Wintery Blues

Following a thread posted on my visit to Stonehenge I noticed that I had commented on my Avebury  post that I still had to have a look at a local stone circle in Shropshire: Mitchell’s Fold Stones. That comment was made in March 2014.

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Yes that is snow on the lens…

So on Saturday, in bright sunshine I decided to take the shortish drive (25 miles) to find these stones. As we turned off the road and approached White Grit (Powys) the covering of snow on the lane alerted me to the fact that maybe this was not such a good idea.

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I need a vehicle like this one!

Continuing up the lane to the car park with the ice/skid light illuminating on my dashboard I hoped that I would be able to turn around at the end. Reversing down this track was not really an option. The sun was still shining, though there was an ominous black cloud in my rear mirror.

As with many prehistoric sites Mitchell’s Fold is subject of legend. It is said that a fairy gave a magic cow in times of famine which produced an endless supply of milk. An evil witch tried to milk her into a sieve, and realising the trick the cow disappeared. The witch was turned into a stone and a circle of stones was built to ensure she could not escape.

The stone circle is not too far from the parking area, but the temperature was somewhere around 2°C and the wind was raw. The landscape (that which was still visible) looked amazing. Wrapping up in scarves and gloves and hiking boots we headed up towards the stones, which were sadly hidden in the blizzard that then hit us!

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I tried – honest I did, but I can’t say that this was my best photographic venture despite risking frostbite.

Oh, well, I will try again in the summer – this vista is well-worth exploring, stones or no stones! And there are barrows and cairns in the area too.

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(This stone circle was constructed in the Bronze Age, over 3,000 years ago, using dolerite stones from Stapeley Hill. Today there are 15 stones arranged in a rough circle, but there may have been as many as 30).

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

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Heyjude

I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

48 thoughts on “Wintery Blues”

  1. What a fascinating walk you took – looks a bit cold for me tho’
    I’ve been popping in today looking at your bench challenge – Pauline put me on to you so I’ll be publishing a bench post tomorow (our time)
    Cathy

  2. I think that you were very determined, to venture out in such conditions. However, it was more than worth it, as you got some excellent pictures, and managed to make Powys look like somewhere remote in Iceland! Well done Jude, a great effort.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. I’ll pop over in a while Tish – I bet you have much better photos. Mine were pretty poor. We must return in the spring – I think last year I was worried it would be too wet after all the rain, let’s hope this year is more favourable.

    2. I’ve passed on your site to my OH as he is into all things about Shropshire at the moment (he is originally from Shrewsbury) and I know he will enjoy your blog.

  3. You see- you have amazing surprises on your doorstep too! And I’m no critic- I like your moody photos, especially that last one. 🙂
    This walk is much more suited to the time of year and today’s conditions too, Jude. Thanks muchly! Off to see Tish’s take on it 🙂

  4. I think the photos are beautiful! And snow! I didn’t know there would be so much snow there. Do you get a lot? We have a nice coat here in MN but it is melting. We need more snow!

    1. Thank you! We don’t get much snow where I live, but these photos are on the English/Welsh border – literally as the lane goes in and out of each country! They do get snow on the hills there, but nothing like the amount they have had in Scotland.

    1. Well it was lovely and sunny when we set out Sylvia, I wasn’t expecting the white stuff! The last image is of the large entrance stone, I will have to return to see if I can make out the circle, as I was struggling to see anything in the snowstorm!

    1. Well, you see Gilly, I didn’t know it was going to actually snow on us! The sky was bright blue ahead. And once I was that close there was no way I was going home without actually trying to find the stones. I like that image too, the tree-line on the edge drew my eye.

  5. Poor photos? I don’t think so. I love the palette in this post; the story of the stones; the starkness; and the sense of isolation. Thank you for braving blizzards.
    (Pardon my Southern Hemisphere ignorance: is the b&w effect reality or post-processing?)

    1. You are too kind Meg 🙂
      All the photos are au natural except for the one with the two figures and the last one which were post-processed. It didn’t look that colourless though!

  6. What an adventure Jude, braving the elements. Thank goodness you didn’t have to back out!!! Love the wintery, moody effect the weather has given to your images.

    1. Backing out would not have been much fun. I was also relieved that no one was coming the opposite direction, there was nowhere to pull over unless into a snowy ditch!

    1. I wish I HAD the blue jeep, that really is the type of vehicle one should drive in Shropshire. My car is a very low-slung saloon car, not good for off-roading!

  7. Ah, Jude, the risks you take for your photo fans! I wonder what happens to the stones that were there originally and have disappeared. Are they typically found and identified elsewhere ?

    1. Stones are moved or broken up I believe. Some were used for buildings, others moved where cultivation of crops occurs, some are buried. It makes you appreciate the stone circles that are still standing!

  8. Grey skies in winter do not lend themselves to great photo opportunities. Having said that however, the mood you captured in this outing is amazing. I know EXACTLY what kind of day it was 🙂 Good for you in venturing out anyway.

    I agree that this looks like a perfect place for a warm weather re-visit 🙂

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