Monday, September 17, 2007

Where I wandered...

Yes I know that as a panorama photo its not stiched together very well and you can see all the joins but I only did it for reference for the next painting I am now cracking on with - and the "panorama" module for Photoplus 10 costs £20 that I haven't got at the moment.

But, thats where I wandered yesterday - free to wander anywhere I cared on my birthday day off I chose Saddleworth Moor in preference to Nidderdale.

The reason ?

Saddleworth and Rishworth Moor (Rishworth to the left, Saddleworth to the right) is the area that you cross when at the highest point of the M62, Britains highest motorway (so we're told) and at this time of year I am always amazed by the colours on the moor, especially higher up the hills where the colouration ranges from straw to patches of dark rich ochre, reds, purples, to almost black where the peat breaks through and when the sun hits the hill face then the palette changes again - and on a day like yesterday with white cloud blowing across the sun the colour changes were like a living kaleidoscope in front of your eyes, two minutes after I'd taken those photos the colour scheme had changed again.

The Lancashire moors are not so well known or picturesque as the Yorkshire Dales but are beautiful all the same, the drive off the M62 at the Saddleworth junction takes you straight onto the moor - where that photo was taken is within two hundred yards of the motorway junction which is hidden in a fold of the land just below where I stood - and from there the journey over the top of the hill is one of those where, if you're driving, you watch the landscape at your peril for you'll find yourself wandering all over the carriageway while you gaze in awe at the landscape.

Saddleworth Moor has a sinister name for anyone who has ever heard of the names "Brady" or "Hindley" for it was here, high on the moor that their child victims were buried in the peat bogs, one of whom has never been found, but yesterday the moors were simply open plains of colour with the road winding across pools of every earth colour known to Daler-Rowney then dropping down into villages that have made no concession to tourism but remain still functional three hundred years after they were established, you won't find gift shops and boxes of "Lancashire Fudge" here but instead will notice shops that died off years ago in your own city, places like the village baker, a butcher, and a pub that doesn't belong to a nationwide chain - a rare sight indeed.

On to Delph (to visit John McCoombs gallery), Saddleworth, Diggle then over another moor and back into Yorkshire to stop off in Holmfirth and visit Ashley Jacksons gallery - 'twas indeed a perfect day.

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