Following a week and a half of being bedridden with sinusitis, I recovered somewhat to enjoy the mini heatwave in mid-April. We made the most of it with our first spring outing to Colden Clough, first visiting the healthy bakers for veggie pasties and posh pop. We walked up the main road towards Mytholm, navigating the extensive gas roadworks. We turned right at Church Lane and again at the school, to take the shortcut across the playground and up a short flight of steps (looking very dark and broody).
On the track, we competed with each other to take the best possible photos of tiny things such as buds and lichen, which we continued throughout the walk. I think he won the contest but I spotted the most interesting mystery feature; a round brown ball in a small bush.
Approaching Lumb mill, Phil decided to descend down to the stream and try and go under the low bridge. I waited for him near my favourite tree, enjoying its company as I would an old friend.
He appeared quite a few minutes later having given up the quest – a sudden drop where the water became eight feet deep had put him off. We rested awhile before climbing up to the garlic fields.
Although still not fully grown as spring is so late this year, we filled a couple of small carrier bags. It had taken an inordinate length of time to get this far, which I put down to a combination of recent illness, a lack of uphill walking and lots of stops to admire the new growth. We installed ourselves on the nearby flat rock to recover, ate our pasties and whittled sticks on the quartz granite. I joked that we should keep them to use for calligraphy.
Both still tired after all the climbing, we considered turning round until I remembered that the clapper bridge had been damaged during the infamous ‘beast from the east’ storm. We made the effort to go the short remaining distance to Hebble Hole, noting ‘danger signs en route’ (obviously installed when the authorities came to survey the rights of way.
On reaching the bridge we saw immediately that one of the four pieces of stone forming the walkway had collapsed in the river, split in two. The tree that had crashed onto it causing the break stood on the nearby bank, also injured. Wooden planks and metal rails had been put up so it could still be used. We crossed to the other side for all-round views.
Coming back, we noticed a few bluebells in flower as we climbed up to the top causeway, enjoying being level with the tree tops.
Pussy willows and catkins surrounded us, dangling from branches and littering the causey stones. Bright green hawthorn sprigs adorned the dry stone wall. Phil yet again tried to persuade me there were tasty but I maintained they tasted of ‘leaf’.
We descended to arrive back in the garlic fields and took the quickest way back.
He suggested a drink in the Fox and Goose. However, I felt exhausted and as we past the pub, I spotted a group of rowdy young men in the beer garden so that clinched it – no chance of a quiet pint!
More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQtivdeUC2sldpeMizeVg