Pond Life

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Most of the time the sea in the Bay is pretty placid. But once in a while we do get some waves. Here’s some evidence from one of our local walks with our American cousins.

On another local walk we visited Burtonwell Wood rift cave…

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The passage runs parallel to the cliff-face, and part way along there’s a spot where it’s possible to climb up to a ‘window’…

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From the cave we walked to Woodwell. We often visit, but this time we came prepared with nets and plastic tubs…

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The kids caught quite a variety of pond life. I think that this…

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…is probably a Three-Spined Stickleback. (But, as always, I stand ready to be corrected.)

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Pond Skaters.

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I’d call that upside down insect a Water Boatman, my field guide tells me that it is a Common Backswimmer (also know as a Water Boatman). The rather splendidly red snail is a Great Ramshorn (I think).

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This must be a Water Beetle, but I’m really not sure which kind.

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Here, the Water Boatman has a silvery sheen due to a trapped air bubble which it uses to enable it to breath.

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We were all fascinated by the contents of our tubs.

Well…almost all…

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Later that day we wandered into Eaves Wood for a bit of tree-climbing. Professor A can never resist joining the kids…

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Once again, B’s busted arm proved to be a great hindrance…

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Here we all are by the Pepper Pot…

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Pond Life

Inevitably: Carn Fadryn

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Carn Fadryn towering over the campsite (thanks to the trickery of a telephoto lens)

No trip to the Llyn is complete without an ascent of Carn Fadryn.

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A view down to Hell’s Mouth.

We climb it every year and I can’t see how I shall ever tire of the experience. Lots of elements of the climb are familiarly unfamiliar, like the labyrinth spiders which festoon the gorse…

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…and seem very common here (and on the Llyn’s cliff-tops) but which I can’t recall ever having seen anywhere else.

Even the slight regret that we never branch out and divert to the summit of subsidiary bump Garn Bach has become an integral part of the day.

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The bilberries weren’t quite what was expected however: they were much better this year than they usually are. Often they’ve been just about finished when we climb the hill, but this year, presumably due to the sluggish (non-)arrival of summer, they were still in their prime, much to everyone’s delight.

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The wood sage and the heather which you can see in the bottom left corner of this photo are also part of the ever-present backdrop to our rambles on Carn Fadryn.

An encounter with a Dorbeetle…

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…is also de rigueur, and a hairy caterpillar on, or close to, the path is another essential component…

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We usually see a few choughs…

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…which we don’t have at home in Lancashire. Nor do we have Gatekeepers…

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…which are common on Carn Fadryn, when the sun shines, as it did at the end of this walk, but which, again, we don’t have in Lancashire which is beyond the northern limit of their range.

Inevitably: Carn Fadryn

A Hazy Day on Lord’s Seat

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A brief window of opportunity…how many times have I used that phrase on this blog? This is the internet age, the era of textspeak and limited attention spans, I ought to be using an acronym…BWOO! How’s that?

So, I had a BWOO because the boys had been invited to attend a cub-scouting event in Whinlatter Forest; they were scheduled to kill and gut a bullock before roasting it over a blazing 2CV. Possibly. Anyway, leaving them with their favourite paramilitary organisation, I parked at the Spout Gill car park and, with three hours before I needed to pick them up again, set-off in search of some Birketts to tick.

Mr Birkett suggests a circuit here which takes in 6 tops, but I knew I would never get around all of those. In fact, I wasn’t really sure, at my standard Almost Snail’s Pace (but not quite that speedy), that I would make any tops. In the end I managed to snaffle two: Broom Fell and Lord’s Seat.

It was a hazy day with very limited views, but there was a pleasantly distracting diversity of insect life about, seemingly enjoying the clammy conditions.

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Dor Beetle

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Looking back from the ascent on Broom Fell – the hill on the left is Whinlatter Top.

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Mother Shipton moth.

I had quite a game getting a sharp photo of this distinctive little chap (or chapess). It’s a Mother Shipton Moth apparently. Look at those dark profiles on the outer edges of each wing; apparently they resemble the famed Yorkshire witch. She was a prophetess. Predicted that the world would go to wrack-and-ruin, destroyed in a conflagration sparked by small boys and blazing 2CVs. Or maybe that’s a load of bullocks.

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The Cairn on Broom Fell.

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Looking back to Broom Fell from Lord’s Seat.

There’s an embarrassing postscript to this tale. I generally pride myself on my ability to cope with the simple tasks in life…tying shoe-laces, utilising a knife and fork efficiently, turning up at airports on the same day that my flight is booked, distinguishing correctly between left and right; that kind of thing. What possessed me then, on the way home, to turn left onto the M6 at Penrith and tootle blissfully along, Scotland-bound I shall never know. I might have got away with it: our boys were happily listening to a story and wouldn’t, I think, have twigged that I had made a preposterous error, but we were giving a friend of theirs a lift and he was soon wise to my buffoonery. Since then I’ve faced a certain amount of ribbing from the parents of the rest of the cub-scout troop. (Is troop the right collective noun? Band? Mob? Cell?)

Anyway, a grand (half) day out. Roll on the next BWOO.

A Hazy Day on Lord’s Seat