Unusually, for my recent posts, all of these photos are from a single lazy local walk, a few miles spaced out over several hours, during which I took lots of photos and stopped for several brews.
Quite clever of this tiny flower to incorporate both the names of two birds and two hyphens in its name.
I managed quite a bit of swimming this summer, but am still jealous of this solitary bather, since I’ve never swum in Hawes Water. It’s quite hard to see how you could get in through the reeds, although a couple of the houses on Moss Lane have private jetties.
The first of May, the Saturday of the Bank Holiday weekend. The weather was obviously a bit changeable with some sunshine, but some very dark clouds and showers about too. I managed to eke out 5 miles by walking small loops, returning to the house each time; one through Eaves Wood, one via the Cove and the Lots, and finally which took me to Woodwell.
I’m always happy to spot the mauve flowers of Coralroot. I knew that it probably wasn’t native to this area, but didn’t realise just how rare it is in the UK.
This last photo was the last of several failed attempts to catch the drama of these dark clouds with one tiny cloud on the right really catching the sun and shining quite brightly. It was quite a sight.
I would be heading out in the direction of the Howgills the following day.
Well, I must have gone back to work. I mean physically back to work, rather than working from home. Until March I’d been out for a walk most days, but then the wheels came off. Working for a living is highly inconvenient. Anyway – here’s most of March:
Spring! I’m sure that the celandines had been flowering for a while at this point, and the Cuckoo Pint leaves hadn’t recently appeared on the floor of Eaves Wood…
Maybe it was the blue skies and sunshine which made me pay attention to them. And to the wash of yellow catkins on the Hazel trees.
I do remember showing TBH the tiny red male flowers, like little starfish, on the Hazels, which apparently she hadn’t seen before.
There’s a garden on The Row which has an amazing display of crocuses every year, which I always make a point of going to see.
A walk around Gait Barrows most memorable for this pair of Buzzards. I’ve become very wary (well frightened, if I’m honest) of these birds, having been attacked a few times by highly aggressive/protective tiercels during the nesting season. On the other hand, they are beautiful birds, and I’m drawn to them, like a moth to the flame perhaps. So here, I was gradually creeping towards the tree they were perched in, hoping that it was too early in the year for them to take umbrage, but also half hiding behind a small hummock, the top of which can be seen in the photo.
The light, unfortunately, was a bit rubbish, which doesn’t really square with these two views of Hawes Water…
…which can’t have been taken very long afterwards.
I must have been a bit late leaving the house, since the sun was already setting.
To the Pepper Pot and then The Cove with TBH and ‘Little S’.
One of those days when the a layer of cloud coverage had a very visible edge with clear skies beyond.
A walk around the coast to Arnside for a pie with TBH. No return over the Knott however and not many photos either.
I’m assuming that there followed a couple of weeks of very iffy weather, because I don’t seem to have got out much until later in the month. Or a couple of weeks of extreme lassitude on my part. Or both.
So: Operation Catch-up is underway. February gets just a single post. Lots of short walks in February, nothing much further than 5 miles and often shorter than that. No ascents of Arnside Knot, but endless trips to Jenny Brown’s Point. I see, from MapMyWalk, that there were a couple of spells when I didn’t get out for several days running – I think a combination of work, inclement weather and decorating were to blame (decorating, I have decided, is one of TBH’s hobbies). As far as I remember, I only left the immediate area once all month.
I think it’s fair to say that the weather was quite variable, as you might expect in February, but as my photos show, there was some blue sky about too from time to time.
A had a physio appointment in Lancaster. Whilst she was there, I took the opportunity to have a wander around Williamson Park and the grounds of the University of Cumbria (in Lancaster, in Lancashire, I know?).
TBH and I were out for our habitual circuit via The Cove and The Lots. We met A walking with her friend S, The Tower Captain’s daughter, and their dogs Hanley and Bramble.
A couple of hedgerows close to home were cut right back, down to the ground, but the roots weren’t dug out, I don’t think, so hopefully they’ll eventually grow back. (Must check on their progress.)
I love the shape of the oaks when their branches are bare.
