Wharfedale, North Yorkshire By the river Wharfe swallows drink on the wing by dipping into the water with a quick splash
My mother, who is more attentive than I am, constantly points out plants as we walk around Grass Wood. This wonderful pocket of limestone woodland is perhaps past its flowering peak, but is still vibrantly colourful: purple thyme, white wild strawberry, pink campion and the tiny blue sparkles of germander speedwell, the flowers of which almost seem to open before my eyes as the sun pulses through the cover of cumulus.
Where the canopy of ash and birch relents, there are searing yellow constellations of goldilocks buttercups. Near the rippling limestone pavement of Coniston Old Pasture, these constellations coalesce into a galaxy. When the sun falls from its midsummer perch to land on the bone-white rock and these flowers together, the effect is dazzling. Continue reading...