Monday, January 21, 2008

Mud, glorious mud

  • Walked: 20 January 2008
  • Distance: 7.5m
  • Total time 2.5 hrs
  • Terrain: 100m ascent (lowest point to highest point)
  • Summary: bridleway alongside Foremark reservoir, past Bendalls Farm, footpaths to Milton and back to Hartshorne along the other side of the reservoir.
  • map: Explorer 245

Do you remember the scene near the start of Monty Python's Holy Grail, where under a grey, drizzly sky the king meets some peasants slopping around collecting mud?

I'm not keen on that portrayal of England, but that's just how today felt (minus the king and the peasants). We've had an awful lot of rain recently, leading to muddy and flooded paths. I notice that exactly a year ago we were having a lot of rain too. Unlike that day, today wasn't sunny. In fact the weather forecast was fairly dismal, but I didn't want to stay indoors all weekend, and so we made a break for it when it eased off a bit.

We decided that bridleways were a fairly safe bet, but were completely wrong. Farm vehicles, horses, trail bikes have churned them up into a quagmire. The fields that we did cross today were actually better to walk on than the bridleways.

The sky was heavy and grey, but I did spot more colour than last week:

That's holly, with a few red berries; copper beech, which holds onto its dead coppery leaves all winter so that it can make eerie rustling noises in a breeze; and gorse, which is apparently green and spikey all year round, and always in flower too.

Here's the mud:

Getting onto the road was something of a relief. This fascinating feature is the underneath view of tree roots:

Despite the horrible weather, there were the usual wonderful South Derbyshire views.

I usually get frustrated about wonderful views looking very flat and uninteresting through the viewfinder, so here's my first attempt at stitching together a panorama. Despite the rubbish joining of the images, I'm pleased with the result, and will try this technique some more.

It did rain a little before the end. More like heavy drizzle than rain, but it wasn't a cold day, and so it was bearable. I noticed it hanging in the hedgerows like jewels:

Click the map below, and then each image attachment in turn to see all photographs from today's walk.

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Map image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.


dive said...

"How do you know he's a king?"
"Because he's not all covered in shit."
Hoorah for Python!
So …
Did you take the opportunity for a little wrassling?
I love the shot of the undercut bank with the tree roots, Pea.
How long did it take to clean your boots when you got home?

lynn said...

Gosh but those ARE muddy pathways though! I never know how you do all this walking Peahen. Puff!

Roger the... said...


You say, "... the scene near the start of Monty Python's Holy Grail, where under a grey, drizzly sky the king meets some peasants slopping around collecting mud?"

On the day you mention I suspect there may have been two peasants out in the mud? And did they not meet Ivanhoe himself (after all the area was Ivanhoe's manor), or maybe not himself, but one of his ambassodors, or Runners as they were known?

Methinks your para should read,"...under a grey, drizzly sky the Runner of Ivanhoe meets two peasants slopping around collecting mud (on their boots)."?