Several different breeds of sheep here; I think the large one in the middle foreground is a Valais Blacknose sheep, presumably enjoying the ‘Alpine’ conditions in Silverdale. I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember wether I ever noticed any sheep like this when, years ago, I holidayed in Saas Fee, in the Valais Canton of Switzerland, but I can’t recall.
One of several photos I attempted to take of the sky, which had some interesting colours, during a wander around Middlebarrow Woods, where it’s quite hard to find a view which is uninterrupted by trees.
This view was massively enhanced by the presence of a large flock of birds, which, unfortunately, were too far away to show up very well in the photograph.
A walk across the sands, the first for quite some time, with TBH and A, from The Cove to Know Point. It was clearly ‘blueing up’ as Andy often says, so I tried to persuade them both to carry on around Jenny Brown’s Point with me, but I think lunch was calling, so I had to settle for continuing on my own.
The two small figures on the water are on stand-up paddle boards, the toy of choice this summer it seems. It looked idyllic, I have to say. We debated whether we could use our inflatable kayaks in a similar fashion – we haven’t done to date, but maybe this reminder will galvanise some action on my part?
I know – it’s very odd that I’m posting pictures of our snowy garden when the country is currently experiencing a heatwave. What’s more, whilst I’ve been dashing off whole weeks with a single post, this post only covers the first of two Saturday walks at the end of the working week covered in the previous post.
We all get a bit excited when we have snow, it’s fairly infrequent here, but none more so than A. Here she is making an early morning snowman.
She joined TBH and I for a wander in Eaves Wood, which was surprisingly quiet.
Weirdly, although it remained very cloudy for most of the day, when we walked down to The Cove, we briefly had an outbreak of blue sky and sunshine.
The Lots were very busy with young and old. The humps and hollows there are perfect for some fairly safe sledging.
In the afternoon, I was out again, on my tod, but that will have to wait for my next post.
The Euros have been playing havoc with my resolve to catch up with the blog, so here’s another week-to-view post covering a walking/working-from-home week back in mid-January.
On a few occasions when my timetable allowed, I wandered over to Myer’s allotment for lunch with a view. On this occasion, I remember, it started to drizzle as I sat down with my flask of soup, and stopped just as I packed up to leave.
With snow on the ground, a little bit of mist about and a fairly clear sky, worth getting out for an early work. Not that you need to be up that early here in early January to catch the sunrise.
I had a short walk, across the fields and then up into Eaves Wood.
Later I was out again and did a very similar walk with the next door neighbours who had a chore to do at the Silver Sapling campsite, probably breaking the rules in some way into the bargain.
Later still, I was out on my own again, wandering around Jenny Brown’s Point. The light was superb.
Right through the winter, there’s a really impressive Starling Murmuration and roost at Leighton Moss. Of late, I haven’t made the effort to get down there to see it often enough. On this occasion, as I walked along the top of the small cliffs of Jack Scout, part of the murmuration flew along the coast behind me and swooped past me following the cliffs. Usually the Starlings fly just above the treetops, but this time, where there weren’t any trees, they were low, hugging the cliffs, and so I was enveloped in the flock and in the astonishing whirr of thousands of wings. It was breathtaking. They came around three or four more times, but never quite so close.
The sunset was highly impressive. I watched for ages, taking lots of photos (on my phone, I didn’t have my camera with me). When the cold started to seep into my bones, I set off for home, but then, looking behind me, realised that the colours had intensified even further. I went back to the clifftop to take more photos, but then my phone’s battery died.
Unlike my camera, my phone seems, if anything, to rather underplay the colours of a sunset. This one really was spectacular. Especially after the battery had died. You’ll just have to take my word for it!
Another very memorable day, chiefly because of the Starlings.
New Year’s Eve brought a light dusting of snow. A is always keen to get out and enjoy snow when it comes, which is not that often here. We first when up to the Pepper Pot to get a view over the village and then headed down towards The Cove.
I don’t think snow usually settles on the sands of the Bay.
I certainly can’t recall seeing anything like this before. I suppose it was because it had been so cold the day before.
We were both struck by the great white expanse and the contrast with the heavy grey clouds above.
The cloud started very low, and subsequently dropped even further so that, after our walk, the village was enveloped in fog.
