A Saturday afternoon early in January. The day after our Black Fell outing in fact. The forecast for the day was pretty dismal, except that around three o’clock the cloud and rain was apparently going to clear to give a final hour of sunshine to close the short winter day. And it did. The transformation was so quick that it was quite stunning: blue sky suddenly seemed to materialise where all had been grey and gloom.
I’d planned ahead – I would head to Carnforth to do some grocery shopping, but pause en route for a quick jaunt up Warton Crag. I found a path I’d never followed before, which gave a very pleasant stroll to the top. I didn’t stop to take photos – the views were clear, extensive and glorious, but they would be so much better from a higher vantage point I thought, and besides, I wanted to reach the summit in time for the sunset.
But when I got there, a low blanket of cloud had rolled in off the sea. The Cumbrian Fells were obscured.
The bay was only hazily visible…
And the coast to the south and the Bowland hills were missing from the view too….
But as you can see, the sun was suffusing the thin layer of cloud with colours and the cloud was still rolling through, shifting and tearing, putting on a real show.
There were a few other people at the top, chatting, taking photos and enjoying the spectacle.
Gradually the cloud was thinning and clearing away.
And the sun was inexorably sliding towards the horizon.
As soon as the sun finally disappeared, the temperature appreciably dropped. Or maybe it just felt colder. When I checked my watch, I could hardly believe that I’d only been watching for about 15 minutes – I took so many photos, and I felt like I’d been there an age.
In the meantime, the Lake District hills had reappeared to the north…
As I turned to head back to the car, I noticed that the moon was already high in the eastern sky. The shadowy bulk to the right of the moon is Ingleborough.
My new camera does pretty well with hand held shots of the moon (switched to black and white mode and with the exposure compensation turned down as far as it will go).
Having found a path which was new to me on my way up, I followed my favourite old familiar one on the way down. It follows a limestone edge and on this occasion gave great views of a thin smear of mist rising across the salt marsh and the fields.
And of the lights coming on in Warton, Millhead and Carnforth and the flooded fields which surround Warton every winter.
The moon and Ingleborough again. It was, for all intents and purposes, dark when I took this shot – I’m amazed how much colour it has in it. I’m quite excited about the potential of my new toy!
Not bad for a walk that lasted around an hour and half.