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Thursday 1 March 2012: Tracks

Best in large

Spring seems to have arrived here right on cue on the first day of March. It's been a fabulous day, very mild with lots of sunshine and just a light breeze. I've been in the office throughout the day, but there is now enough light before and after work to enjoy the countryside. And that I certainly did, clocking up 45 miles all together with some creative route choices.

This morning I chose to travel in via Addingham Moorside, Silsden, Steeton, Laycock, Oakworth, Haworth, Cullingworth and Wilsden, a route which cuts through a heavily dissected landscape, with lots of steep hills. It's a bit short of 30 miles, but packs a punch way beyond that straight line distance. The weather was so good that I could easily have just kept on going along the backbone of the Pennines and twiddled up and down dale all day. But that would been a little too unfair on the team stuck in the office.

This shot of Hewenden viaduct was taken near the bottom of the steep hill between Cullingworth and Wilsden, and it is testimony to my dedication to blipping that I sacrificed all my momentum to get this. Normally my speed coming down carries me most of the way back up the other side. It's a much tougher climb starting from scratch!

I rather fell in love with the various resonances here, the curve of the arches and the curve of that one contrail, and the sense of this viaduct once carrying steam trains along railway tracks contrasting with all these ephemeral tracks in the sky, marking the passage of thousands of people travelling around the world. In a way, these modern passengers are just as distant in space as the historic passengers of the Victorian railway age are in time.

For anyone interested, here is a great blip of the same viaduct taken from the top of the hill about 3 weeks ago by DrMackem. Very different weather!

I cycled back my normal long route via East Morton and Swartha, and found that the starlings are still murmurating! It's fascinating to note that they are keeping in perfect synchonisation with the length of day. The time that they finally settle to roost for the night is processing by exactly 2 minutes a day, They finished their performance at 6.20pm this evening. For any local blippers, I think I can now guarantee a show if you get up there from 6pm. You need to head out of Silsden on the road to Addingham Moorside and park up at the junction with Fishbeck Lane (GREF 054475). Anyone want to suggest how long this is likely to go on for?

Right, the boys have cooked dinner again. I could get used to this life! Back a little later.

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