A walk in the woods…

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From the Derwent Dam we walked a little further down the long, narrow valley to the lower reservoir. The river still flows, mingling with the waters that flooded the valley and drowned a village.

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The water is higher than it was on my last visit, but even so, there are traces of the past, hiding just below the water if you look.

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While you might dismiss some of the stones as being part of the dam construction, there are places where it is evident that once there were homes and fields here. It is a strange feeling to look out over the water and the fanciful might imagine the ghosts of the past in the deep.

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Spring green banishes such thoughts… tiny white oxalis star the grass. Drifts of pink cuckoo flowers and forget-me-nots form a pastel carpet, and everywhere there are bluebells.

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The great swathes of blue are past their best now, yet it is a still a magical sight to see them fill the woodland shadows with the colour of a summer sky.

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There are other kinds of magic in the woods, making it a wonderful place for small children. A mole looks out from the undergrowth. Old logs have been transformed into sculpted mushroomsand  bug hotels.

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Small seats had been created, as if for Goldilocks’ hosts and a train of logs. Little ones would love it.

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My favourite piece, though, is an oak leaf bench, supported on acorns, bearing the only slug I have ever wanted to get close to.

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Around the dead trees transformed into art, the whole valley is fairly bursting with life. The touch of new green and flowers are everywhere, even on the apparently changeless evergreens.

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It isn’t just the greenery either. The reservoir is home to a large avian population and smiling mother ducks wander the car-parks in search of crumbs for their broods, while proud fathers look on.

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Trying to photograph the ducklings, I was struck by how efficiently camouflaged they are. It is almost impossible to get a clear shot as, the moment they move, the lines of their faces and bodies blur and their shape disappears.

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There were other birds too, as well as the innumerable ducks. Shady corners held feeders and nesting boxes. Finches were everywhere, though it was not always easy to spot them amongst the leaf-litter as they competed with the ducks .

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Nor were the birds the only things flying that afternoon. The changeable weather, that went from sunshine to cloud and back, seemed to confuse one small creature and we watched the aerial antics of the bat for quite a while.

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As the afternoon wore on, we headed back towards the cars, stopping for ice cream on the way at the little kiosk and watching the birds. It had been a lovely interlude, but we were still far from our destination.

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Even though time was getting on, there would be time for another stop on the way to Stockport, so, agreeing to meet in Castleton, we regained the cars and headed west…

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Landscape, nature, Photography, travel, wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to A walk in the woods…

  1. Stunning photography! Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TanGental says:

    It must be 20 years since I was there, a hot summer when the water was low and the creepy weirdness you mention of seeing the bones of the village apparent. I saw a French to prog a while back about ghosts and such a village. Brought it all back. *shudders. Mind you loved the sculptures.

    Like

  3. jenanita01 says:

    What a wonderful place, trying so hard to be tranquil, with just a hint of sadness underneath. Wonderful images, Sue…

    Like

  4. you take me to the most delightful places

    Like

  5. amreade says:

    Sue, I could look at your photos all day. You introduce us to the most wonderful places.

    Like

  6. vronlacroix says:

    A great mix of photos that present this magical place so well.

    Like

  7. Mary Smith says:

    I so enjoyed this today. It made lovely reading after being cooped up all day, especially as it was actually nice here today and I’d have much preferred to be playing out! Great photos.

    Like

  8. There are areas in the midwest of the U.S. where valleys were flooded where dams were built. Whole towns are still there, under the water. While they are certainly not ancient as yours are, they are still rather creepy and somehow, disturbing.

    Like

  9. How pretty. I love the reflections on the water – that branch that looks like a creature reaching from the water. The whole place looks magical. What a lovely place to visit 🙂

    Like

  10. Widdershins says:

    That first pic looks like some sort of multi-horned creature, slowly and silently rising from the depths … beautiful and eerie. 😀

    Like

  11. adeleulnais says:

    What a beautiful magical place.

    Like

  12. Beautiful photos!

    Like

  13. They’re not bug hotels! They’re fairy houses. 🙂 Lovely place. And that shot of the solitary bluebell is beautiful.

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  14. Good pictures, Sue. It looked like a lovely day. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  15. Ali Isaac says:

    Oh… I love that leaf bench too! How lovely to turn something so functional as a bench into a glorious work of art. 😊

    Like

  16. Simply wonderful, Sue. I love it over there. Used to take the kids there often but sadly haven’t been for many years. Must get back over there when I’m fully recovered…

    Like

  17. lbeth1950 says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful pics.

    Like

  18. Pingback: A walk in the woods… — Sue Vincent – Daily Echo | Webb Wisdom

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