Friday, 12 May 2006


Decided around midday that I would make the most of a beautiful day, so hurriedly made a few sandwiches, filled a bottle with water, then off I went. At my local farm I was admiring the lambs with their mothers, when suddenly a kestrel swooped down less than 5 yards from me, snatched up a starling in its beak, then flew off with it in the direction of Healey Heights. I hear plenty of kestrels circling around kee keeing, but Ive not seen one that close to before. Poor starling though!!! I have starlings nesting in my troughing, they come back to us every year. Hope their chicks manage to grow up without getting devoured, either by birds of prey or one of my cats. We got several presented to us last year.

Having got to the end of the farm track I decided to go up Crown Point by Woodplumpton Road rather than on the Burnley Way. Once I had reached the first cattle grid I was glad I had done so because of the sound of the skylarks. They have a wonderful song. When I was a little girl I would hear them all the time on my way to school in a morning. Sadly I only ever hear them now up on the tops. I noticed that there were still quite a few wild daffodils growing at the roadside, they have been very late flowering this year. After I had rested at the second cattle grid and had my food, I journeyed on towards Bacup Road. I was quite thrilled to both hear and see curlews as well as the skylarks and meadow pippits. Am sure I heard a grouse also but never saw it.

A long distance truck from France stopped me and asked the way to a small village called Water, just over the border into Rossendale, I couldnt help but wonder what on earth he was going to such an isolated place for. I didnt even know they had any firms there. After a short walk down Bacup Road I turned onto a dirt track that used to be for when they did opencast mining on Deerplay Moor. This is access land and there was a sign saying to keep dogs on leads as it is the lambing season. The lambs were just adorable, some very young with their umbilical cords still dangling. The ewes as ever very protective of them, calling for their offspring as soon as I approached. A short way down I climbed over a very rickety gate and petted two beautiful fell ponies that were grazing. I continued along the track until I was way up above Cliviger, could see the houses of Holme Chapel looking very tiny down in the valley. The trig point of Thievely Pike was just above me now, from here one can see far and wide on a clear day, but yesterday was too hazy, so I didnt go all the way up, instead I sat down on a huge lump of millstone grit rock. Silly me had walked all that way in sandals and by then had developed a blister underneath my right heel. I could have gone down a steep track through Buckley Wood to Holme Chapel and caught a bus back to Burnley, but I had no money with me. So, I had no alternative but to walk back the same way as I had come. That road seemed never ending, I was very tempted to hitch a lift, but common sense prevaled and I walked home, getting to the house just before 5pm. My poor foot was stinging like hell and I had also pulled a muscle in my left thigh. I will know in future to wear my hiking boots even if it is hot. This morning I could hardly walk when I got up, but I have unstiffened a bit now. lol

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