Skip to main content

Walks round reservoirs

In Texas, state parks are the main way of getting out into some countryside, and they are almost invariably centred around a reservoir.  Back in the UK, the network of public footpaths means that you don't have to go to a designated area to walk around.  However, a proper country footpath often involves mud, brambles, stiles and other such pushchair-unfriendly obstacles, so we have found that, even here, reservoirs are still quite useful, not to mention beautiful, places to walk.



A few weeks ago we visited Staunton Harold reservoir, just south of here.  Rain and snow had fallen overnight and frozen, so the visitor centre car park was closed, and the circular southern car park, when we found it, was doing an excellent impression of a skating rink.  Having slid the car into a parking space, we skied gingerly down an icy hill, and a beautiful vista of the lake opened up before us.


We might have been content to drink in the view for a while, but Toby took one look and demanded a peanut butter sandwich.  Grudgingly, we turned away and set about pushing the stroller through slush and snow.



A couple of swans greeted us, and the sparkling white fields shone in the morning sunshine.





The footpath, meanwhile, was varying between stream, mud and rocks, and the beauty was somewhat lost on us as we wrestled with the wheels and tried to keep a cranky toddler happy.  Getting back to all this lovely countryside is definitely not quite the same when you are parents of a two-year-old, rather than free and single and able to walk all day if you feel like it!


In the opposite direction, northwest towards the Peak District, is Carsington Water.  We drove up between verges dotted with white snowdrops and fields dotted with white sheep, and enjoyed a relatively warm sunny day.  An old tower used for army training (signposted: "Bomb Tower") made a sheltered spot to stop for a snack, and the Miners Arms pub in Carsington village provided the adults with coffee and Toby with a slide.





Returning to the visitors' centre, we investigated Stone Island.  Pillars are arranged along two spiral paths up a small mound, and a hole bored through each one focuses your view on part of the landscape.  We conscientiously squinted through every rock before retreating to the ice cream shop for a more tasty investigation.






Happily immersed in chocolate, vanilla, and mint choc chip, we sat back and admired the view.



Comments

Ellie said…
Gorgeous pictures, yes beautiful English countryside isn't very compatible with buggies! We always seem to end up at National Trust places or Ashton Court as they have good wheelchair/buggy accessible paths. Hope you're getting settled back in the UK. Ellie

Popular posts from this blog

Theme Week: Air

A beautifully wide theme which can cover everything from blowing bubbles to spotting planes.  Sorry for the belated blogging! Activities 1. Straw painting Toby loves straws at the moment and usually has at least two in his drink, sometimes up to five!  So I thought he might enjoy a spot of straw painting.  We dolloped watered-down paints onto a big sheet of paper, and blew air through the straw to spread the paint out.  The results weren't quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it was quite fun.  2. Balloon on a string Toby had already been introduced to the idea of blowing a balloon up and letting it go whoowheeewhooo around the room, so we tried the next stage up - racing it along a string. Thread straw onto long piece of string. Tie string across room. Blow up balloon. Tape balloon onto straw. Let go.  Wheeeeee! Duck! 3. Paper aeroplanes Yeah.  This and the balloon on a string was my attempt to keep us entertained on a wet Bank Holiday Monday.  Ver

Reckoning with righteousness

  'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' The preacher was reading from the book of James. It was a passage all about how faith is useless if it isn't accompanied by good works - actually feeding the hungry instead of just saying you'll pray that they'll have food! And James used Abraham, that patriarch of the Jewish faith, as an example of someone whose faith showed up in action. 'Hang on,' I thought. 'I'm sure I've seen that quote in one of Paul's letters, too.' I flicked back a few pages and found it in Romans 4.   'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.' But in this passage, Paul is arguing exactly the opposite thing! The whole chapter is about how we can't  earn righteousness through works, but only by faith. And Paul uses Abraham as an example of this, too. Abraham was righteous because he trusted God, not because he followed the law. So the exact same quote is use

Reading for Spiritual Formation 2021-22

Do you read books in order to live a better life? I read books for lots of reasons, ranging from escapism and enjoyment to information and obligation.  In some sense, every book we read lodges somewhere inside us, affecting who we are and how we react to life.  I am the product of many books (far too many, some would say!) Not my library! (Image: Pixabay) Last year, though, I read four books with the specific intention of growing spiritually.  These four books were chosen by the Renovaré Book Club.  Renovaré Book Club Renovaré wasn't a name I'd come across before.  Turns out that it's a Christian group founded by Richard Foster (who wrote Celebration of Discipline ) and involving Dallas Willard (who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines ), which probably gives you a good idea of their emphasis!  I was impressed with the quality of resources offered with the book club - podcasts, articles, discussion boards, online Q&A - and I also thought they'd done a good job get