The View from Storrs Hill
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday, 28th October, 2007
WALKING DOWN Storrs Hill at sunset on clear October evening, with a weather front looming over the Pennines, I’m reminded of my school days when my walk over the hill each morning and evening gave me similar views over the Calder valley.
The Emley Moor television mast of that time – the early 1960s – collapsed one winter when ice built up on the supporting cables.
These pages weren’t from my schoolwork it was from one of a series of exercise books I kept featuring anything that I found of interest – space probes, photography, model railways but predominantly comic strips of movies I’d seen and books I’d read but the bits I like to look at today are my everyday adventures. I was 13 when I drew this page and the cartoon strip style brings back vividly what it felt like to walk to school. In fact I'm sure that the walk was the best part of the whole school experience! I feel it's had a big influence on the way my life has gone subsequently, far more than what we learnt of declensions, logarithms and the effects of carbon di oxide on limewater . . .
Earlier today, walking to Horbury across the valley, we saw a green woodpecker near the river at Addingford. I've seen them before by the old mineral railway embankment. There are a lot of silver birches along the embankment but the woodpecker flew to an old telegraph pole and perched there for a while. Not pecking holes it as far as we could see.
As I leaned on the fence to watch it Barbara pointed out that there were hundreds
of greenflies there. Green woodpeckers often feed on ants
so perhaps it had been feeding on this end of the season glut of greenfly.