More Spring Colour

Hagg Wood – Silverdale Green – Sharp’s Lot – Pointer Wood – Stankelt Road – The Lots – The Cove – The Shore


A couple of nights after my last visit to Hagg Wood, I was out again, but this time with some better light to catch the new leaves on one of the Inman Oaks.


And the palette of greens in Hagg Wood…



Not all of the oaks had new leaves yet…


The stronger light was short-lived…


I watched this blackbird for a while. It repeatedly, diligently wiped either side of its beak against the branch it was perched on. I can’t think why.


In Pointer Wood there’s a Wilding Apple I like to visit. It’s almost in flower…



More Wych Elm.


The ‘Primrose Garden’.


I arrived on the coast a little too late for the sunset.


As I walked across The Lots I watched a man walking his dog out on the Bay. It’s been looking unusually firm and sandy near the coast recently and I couldn’t resist having a walk on the ‘sand’. In this case appearances weren’t misleading and I enjoyed my stroll, doubling back along the coast to pretty much where I had just come from.


Sometimes our actions can have unexpected, or indeed unintended consequences. One knock-on of my renewed determination to get out and about as often as I can is the fact that even though April is a month in which I often take a lot of photos, this year I have still far exceeded my standard haul. Also, I noticed with some surprise today, I’ve published a post every day this month so far. In fact, my streak has lasted a little longer than that. That too has consequences. For one thing, a few more people seem to be reading my blog (or at least visiting, and sometimes clicking ‘like’ or ‘follow’, which isn’t necessarily the same as reading). Also, I now feel under some pressure to keep it going; at least till the end of the month, although I’m not sure that I can manage it. We shall see…

More Spring Colour

Place Fell


Looking into Deepdale.

The last day of our Easter holiday (apart, that is for TBH who still had the rest of the week to look forward to). We had arranged a walk with our friends Dr R and her daughter E. Dr R is ticking off the Wainwrights and we needed a route which took in something new, but also gave the potential for meeting some none walking members of the party for tea and cake. I hit upon the idea of climbing Place Fell from Glenridding, descending to Howtown and returning on a Lake Steamer to Glenridding.


Place Fell summit.

And a very fine walk it was, although it was very cold for our second lunch stop on the summit.


I was pretty confident that this would be an enjoyable walk; it’s one I’ve done many times before, in particular, when we used to have family get-togethers at Easter in the Youth Hostel down below in Patterdale.


Skimming Stones.

I’m pretty sure (and I will get around to looking it up eventually) that Place Fell has a fair smattering of Birketts, but I wasn’t too bothered about that today. I did however divert up High Dodd simply because it looked very inviting.

I was pleased I did because the view of Ullswater was excellent from there.



Scalehow Beck from Low Dodd.


Cascade on Scalehow Beck.



This waterfall on Scalehow Beck looks like it is probably very dramatic, but it’s difficult to get a decent view of it from the path: the photo only shows the top of the fall.



I was surprised to see that this tree, an oak, had come into leaf, because I’ve been watching for that to happen at home, but I was sure that it hadn’t.


The walk around the shore from Sandwick to Howtown through Hallinhag Wood is delightful. And was enlivened for me by the appearance of a pair of Treecreepers, not a bird I see very often.



Here in the woods, most of the trees were still bare, so this tree, in full leaf…


…and a cheerful bright green – I think a Sycamore – really stood out.


Arthur’s Pike and Bonscale Pike.

We arrived in Howtown with only a few minutes to spare before the 5 o’clock sailing of the Steamer and no time for the planned tea and cake interval there.


But I think we all enjoyed the pleasure cruise. I know that I did!


I’ve almost reneged on my promise of some ee cummings before the end of April, but after a trip to Howtown I can’t resist this:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Place Fell

Very Little and Decidedly Often


A long time ago, when I could hold these things in my head, or thought I could, I kept a sort of league table of hills ranked by the number of times I’d climbed them. Glyder Fach topped the table, due to the fact that it was one ahead of Glyder Fawr; I usually climbed them together, but had once descended Y Gribin after an ascent via Tryfan. In retrospect however, I must have been excluding, or at least overlooking, the hills of the Peak District many of which were much more familiar to me then than the mountains of Snowdonia or the Lake District. Anyway, I was rather pleased with what seemed to me to be my special connection with this fine mountain and I began to consider it as something of a favourite.

So, in a more modest way, if voting with your feet is any way to judge, then the walk during which I took these photos must be my favourite. It’s a short stroll – clocking-in at just over a mile and a half, I’ve recently discovered – taking in the The Cove and The Lots and, in this simplest version, returning via the centre of the village, usually incorporating a stop to do a bit of grocery shopping.


Although oft repeated and very familiar, it never loses its lustre, because there’s always something new to see. This, for example, is a Tree Bumblebee (Bombus Hypnorum). I’m reasonably confident of that because apparently the ginger thorax and white tail is distinctive of this species. I spotted it on a Flowering Currant in a garden on Townsfield (which name, rather confusingly, refers both to a field and to the street alongside it).

