A Dale For All Seasons
Peace, serenity, tranquillity. The quintessential hallmarks of Dale’s pastoral life, which seems to burst into joyous song as the early spring dawn chorus heralds the annual promise of renewal of life.
The rich and varied bird population that overwintered through frosts and snows, shouts its delight in the brightening days. To us, privileged to experience this outburst of optimism, it uplifts the spirits after the darker days of winter and produces a literal spring of anticipation for a new season ahead.
Just to walk the riversides and fells in spring and early summer is to observe the miracle of Natures’ rebirth. Meadows transform; sheep migrate to the high fells and local farmers delay haytime so that seeds can drop and set. Trees come alive, greenery appears greener, and the tapping of wood peckers adds to the sounds of new born lambs. The whole Dale is alive.
Swallows, lapwings, curlews, oyster catchers among many others have nested, raised their young and provided hours of pleasure for we voyeurs, but summer must wane, and several species stage spectacular migrations to foreign lands. Autumn arrives, a time of dramatic colour changes before leaf fall takes charge. The once tiny lambs have grown to the size of their mothers and both have fresh thick fleeces against the onset of winter.
Our winters, though cold, are crisp and clear. The very light seems polished and the hard frosts make paths firm and inviting. Even when it rains, the waterfalls are spectacular!
Christmastime in Buckden, surrounded by snow flecked hills and warmed by the hospitality of Inns, is enriched beyond measure by the candlelit Services of our ancient churches - ever proclaiming the joy of spiritual re-birth. Even Nature silently prepares for the New Year as snow drops and crocuses bravely push their fragile forms through the frozen ground – their own declared act of faith and yet another message of ‘Welcome’ to a most beautiful area.