Autumn Footprints 2014 - The Animals
w/e 12 October 2014
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
The Autumn Footprints Walking Festival in Amber Valley
and Erewash was held over sixteen days in the middle of September.
During that time I completed fifteen guided walks with various
groups on twelve different days and returned home each day with
many images of the various landscapes in the area. I also returned
with numerous images of animals of which those below are a selection.
Those animal images ranged from under water to high in the sky.
Small fish swimming against the current were seen swimming against
the current in an overflow channel by the Erewash Canal at Langley
Mill with bright sunshine reflecting back off the water surface.
We spotted several buzzards during the Festival soaring high
above but they proved very difficult to photograph especially
whilst walking single file along a narrow uneven footpath which
were exactly the conditions when I caught this one against a
cloudy sky over Dale Moor.
We also saw many birds on the water and these young swans were
taking it in turns to spread their wings at Codnor Park Reservoir
that we passed on the Codnor Castle walk.
After proceeding on that same walk through the deepest darkest
depths of Golden Valley along the Cromford Canal, it perhaps
shouldn't have been a shock to encounter some ferocious beasts
but it still came as something of a surprise to come across these
stone-faced lions when we emerged onto Coach Road.
It's a good job the lions were not real or some already skittish
equines like those we saw at Holbrrok (centre row left) and Morley
(top centre) might have been a problem. Others at Langley Mill
and Holbrook (top left and bottom right respectively) were just
inquisitive whilst the rest of the horses and ponies at various
places from Morley to Dale to Breadsall to Breaston were quite
Cattle and sheep were also common sights on the walks. Feeding
time in the drizzle and mist at Belper was all that the sheep
at Belper were concerned about but we gave the cattle at Holbrook
a wide berth. Those at Bargate bedding down in anticipation of
oncoming rain though, showed far more interest in the passing
walkers than the sheep near Broomfield Hall at Morley.
There were more sheep (and horses) penned at Dale Abbey and one
or two of these did lift their heads from their grazing to observe
the trail of walkers as we crossed an adjacent field. I am not
a hundred per cent sure but suspect that the breed of these sheep
could be Black Welsh Mountain which are now widespread throughout
the UK even though they originated as the name suggests in Wales.
According to the ukagriculture website the rams of the Black
Welsh Mountain breed have horns but the females are polled.
A couple of another horned animal - goats - were taking in the
sun as we passed Hayes Farm at Morley on another day.
Of course the animals on the walks were not all farm animals
and on several days we were accompanied by domestic dogs. On
two of the walks this nine year old former guide dog (I think
his name was Ellis) was getting used to long walks in the country
instead of leading a visually handicapped person along urban
streets. At the end of the Belper Coppice walk though he was
ready for a sit down.
There was another dog on the Moor of Morley walk and as we crossed
the Midshires Way, a friendly ginger cat appeared and rubbed
around the legs of many of the walkers. It seemed totally unfazed
by the dog and looked slightly disappointed as we all clambered
over the stile and continued on our way.
I started this selection of images saying the animals ranged
from those under water to others high in the sky and this wooden
representation of a reindeer near Whatstandwell with tinsel round
its neck and a red nose was sufficient to remind everyone that
Christmas will soon be with us and Rudolph will be rousing himself
to get fit to take to the skies on December 24th. Who would have
thought wandering around Derbyshire in September we would have
seen lions and reindeer?