Plan B

Blea Tarn with the Langdale Pikes  (centre) and Side Pike (right) behind.

I met up with CJ again on Sunday for another bout of list-ticking. We had planned to park in Little Langdale and walk the Greenburn horseshoe, but when I arrived the promised ‘limited parking in Little Langdale village’ was more limited then I had hoped. As luck would have it, CJ was right behind me in his car and we drove in convoy up the valley, but found nowhere. We ended up at Blea Tarn where I knew that there is a National Trust car park. The idea was to get off the road and discuss where to go next to look for parking – but now that we were there it seemed like a good idea to walk from Blea Tarn. An obvious target then would be Blake Rigg, from whence on to Pike O’Blisco via the Birkett of Long Crag on Wrynose Fell.

Blake Rigg – our ascent took us to the bottom right of the large crags.

The climb was steep and pathless and CJ, slightly hungover, was thinking that an easier start to the day might have been found.

Getting near to the top – we followed the base of the crag on the right , where water poured down the rocks, and then turned into the gully beyond.

 Langdale Pikes again.

 And again.

 Wetherlam – our original intended destination.

 From Blake Rigg – Pike O’Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

 Looking back to Blake Rigg.

Blake Rigg was quiet and rather wonderful with fabulous views all round.

 Pike O’Blisco.

From the summit of Pike O’Blisco.


Cloud had been brewing all morning and I was quite surprised that we reached the summit of Pike O’Blisco without being plunged into the cloud.  In fact we never were caught in cloud all day, although many other summits and valleys were engulfed.

Langdale valley – Side Pike and Lingmoor on the right, Eastern Fells cloaked in cloud behind.

Cold Pike.

From Pike O’Blisco we continued to Cold Pike. CJ waited whilst I slipped in a slight diversion to include Great Knott,

 Crinkle Crags from Great Knott.

 Pike O’Blisco from Great KNott.

 Cold Pike again.

Pike O’Blisco.

Although we retained sunshine, the weather deteriorated considerably at this point.

 Cloud swallows the Crinkles.

 CJ on Cold Pike.

 The last hurrah of the sunset – light gilding the Irish Sea in the distance


Tiredness dictates a shortish post, but it was a magnificent day on the hill – made all the more so perhaps by the fact that other hills were all around were stuck in the clouds.

PS – it’s official: my new Ion mask boots leak. Ho-hum.

Plan B

Rotten to the Core

Last week’s weather brought biting winds out of the east and then, when the winds shifted back to the prevailing westerlies, Atlantic gales. On Thursday night, when the good burghers of SIlverdale put out their bins and recycling boxes, the wind playfully tipped them over and spread the contents far and wide. One of our neighbours boxes apparently travelled through (or over?) our garden and into the field beyond. On Saturday morning the leaves, glossy with rain, lay noticeably deeper in Eaves Wood.

The whole family were out and we boys elected to show the female contingent the ‘new’ route to the Pepper Pot we had discovered.

We managed to fit in a little tree climbing…

But mainly it was the leaf litter which entertained us…crunching through it, throwing it around, photographing it…

We found that a simple stick worked surprisingly effectively as a rake. B made piles of leaves ‘for the birds to make nests with’, whilst A just wanted to kick her piles into spiralling clouds of leaves.

This leaf, nestling in a mossy hollow in a old tree stump, was improbably golden – looking for all the world as if somebody had spray-painted it for some kind of yuletide table decoration.

Strong winds inevitably mean fallen trees in Eaves Wood, and there were quite a few. This one, unusually, had not tipped over at the roots, but had sheared down its trunk.

I think that it is actually one tree entirely enclosing another. The fallen half has a rounded section in the centre, darker then the rest and without the grain, also apparently showing the base of broken off branches.

The standing section has a corresponding hollow, with indentations for each of the branch stubs.


 Branch stubs.

Whilst the outer wood is healthy, the wood in the centre is completely rotten at the base, and is rotted away to leave a central hole in the trunk.

Probably a metaphor in this somewhere….

Rotten to the Core

One Man and his Blog

Eaves Wood colours.

Sunday. Another fine morning. B and I out investigating the sheep-dog trials in the field behind our house.

We watched as a young shepherdess and her collie manoeuvred three sheep around a course and into a small pen.

These trials are a fairly regular event: charity fund raisers organised by the local farmer.

