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Friday, 5 November 2021
Wharfdale, November. Day 2
The sun sparkled on the early morning frost when we first woke but it quiccly clouded over to give a day of hill fog with patches of dramatic lighting and superb Autumn colours. After climbing outside a full English we set off along the river to the delightfully named Yockenthwaite. The riverside walk was fabulous with loads to photograph and we had excellent views of dipper and Nuthatch amongst other birds. We were fascinated to watch a flock of sheep being herded and penned in order to be tended to in some way. When asked what type of sheep they were the pithy reply came back "awkward!" as one nimbly jumped over the wall. They were, it turned out, Swaledales. From here we climbed steeply up the fell side to reverse our route along the top edge of the woodland. It was managed by the National Trust and much was ash with hawthorn. In the heavily fruiting hawthorns large flocks of redwings and fieldfares were feasting on the berries. The views from this elevation were super and we sat and had mince pie and apple for lunch high above the valley of the Wharfe as it turned south to flow towards Kettlewell and beyond. As we enjoyed the view we were delighted when a stoat popped out and briefly entertained us. As always I had the wrong lens. Our path gradually descended, crossing Crook Gill to the Hamlet of Cray. Here our route followed Cray Gill to the road leaving us half a mile to The George where an excellent pint of Black Dub in front of the wood stove was followed by a cup of tea and snooze. I am looking forward now to another pint (or several!) and pie and chips.