A Winter Palette

Another brief window – I decided to take myself of to the woods around Haweswater, at least partly because I always try to make at least one visit here whilst the snowdrops are flowering.

I found much to keep me entertained on this walk, but principally it was the colours, which is perhaps a little unexpected in a winter woodland. I think what first tuned me in to the colours on offer was the leaf litter around the snowdrops. On the drier slopes above the leaves are burnt sienna but down here closer to the lake where it is wetter they are a rich deep brown, dark sienna perhaps, and a perfect foil for the snowdrops.

As usual, I spent a little time grovelling around trying to get photos of the hidden green and yellow patterns inside the snowdrop flowers.

But the first of several short showers dissuaded me from persisting for too long. Back on the path above the root ball of one fallen tree revealed a sandy orange soil…

Whilst just a little further on another showed instead a crumbly black humus, again providing a perfect backdrop, this time for the fungus growing on the roots…

The same fungus sprouted from the base of a standing tree just across the path…

In places the fungus was growing underneath the bark and seemed to be forcing the bark off, which can’t be a good sign for the longevity of this tree.

Many trees here, and in Eaves Wood and probably elsewhere in the area have graffiti carved into them. Today the damp gave the bark on this tree a deeper colour which served to display these examples of the form to great advantage…


Another tree was losing its bark and I noticed that raised patterns on the bark continued on the bare wood of the trunk…

I crossed the open field at the end of the lake and was struck by the pattern created by these distinctive fallen leaves (what kind?), dark on one side, pale on the other, against the greens and yellows of the soggy grass.

A polyp fungus or a hat to grace any hippy?

Trees reflected in the stream connecting Haweswater and Little Haweswater.

For some reason I decided at this point to depart from the path and take a closer look at Little Haweswater. Unlike its neighbour it is shallow and both surrounded by and full of trees, which makes it hard to get a satisfactory photo…

Having diverted a little i was tempted to continue by a little trod which followed the far side of the low limestone ridge which the path runs below. There were many old coppice trees here in what looked to be the line of an old hedge.

This sizeable moss-covered ash being the largest example I saw. A pair of jays squawked as they flew across the field behind.

Ivy embraces its host.

More patterns on a tree shedding its bark.

Hazel Catkins

A Winter Palette

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