! I have fun.

The good news, I have internet the bad… Is it slow? Slow I thought the lap top had lost it’s marbles or whatever it has inside……NO!……it’s BT Open Zone costs a tenner a day and is a right royal rip off. I usually use 3G and when in range it is great. Nine times out of ten I get a signal. The maps above I timed for download. Thirty five minutes. I purchased snail-mail. Thanks BT. You don’t improve. British Telecom it stands for…………Bloody Tossers it means. If they had any conscience they would call themselves UBT. The ‘U’ for useless.

Bet you think I’ve no pictures. I have hundreds………….no good ones but I have loads. Enough to give a flavour of the area. It’s not all old charabancs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis window was the first thing to take my fancy. It’s in a barn!  I doubt it was pilfered as there are three more identical. There was money in wool in those days. It’s worth a click to enlarge it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The lintel over this door is or was very smart…..it could have been nicked from an Abbey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This barn looks German to me or American of course. Most likely the work of prisoners of war in the last global conflict. German POWs…the USA were on our side…We forgive friendly fire…Have to!………..It’s beautiful. I’ll get out with a tripod and catch it in early morning light.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASmardale Bridge…on a bit of a tilt, I did straighten it but nor properly…it provide dry passage over Smardale Gill…………a grand Yorkshire name for a stream. We are in Cumbria they must have stolen the term.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn we plodded up onto the disused railway or it’s track bed. I suspect the flowers blooming in this old lime kiln are Fireweed.I hope so it would be an apt place to find them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The Lime Kilns. these are found all over limestone areas. They produce quick lime, vary in size and have been around since the Romans came here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We wandered on. Eventually,  after driving the marauding natives off with a pointed stick, we made the other side of the viaduct. You know I’m joking. We are on the Yorkshire Cumbria border not in Northumberland. Northumberland every footpath is an assault course that would test a Royal Marine, every land owner an absentee who employs thugs to prevent the ingress of peasants. Here the natives are friendly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Some bridge……………Smalldalegill Viaduct. Such slender elegant pillars. A work of art.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow we hit uncertain territory. An Early Purple Orchid that I caught a little late. Perchance it is a late or almost late Early Purple Orchid. There again…. happen it’s something else.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I need help. There were hundreds of these. More than there are midges in Glencoe…………..I first thought Argus. I have settled on Woodland Ringlet. They were feeding on, what I hope is, Ragwort and also Common Scabious, if that’s the small one. No woods around here though there is the odd tree.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  This is a heather of some sort. The hills are alive with the blossom so I’ll do pictures when I’m up in the hills this weekend.

I have loads more but the pictures are rubbish…………..worse than these. So tomorrow, weather permitting we’ll be out in early light for some entertaining snaps.

All go Awww! I’ve pulled a tendon in my leg again. It’ll mend. Beautiful weather here.

The chances of BT being able to post this before it times out are slim. I’ll give it three or four goes. I have done and can’t even get my money back. Bunch of thieves. I got good enough access to pay on line. I’m going to have a serious go at them.

All the best.



  2. Lovely shots of the area Adrian. Eight tries ...makes you wonder if we are as forward as we think we are.A definite rip-off with no chance of a refund.

  3. I wonder why I don't live in such a lovely place.
    You really do the area justice with your pictures Adrian.

    The butterfly I'm thinking is a Scotch Argus; female.

  4. Trevor, nothing more annoying than paying for no service. They are crap.
    They must be listening cos it's working fine now. Not often there isn't a rant in me so I'll keep ranting.
    It is a lovely valley.

  5. Lovely pictures Adrian - glad you had decent weater for your visit. That's a Scotch argus butterfly - Smardale Gill is one of only two places in England where it breeds, I think.....The purple flower is betony.... cheers, Phil

  6. Keith, get a camper and go where Phil tells you to. Or come up here quick before the winter. It is grand and nothing more than an hours stroll. I just take my time so three hours. Tomorrow it's Eyebright the plant I'll rub one in so I can see.

    Phil, many thanks for this place. It is stunning. Gritstone, then a clay layer then limestone and all in such a compact area. Thanks again for the IDs I thought it was an Argus but wasn't sure. There are hundreds of them. Amazing! I'm here tomorrow and back again next week. There are so many wee things I've never noticed before.The world lives here....thank you.

  7. Hi Adrian...Don't go pulling that rubbish stuff...these are just fantastic...I enjoyed eveery dar one if them...
    So much beauty...the flowers growing in he arch I really love...and the barns!!
    My grandaughters name is Heather...will vbe waiting to see more if the heather is is gorgeous...

