Windermere from Holme Fell
Another Lakes bimble for TBH and myself with the in-laws once again looking after the ankle-biters. We weren’t too far from our last outing, parking at Tilberthwaite and starting our walk by climbing Holme Fell, just over a thousand feet, a Wainwright and a Birkett, and an excellent viewpoint, although a higher cloudbase would have enabled us see the higher fells to the north and west. We found eyebright again on the lower slopes of the hill, and higher up flowering heather carpeted the slopes.
Holme Fell summit.
Our descent route took us past Holme Ground tarns (very boggy going) and then past the enormous Hodge Close quarry.
The quarry is full of deep water, but it’s possible to walk down an old incline into Parrock Quarry and then enter Hodge Close through a double archway.
There were sub-aqua divers in the water and we had seen somebody climbing the quarry wall to jump into the water (tombstoning?) – judging by the rubbish lying around this is also a popular location for barbecues and drinking cans of Foster’s and the like.
Beyond Hodge Close we briefly watched two birds of prey, of different species, apparently quarrelling. One bird was keening, not unlike a seagull. The smaller of the two was very trim with a narrow tail and I thought that it might be a Peregrine, but I’m not at all sure, and as to the other….
Time is marching on, and on the blackthorn the sloes have gone from green to plum…
Time was marching on for us too, we crossed the route of our last walk at Stang End and headed across the valley hoping to lunch at the Three Shires Inn. TBH declared that her blood sugar had deserted her and that she was very concerned that the pub may have closed, been quarantined due to a swine flu outbreak, subject to a terrorist outrage or perhaps, more prosaically, had simply stopped serving lunch at two.
Here is the Three Shires Inn, shortly after 2 o’clock….when they stopped serving lunch. We had missed the deadline by a few minutes, but they did offer to serve us some soup – and very nice it was too.
Perhaps we would have made it by two if I hadn’t stopped to photograph this Robin’s Pincushion Gall…
…or Bedeguar Gall. It was on a rose, high above us in the hedge, and even with TBH helping by holding the thorny stem against the wind, it has still come out a little blurred. Apparently under those red and green hairs is a woody gall full of small chambers each with a resident grub. Almost all of them are female and in the spring they will leave the gall as tiny wasps and lay their eggs in rose buds without mating. So…what is the function of the male wasp? (Yes – I can see that this question invites some rather obvious quips)
Our return route took us over the elegant Slater’s bridge…
…from where we diverted to explore another quarry. This one entered by a low tunnel…
..which opens out into a substantial cavern, called Cathedral Quarry…
The pool has small fish in it and I was wondering how they could have got there, but it fed by a small stream so perhaps that provides the answer.
From the quarry faint paths took us up through the woods and out onto the open fell which was again very boggy. We joined a better path for our descent back to Tilberthwaite, with good views of Holme Fell.
So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year’d see me right…
…but can I have one a month?
Rowan berries – ubiquitous on this walk.