Moor House – Nature Reserve

Birds eye Primrose

An afternoon rangering with Natural England found me up in the windswept expanse of Moor House – Nature Reserve in Upper Teesdale. Here, the Tees flows from its birthplace down into the dark waters of Cow Green. Most of the ice flowers had by now disappeared, say for a few pink stragglers in the shape of birds eye primrose,shown in my sketch.

Butterwort and Alpine bistort were in plenty. (for some great photographs please visit Yasmine’s adventure in Upper Teesdale)

The mountain pansies however proved a riot of colour.

I followed the east shore to the dam wall before crossing over the west bank and down to Cauldron Snout. A pair of curlew wheeled above calling warnings to their ground-nesting young. They circled, yelling insults until I was deemed no longer a threat, distance saving my corner. No sooner had the aerial assaults abated than a new assailant buzzed along side. The meadow pippet flew at eye level, her calls warning me not to step any closer defending her young hid in the heather. I kept to the track respectful even if somewhat entertained by her valiant efforts.

Once the threat was over, she returned to her brood leaving me to follow the path in peace to the foaming waters of Caludron Snout. The sky was dark and overcast as distant bars of rain could be seen over Cronkley Fell. I followed the path north in the direction of the carpark, as Skylarks called from all parts of the marsh basin. I never tire of this walk or the scenery and wildlife. Back home there would be TV.


19 Replies to “Moor House – Nature Reserve”

  1. What you saw and experienced on your walk painted a moving picture, Keith. This was beautifully written and if I had read it in a book, I would have turned the corner of the page and underlined this, so as to return and read it again until I had my full measure of it. Beautiful painting of the Birds eye primrose!

  2. Glad to see you out and about in Upper Teesdale. I can’t wait to get back out there myself – probably not til July now 😦 Hopefully I’ll get there in time for the summer hay flowers

    Love the story about the pipit – they can be such brave birds when they need to

    Thanks for the link too btw!

  3. I always enjoy how you write. I feel like I was right there experiencing the flowers, the birds protecting their nests… ahhh… sounds like a lovely day enjoying nature. And I do love this pink straggler too. This Primrose is one of the ice flowers I’ve been so curious about? Very lovely Keith!

  4. The way you write could almost make me start feeling nostalgic for England!

    On the other hand, it also sort of reminds me of the mountains where I am now & I like comparing the different flowering times- for example butterwort grows in damp places in the Basque Country too but was flowering in March . Glad to hear there are still skylarks – recently my mum was visiting & commented on the syklarks in the mountains here & said you virtually never hear them in England anymore. (But she lives in the South , where it always seems really built up whenever I visit°.

    Hope you get out for some more good walks soon.

    1. Sonya, we’re lucky to have so many skylarks, for me it’s the sound of summer. I love the flowers on butterwort and would love to see them in the Basque Country. Tomorrow we have lots of rain, so not so merry old!

  5. Nice post and painting. I came over from Val’s blog and am hoping that your wife is doing better now – sending good health wishes and energies.

    How is Doris doing? Does she have a high pitched barking squeal? Did you try to cure it and did you succeed?

    Zip is up for his first major grooming appointment on Friday this week, before our friends from Denmark arrive….want him to make a good impression 🙂 We just love this pup, but he has this awful bark…it was so bad Sunday afternoon that our neighbor thought he had been hit by a car or attacked by an animal… I thought of you all and wondered if Doris does the same or if it was just Zip’s thing?

    I am starting a blog I hope will increase my wages Wise Ears will be up and fully running in about a week…having trouble with the video and chat portions.

    Hope you are all well or doing better..

    1. Doris does nothing but bark at the moment, in fact she’s doing it now! She can smell another dog walking past our house. Cats during the night are a nightmare, she jumps on our bed to look through the curtains. It’s good in some ways, but it’s almost like having a baby waking you up each night. She’s had a groom this week, she enjoys it. We let her run around with the other dogs. One thing I can say about Doris and I’m sure Zip is the same, is she’s very sociable around dogs and people. Looking forward to your blog, please let me know when it’s up and running.

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