    That's what I think of the post
    And oh ya...your good for a luagh too!! :}}

  8. Not to be contrary, but your photos are wonderful. They give a good feel for where you are and they're balm for the eyes. I hope your leg mends soon. I'm doing my own hobbling around with a nasty ankle sprain. Enjoy your time.

  9. Ps..Just noticed my lovely spelling "every darn one of them" : } and I won't be "vbe" but "be" waiting ; }

  10. Grace, these are snaps. It's the subject makes them look okay. The flowers/arch are two images the second with flash. What I do. Ended up ditching the two images and just using levels and selection to highlight the Fireweed. We call it Rose Bay Willowherb.
    Good job they didn't call her Ling which is what I call Heather unless I'm being posh.

    Hilary, the leg is acting up.....passed my use by date. I usually just snap and then go back for my constructive and destructive images. This is a lovely place.
    Put your foot in the freezer it won't do any good but you won't feel the pain after an hour.

  11. I'm jealous of the Scotch Arguses (or should it be Scotch Argi for the plural?). I've only ever seen one in untold years of butterfly hunting.

    Cumbria has lots of gills but they call them ghylls usually.... If you go on a charabanc tour with a map you'll be able to see them.

  12. Meant to say - it's not an orchid with flowers part way up the stem it's a .... Well, it's something else. If I recall what you'll have a third comment from me.

  13. Wonderful area to take photographs. They all need a tap on back, especially the Scotch Argus, phew.

  14. John it's Betony.......... Definitely Gill on the map. I've been all summer with hardly a butterfly then I can hardly breath for fear of inhaling a rare one. C'est la vie!
    Suspect it should be Scots Argus...........plural or singular........which reminds me.......time for a Scots.

  15. Bob, If it is warm and they are about. Ill be away early tomorrow and macro them. They are two a penny up here.

  16. Great snaps, Adrian, I do love the Roman Viaduct photos, what an amazing structure that has been around for almost 2000 years.

  17. Great landscape and images - I love the old bridge and the different greens. Hugs from Luzia.

  18. Adrian, you are always moaning about getting bad shots...when they are superb!
    Love that bridge and viaduct and flowers and windows...and the rest of course!! :))

  19. A great post Adrian with some wonderful images.
    That beautiful viaduct is now on my must see list...

  20. I'm late catching up with the blogs as usual. Nothing left for me to say about your snaps. Passable, I suppose. Passable? The amount I learn from you and you have the nerve to call them 'passable'. Stop being so b....y modest. Call them educational visual images at the very least. Works of art when you do something serious or muck around with them. And if you think you have a problem with BT then try living with NZ Telecom! BT are Bloody Terrific not Bloody Terrible in comparison I can tell you.

  21. Horst. it is not that old. A couple of hundred years give or take.

    Lucy, good to see you back and thank you for the comment and hugs.

    Dee Bee, I know I'm a grumpy old man. Thanks It's almost four so breakfast time then out for some early morning shots.

    Andrew, It is a beauty....Make sure you get the right one as there are two. This is the southernmost.

    Graham, I always moan...........It comes from staring at twenty or thirty choosing some for a post then wishing I'd taken time whilst out.
    BT is working fine now.........they must have been doing some work. It still says 13MBytes /sec. I suspect that is optimistic. As long as it works.
    I shall remember that educational images.....that's good.

  22. Great variety of shots Adrian, and glad to know that your internet connection has improved.

    Oh, and just wondered if someone must have pulled your leg for a change :) Sorry, shouldn't make fun of a painful condition! Hope it rights itself soon.

  23. Wonderful pictures Adrian. It is a beautiful place!

    Have a lovely day!

  24. Gosh a fourth comment! - Thought you might be interested in the latest 3G map coverage. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14574816

  25. Glo, I love going to new places. Internet seems fine so far today. My leg is a nuisance, no more serious than that. Folk are always pulling my leg. It's unkind but I dole plenty out.

    Claudia, It is grand......thank you.

    John, Thanks for that link. I use it with a dongle and often get a usable signal When 3's site suggests there is no chance. A funny business.

  26. I agree.. Beautiful fantastic images. You have a wonderful eye.
    As for that beer.. Anytime, I'm right around the corner.

  27. Laura, I'm thinking of beer again.......It's the Tan Hill Inn this weekend so I'll start practising tomorrow. Thanks for the kind comment. Comments should reflect the positive side of life.

  28. Oh those viaducts are impressive...

  29. I have to hand it to you. You make a post interesting in the middle of no-where !! For a nano second I thought I was reading an American blog with that barn and that's some viaduct with a great choice of foreground composition.

  30. Monica, they are. There are two within a mile here. I will look at the other next week.

    Jay thanks, It is an odd building to find in Cumbria.