Later, however, it seemed that the fog was breaking-up and I set out again for the Pepper Pot. I didn’t take any photos in the fog, but it was still quite dense at home. By the time I was in Eaves Wood though I could see blue sky overhead…
Unlike snow, fog is pretty common place in this area. I can think of many occasions when I’ve thought that the fog was thinning and hoped that the small elevation of Castle Barrow might be sufficient to lift me above the fog – but I’d never actually seen that, until today…
It was an amazing sight – something I’ve seen in the mountains before, but didn’t expect to see from just 70 metres above sea level. I knew the rest of the family would enjoy this, so I phoned them and then watched as the fog continued to disperse and other bits of high ground began to appear…
Inland, to the East, Ingleborough was almost clear of mist.
For some reason, long zoom shots of Ingleborough seem to work best when there is snow on the hill.
At first, I had Castle Barrow to myself, except for this Robin, which didn’t seem all that bothered about the cloud inversion.
All in all, a very memorable New Year’s Eve, even if we couldn’t party with our friends like we usually would.
X-Ray has appeared on this blog from time to time over the years. He’s an old friend who is always great company on a walk. We play in a pub quiz team together, but the pandemic put paid to that and when he rang me over Christmas I realised that I hadn’t seen him since the start of lockdown. A get together seemed called for and we eventually agreed on a walk around Lancaster. It was a glorious sunny day, lots of other people had a similar idea to us and were out for a post Christmas ramble in the unexpected sunshine. I probably should have taken a few more photographs, but X-Ray and I had a lot of catching-up to do, and anyway, whenever we get together we seem to able to fill several hours with non-stop conversation. On this occasion, without really realising it, we managed eight miles of blether before we’d found our way back to X-Ray’s flat.
We talked, among other things, about work; the pandemic, of course; pensions I seem to remember – probably an age thing; and about shoes. X-Ray had been reluctant to come for a walk from Silverdale to Arnside because he has no comfortable walking boots. For our walk he was wearing, I think, a pair of trainers with part of the toes removed. He finds it very difficult to buy shoes or boots which are wide enough for his feet, as do I. I told him about my Altberg boots, which I bought at Whalley Warm and Dry and which, after 5 years of use, are a little scuffed but otherwise as good as new. In fact, I’m wearing them more and more, as I find that they are consistently the most comfortable footwear I own. Anyway, X-Ray rang me last week and told me that he has an appointment next week at Whalley Warm and Dry to get some boots fitted. Hopefully, he can find something which is a good fit, and then we can get out for a walk somewhere a little further afield. Remembering our chat has also got me thinking about maybe going back myself to try a pair of Altberg shoes.
Talking of kit, we were out for a family walk later that same day, after sunset, to try out a Christmas present, a wooly hat with an integral head-torch.
As you can see, although the sun had already set, the light was rather nice.
I was jealous of B’s hat which, as well as a light, incorporates bluetooth headphones. What a great idea!
People were going further afield for their daily exercise. I knew this. Every day we drove past the Eaves Wood car park and it was full. I could read about it on blogs. People I met on my walks recounted trips to the Dales and the Lakes.
And I would be doing the same. Soon, very soon.
But somehow, I didn’t get around to it.
I wasn’t particularly worried about what might happen, or any potential consequences.
I’m a creature of habit. I just seemed to be stuck in a rut of sorts.
Still, there are worse ruts to be in!
I was still getting out a lot. Frequent visits to The Cove, The Pepper Pot, and around Jenny Brown’s Point, usually with TBH.
The weather was a bit mixed, to say the least.
This was a memorable walk. The tide was exceptionally high. So much so that we had to turn back and couldn’t get around Jenny Brown’s because the the salt marsh was inundated.
It was also very windy and squally, with very heavy showers.
We walked across Quaker’s Stang which was completely exposed to the wind off the sea, and made for very bracing walking.
So – I’ve dismissed November with a solitary post again.
What would break my out of my routine? I needed an external stimulus, an intervention you might say…
Here’s something I haven’t done for a while – a tune for the end of the post. I absolute love the interplay of voices on this Levon Helm track….