“B. hypnorum has a natural distribution in Mainland Europe, through Asia and up to the Arctic Circle. It was first found in the UK in 2001, in Wiltshire; but must have arrived from Mainland Europe. It has spread rapidly and is now present in most of England and much of Wales, where it can be very common in late spring to early summer. In 2013 it reached southern Scotland. Much of it’s rapid spread is probably due to it’s habit of setting up home in Bird Boxes, which abound in the UK.”


This was quite a large bee and I wonder whether it might have been a queen?


Black-headed gulls?


Because I’ve been visiting The Cove on an almost daily basis I’ve become very familiar with the Shelduck who are ubiquitous on the edges of the Bay at the moment.


Very Little and Decidedly Often

Homework – About Silverdale


The George Whittaker Memorial Park.

Little S has Easter holiday homework – to produce a leaflet about the village. His interpretation of that brief was to design a kind of promotional pamphlet: ‘Why You Should Come to Silverdale’. He asked me to accompany him around the village to take some photos to include. Obviously, I was more than happy to do that – this is the kind of homework I like to help with. As a preliminary, I asked him to first draw up a list of places he wanted to visit and a sensible route taking them in.


It was interesting to see the village from his perspective and the places he chose as important.

Incidentally, the ‘Climbing Tree’…


…wasn’t on his list, but fell conveniently between the Park and the Pepper Pot…


…both of which were.

S thought it important to include some places where potential visitors might stay, so we called at Holgates Caravan Park…


I’d decided that I would be on my best behaviour: I had a photographic assignment to fulfil and wouldn’t be wasting time pursuing my own agenda. But then this singing Goldfinch, just by Cove Road, dented my resolve…


Our next port of call was The Cove where Little S was far more interested in the smelly cave and the opportunities for climbing on the rocks…


Than in the view…


Or any birdwatching prospects…



Meanwhile, any good intentions I’d harboured had sunk without trace, foundering on the luscious purple of these Violets…


…and the surprise of Early Purple Orchids on the Lots…


When a relatively pale and largish bird flew up from the field into a Horse Chestnut, B asked whether it could be a Kestrel. I must admit that the same idea had crossed my mind, but it was soon apparent that we were wrong. It was a Mistle Thrush…


We were edging towards the tree, trying to get closer in order to get better photographs. When two Jackdaws landed nearby, I assumed that the Thrush would flee, but not a bit of it…



More accommodation!


Gibraltar Farm campsite.


I noticed these flowers in a copse off Hollins Lane, near to the Wolfhouse Gallery. On a larger photograph (click on the photo to view on flickr) this is unmistakably Cardamine Bulbifera  – there are small black bulbils on the stems, which is how the plant spreads. It prefers calcareous soils, and in this region is probably a garden escapee, although it is endemic to the British Isles. It seems to have several common names: Coralroot, Coralroot Bittercress, Coral-wort.


“There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine,
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain;
And, the first moment that the sun may shine,
Bright as the sun himself, ’tis out again!”

William Wordsworth


This was a Celandine sort of day, starting dull but brightening up in the afternoon.



The path up to the Clifftop.

There were other places on Little S’s list, but with the various distractions we were susceptible to, we’d already managed to make a modest walk of less than five miles drag out to around three hours. We decided to make do with what we’d got and head home for some tea.

Homework – About Silverdale

Turnstones on Roa Island


Male Eider.


Turnstone (non-breeding plumage).


Edible Crab.


Sea Spider.




Broad-clawed Porcelain Crab.


Chiton (possibly Lepidochitona cinerea).








Herring Gull.


Juvenile Herring Gull (probably).


Roa Island just keeps on giving and giving. Every visit throws up something new. This time both the wind and the water were perishingly cold and we didn’t find quite the same abundance as usual. Apart, that is, from B, who has an eagle eye for these things. Sea Spiders and Chitons are both new to me. Sea Spiders aren’t actually spiders, but do have an extraordinary resemblance, whilst Chitons are molluscs with eight overlapping plates. A found the Chiton – when she pointed it out in a shallow pool I assumed that what she’d seen was just a fragment of a seashell.

Whilst the others retired to the shelter of the car to eat their packed tea, I wandered back down to the end of the jetty and tried to capture images of flying gulls. Slightly quixotic behaviour, since the light was fading, and the gulls raced past downwind, but they were relatively stately when they flew back upwind so it wasn’t impossible.

Many of the stones we overturned were covered in eggs (or roe) of some kind. The roe, in turn, was often covered in Whelks. I couldn’t decided whether the Whelks were laying eggs or eating them. Several stones also had blobs of creamy white or emerald green…well, we’ve christened it ‘snot’, for want of any more accurate knowledge.

No doubt, we’ll be back again sometime this summer.

Turnstones on Roa Island



Ingleborough and Force Gill.

