AT the risk of sounding like I’m about to burst into song, it does feel like it’s been a long, cold (if not lonely) winter.
All right, so it’s not been as bad as some of the bone-chilling seasons we’ve had in recent years, but we’ve had the obligatory ‘false spring’ and, maybe it’s just me, but it seems like it’s dragged on longer than usual.
Which is why pictures like this, which captures a wonderful verdant view of Hawnby Hill from the top of Murton Bank in North Yorkshire, are a most welcome sign that the weather is warming up and spring is here.
If you’ve been out and about in the countryside this week you might well have noticed this year’s lambs out in the fields and the cherry blossom on the trees, as winter’s muted earthy tones begin to explode in a fusillade of colour.
It isn’t just the natural world that springs into life at this time of year. Only the hardiest walking enthusiasts tend to venture into the wilder corners of our landscape during the depths of winter, but as the temperatures rise more of us will don our walking boots and return to our favourite haunts.
Hawnby lies at the centre of stirring walking country and you can’t go wrong whichever route you take out of the village. If you head northwards to the beginnings of Ryedale you have high ground on either side – Great Arden Moor to the west and Hawnby Moor and Hawnby Hill to the east.
The terrain is interesting and walks like these are a wonderful way of exploring this particular pocket of the North York Moors – and a surefire way to put a spring in your step.
We are blessed to have such a varied landscape on our doorstep. In London you can drive for half an hour and still be stuck in traffic surrounded by a concrete jungle. Do the same from Leeds, Sheffield, York, or Bradford, and you can be out in the open country.
It’s a bit of a cliche, I know, but there really is nothing quite like a pleasant spring day in the English, or better still Yorkshire, countryside.
Technical details: Nikon D3s camera, 70-200mm lens with an exposure of 1/500th sec @ F10 ISO 400.