The weather was kind to us on the monthly Scientific Society ramble, with the views enhanced by pools of sunlight versus shade in the distance. Dark sweeps of cloud lent Hughesian or Bronte-esque drama to the Pennine scenery. Birds seen included a Peregrine, 2 Kestrels, a Buzzard mewing as it soared above one of the Kestrels on Shackleton Knoll and 8 juvenile Linnets together on wall tops in upper crimsworth Dean.
Loads of other happy walkers were around including a big group from Staffordshire, who "lapped" us twice; once in Hardcastle Crags and again on the Aire-Calder Link path going over the top to Crimsworth Dean.
We passed the Abel Stones, two ancient Christian cross stones or cross bases. The knowledge is lost why they are there as a pair in Crimsworth Dean. Halifax Scientific Society used to record antiquities as well as wildlife/botany until the Antiquarian Society was formed in the early 20thC, and many sites were written up and illustrated in the Halifax Naturalist. The cross stones are at SD 987307, set well above the track under a power line.
Next scheduled monthly ramble is to Soil Hill/ Bradshaw, especially looking at up to 400 Autumn Crocus in the fields at Bradshaw and Holmfield. Meet Riley Lane/ School Lane Junction SE078294. 10.30am for a 10.45 start. Learn about how much more extensive the crocus fields were said to be in the literature. Leader Bruce.
After that on 23rd Sept. there is a half day visit to Hoofstone Heights, the highest point in Calderdale, with an enigmatic rock carving, plus a stop at Bridestones, which also have historical, geological and climate-change aspects to explore. (Wind erosion during an ice-age when they were not covered.) Meet 10.30am for 10.45 start Mytholmroyd car park. (Next to Russel Deans Furniture SE014260.) This walk isn't in the schedule. Leader - me, but Dave Shepherd the archaeologist has promised to come along if he can.
The walk over the peat up to Hoofstone Heights from Long Causeway above Todmorden is wet and boggy, but with no really sticky quagmires. Some peatland restoration has been attempted recently so we will be able to see the early results of that.
Picture supplied by Michael Sykes