It seems quite odd now to think that sheep-dog trails once had quite a following as a televised sport. Phil Drabble, who used to present ‘One Man and his Dog’, also wrote on country matters and when X-Ray and I were last out for a walk together we discovered that we both had read and enjoyed his ‘Badgers at my Window’.

From the trials, B and I climbed into Eaves Wood. Looking along the edge of the trees as we entered the woods revealed a stunning display of colour.

Once again there were back-lit leaves….



And huge numbers of these large off-white toadstools, often growing in large groups and always with several leaves collected in the cap.


B enjoyed the drifts of beech leaves.

And we both had a climb in our favourite beech tree.


I was out again later, this time with both of the boys in tow, in the very last of the light. We found a nice path from Castle Bank to the Pepper Pot which we haven’t used before. Leaving the top, we saw two roe deer bouncing across a clearing, much to the boys delight.

One Man and his Blog

Up With the Lark

I opened the curtains on mist, frost and a perfect pale blue sky. A thin wave of fine dots advanced across that backdrop – I assumed starlings leaving the roost at Leighton Moss. They were in a long line stretching away in both directions – I imagined a perfect circle of starlings expanding outwards like a ripple on a pond. The view was more than I could resist – I had to get out before breakfast. Did A and B want to join me? Yes. “Can I have bacon and eggs when we get back?” asked B. I’d had the same idea myself.

Outside we found all of the ingredients for an autumn pre-breakfast constitutional. Frosted leaves. Ground-hugging mist. The kids amused by our breath condensing in tiny clouds. Above us on the hillside the houses and trees were glowing in the sunlight, although down where we were the sun had yet to rise.

 Eaves Wood glowing.

 Looking East.

The low-angled sunlight means that it was back-lit leave time and of course I was powerless to resist their charms.


There is also still lots of fungi on display in Eaves Wood.



 At the Pepper Pot.

On sunny days I always appreciate these silver birches. Normally it’s the bark which captures the attention, but this time it was the sun-gilded autumn leaves.

Closer to home, this lime’s leaves were also putting on a great display. Would the village fireworks later be able to compete?

Breakfast was good too.


I was out again later. This time on my own. After a bright and sunny day my circuit of Woodwell, The Lots and The Cove came as the light was ebbing and the sky had finally filled with clouds. A fine leg-stretcher though, and I spotted this poster advertising an interesting sounding evening in prospect on my travels…

Up With the Lark

Delight: Slides

Another one of our days out was to Sundown Adventureland.

Which bills itself as ‘the theme park for the under 10’s’. Our under 10’s loved it. But not just the under 10’s. I could tell that my Dad was itching to have a go on this slide. “Go on. Go on…no one’s looking.”

I’d already had a go. You should have heard it groaning and creaking as my great bulk hammered round those tight turns.

72 years young.

Deeply irresponsible and very silly no doubt.

But go back to that first photo and tell me that you don’t fancy a spin.

Delight: Slides

Delight: Autumn Leaves

No surprise for anyone who has read this blog before to discover that I quite like leaves. The blog is about, as TBH puts it: ‘leaves and stuff’. But even for those of us who don’t spend their time obsessively photographing leaves there are endless enjoyments to be had from autumn leaves: rucking them up with your feet or crunching through them, composting them, admiring their colours, and….throwing them around. This leaf shower – akin to one of Andy Goldsworthy’s ephemeral throws – caused great amusement, but then descended into a leaf fight.

It seems to me that the autumn colour in the UK is better this year than it has been for many years. I’m sure that there is an explanation for why. This photo, taken at the YSP on a very dull afternoon (as was the one above), doesn’t really demonstrate my point too well.

Delight: Autumn Leaves

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I’m way behind as ever. In the last week of October (half-term) we had a number of days out with the kids. One was spent at YSP, which we’ve visited many times before. We’ve been particularly keen to visit of late because of the large retrospective exhibition of works by David Nash.

Children (ours and pthers) play hide and seek amongst a David Nash sculpture.

To me (and I think to TBH) two of the most interesting works Wooden Boulder and Ash Dome could only, by their natures, be represented here by films. (I knew of these two because of the chapter on David Nash in Roger Deakin’s ‘Wildwood’). But there was an awful lot more to see.

Charred David Nash sculpture and action man S. Try charging around like that in an art gallery!

Not only an overwhelming quantity of David Nash stuff but also the permanent exhibition of sculpture by the likes of Henry Moore and Anthony Gormley. Last time we came we were particularly struck by these giant hare-women by Sophie Ryder, but didn’t take photos.

Strange. But strangely compelling.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park