Mid winter and the afternoon light lingers, spurring thoughts of spring in the North Pennines. Back in 2010, I followed a walk from the Langdon Beck Hotel along Harwood Beck in search of the meeting of the waters. A secret place in Upper Teesdale where the Tees and Harwood Beck shake hands in view of Wheysike House with it’s own small bubbling water. On that day sand martins and swallows performed circuits of low level flight only inches from the water. Tiny black arrows circled and turned before levelling, almost touching the surface whilst taking insects on the wing. I sat for an hour watching the display in view of Wheysike House, dwarfed by the flanks of Cronkley Fell – a wild and romantic setting befitting a Bronte novel. I’m thinking of that place now as I write this post, blue gentian and birds-eye primrose flowering the meadow. I can see wader birds that fly up from the valley, oystercatcher and curlew, golden plover and lapwings, their soaring perspective so different on this vast, empty place – yet so full of life! Spring is coming to Teesdale.