A winters walk

Can I trust the Met Office App?

Now winter has returned with a vengeance, with storms, snow, ice and incessant rain, its a chance to take the dogs up to a quiet local spot some five miles outside Buxton.

The dogs love it there of course because there is a large field just off the lane, that in winter is free of cows and sheep, so they can run around off the lead.

It is one of the windiest places in the High Peak though and as an added benefit you can watch the rain showers or as it turned out today, the snow and hail, sweeping in from the surrounding hills towards you.

The Met Office app on my iPhone confidently predicted that there was a decent spell of dry weather, and that the rain that seems to have plagued us for days had temporarily dried up. So I loaded the dogs into the car and off we went.

We play various games when we get to the field, in Lilly the Collie’s case chasing a ball, and in the Gabster’s, finding hidden treats. But by the end the treats are the main attraction and I am left to search for discarded balls amongst the grass.

The field lies next to one of Tarmac’s quarries and the quarrying is encroaching ever closer. A little wood, that provided some shelter from the wind, has been felled to be replaced by piles of overburden and rock, and judging by the trial holes that have been dug in the field it will not be long before the field itself is consumed.

On a good day you can see for quite a long way but good days are few and far between, but you are guaranteed to be accompanied by a couple of Ravens. The Ravens are probably waiting for local naturalist and peregrine expert Vic, who they recognise, as he brings food for them when he goes walking there.

As we walked back to the car during a lull in the showers a large and beautiful brown hare scrambled over the wall and with a casual glance at the three of us crossed over the path and ran down, sheltering in the lee of the dry stone wall, to the open fields below.

And that made the cold and the rain and me shouting at the met office for getting the forecast wrong all worthwhile and I was glad that we had stayed that little bit longer.

As we reached the car and the dogs, wet and muddy but happy slumped onto the back seat the sun came out. Maybe the met office were right after all.

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