So, TBH was on holiday at last, the forecast was half decent, although it looked likely to be cold, some good friends were keen to join us, where should we go? You can see the answer from the title of the post – the boys were keen to tick-off the third of the Three Peaks triumvirate. Initially, I thought of an ascent from Dent, which is both quiet and also an excellent way to climb Whernside, but when I considered our party I thought that maybe this shorter route, from Ribblehead, would be a better bet.


Waterfall in Force Gill.

We followed almost exactly the same route as I did last time I came this way.



The kids seemed to enjoy hopping back and forth across the gill to find a suitable upstream route, and, like last time, progress was very slow.

In a sluggish side-stream, away from the main flow, I spotted…


…what I thought was a Crowfoot, a ranunculus or buttercup which specialises in growing in water.


Round-leaved Crowfoot (Ranunculus omiophyllus).

What I didn’t realise at the time is that there are nine different species of crowfoot (or crowfeet?) which grow in Britain, and that, apparently, they can be difficult to distinguish. But this seems to me to be fairly clearly Round-leaved Crowfoot:

“This plant prefers slow moving streams and ditches on acidic soils. It is very western in its distribution being present throughout Wales, the south west of England and north west England.”



Once again I saw Dippers and Wrens and Wagtails here by the stream.


Mutiny was afoot, with growing calls for a lunch stop sooner rather than later. I assured my sceptical companions that I had somewhere in mind, and that it would be worth waiting for.


And we duly halted when we reached The Mare’s Tail waterfall.


Grey Wagtail.


Force Gill.


Lunch time!

It was after our lunch that we made our only small departure from the route of my previous visit. Remembering the soggy ground of Greensett Moss, I opted to take a line from the top of the waterfall away from the beck and back towards the path, which proved to be an excellent choice because the ground was firm and dry and made for easy-going.



Greensett Tarn.


The boys found a hole in the ground which, obviously, made them very happy.





Ribblehead and Pen-y-ghent.




Looking back to Whernside.



Ribblehead Viaduct.

A magnificent day out. The weather had been, if anything, slightly better than forecast, the company was terrific, the route up by the waterfalls is delightful and the boys have now completed the set and can start to put houses and hotels on it next time they pass Go and have some ready cash…..actually, has anyone thought of marketing a ‘Mountains Monopoly’? You heard it here first if not!

Edit: it seems, at least in America that something similar is already on the market.


Little and Often – Three is the Magic Number


As if to underline my point about the ubiquity of Nuthatches, I spotted this one, well heard it first, but then found it, when I was hardly out of our front door.


An early start this one, you can tell from the long shadows.


Female Blackbird.


Looking back at the village and Eaves Wood from near the Green.


Song Thrush…




On Stankelt Road many of the roofs and chimney pots had one or two Jackdaws.


I suppose, like Arnside Tower and Trowbarrow quarry where I often see them, this environment is sufficiently like the rocky cliffs they prefer to feel like home.

Like Nuthatches, Blue Tits are ubiquitous, but perhaps even more fidgety and difficult to see clearly long enough to photograph.


Today, at various points around the walk, they were more amenable.


This prominent perching spot…


…was occupied by a Crow the last two times I went past it, but today the Crow had seemingly been usurped by a very strident Nuthatch.


A hazy view of Grange.


Shelducks and Oyster-catcher


Another female Blackbird, with….? Doesn’t look particularly like food or nesting material.



Male Blackbird looking on. With a broken wing? I feel a song coming on.


Like I said, the Ramsons on the verge on Cove Road are flowering already.


So are the Bluebells.


Move gave this walk as 3.9km, but when I’ve walked a slightly longer variation on this subsequently, it gave it as 3.8km. I shall have to assume that it’s only approximate. I’ve tried measuring the longer version on a map using WalkJogRun (thanks for the tip Jackie) which came up with 2.34 miles, which, by my calculation, is a little bit less than the 3.8km, but then, measuring on the ground really ought to give a slightly greater value so that’s okay.


I think that this is probably another Raven, simply because it seemed so large. It was in the field by Cove Road and hopped onto the fence in front of me. Unfortunately, the camera’s auto-focus wasn’t playing so I didn’t get what should have been an excellent photo. When the bird regally hopped down onto the road, it managed to give the distinct impression that it wasn’t the least bit afraid of me, but was moving because it genuinely wanted to.


Green Alkanet.

Apparently, according to a study conducted in New Zealand last year, people who have Type 2 diabetes should exercise three times a day, preferably after eating. Frankly, I’ve rarely managed three walks a day, but I’m quite often out twice. And, yes, I have T2D, something I’ve only obliquely referred to on the blog before. I feel more comfortable about mentioning it now, since my blood test last week showed my HbA1c to be down from 9.7 (pretty bad) in January to 6.7 (almost acceptable) last week.

So, I was out again after tea, without my camera, since it was cloudy and wet, for a tour around Eaves Wood, including around the northern side, Middlebarrow, which I don’t visit all that often. That came out as 6.0km. This three miles business is easy. When I’m not at work, anyway.

Little and Often – Three is the Magic Number