Dalesman readers live all around the world. When renewing their subscriptions by telephone to the office they invariably ask what the weather’s like back here in the county. Whether this is just to tempt our subscription staff into saying ‘It’s raining, what’s it like where you are?’, knowing full well they’re going to reply ‘it’s 35 degrees and we’re having a barbie’, I’m not too sure. Those expats are not going to be missing the conditions we’ve endured in the Dales over the last five days. Non-stop rain has swollen the rivers, and flood plains have turned to lakes. Starved of fresh air, I decided to have a trip round some of Ribblesdale’s waterfalls at the weekend. I wasn’t going to spend time getting soaked setting up tripods for some long-exposure arty-type photography – in any case it was the noise that really caught my attention. Stainforth Force was thunderous; a bubbling, heaving beer-coloured cauldron. Scaleber Force slapped onto the rocks from a great height, sounding like a thousand bottoms being smacked. The tumbling water at Catrigg echoed, metallic-like, around this private chasm, reminding me of the sound of an old tin bath being filled. It all added up to an enjoyable morning and reminded me that the Dales offer much to senses other than sight.

Above Scaleber; below, hand-held long exposure at Stainforth

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