Solomon’s-seal in Eaves Wood.
A very elegant plant, Solomon’s-seal, even if the flowers are hardly spectacular. We have some in our garden. There is a garden variety, a hybrid of Solomon’s-seal and angular Solomon’s-seal. Apparently, the hybrid is more vigorous than either of the parent plants, which makes me think that what’s growing in both Eaves Wood and our garden is probably not the garden variety, since neither show much inclination to spread.
Just after I took this photo, I spotted a pair of roe deer, I even managed to take a couple of blurred photos, one of which, rather comically, only shows the hind quarters of one of the deer. I think I photographed the same pair on another walk a few days later; they were memorable because one was still in the dull grey-brown of it’s winter coat whereas the other had upgraded to the golden-brown summer coat.
Every year a solitary sweet woodruff plant appears in the hedge bottom along the lane from home and I welcome it like the returning friend it is and wonder why I don’t see sweet woodruff elsewhere. This year I have found it in a couple of other places, most noticeably in Eaves Wood, where some trees have been cleared it has already spread over quite an area.
It was close to where the herb paris was now flowering…
Mayflower – the hawthorns had come into bloom.
Bird’s-foot trefoil and germander speedwell complementing each other very nicely.
Early forget-me-not. Perhaps. Minuscule flowers.
I’m very fond of mouse-ear-hawkweed, principally, I think, because it’s just about the only yellow-flowered member of the daisy family which is easily identified, due to it’s downy leaves which have silvery undersides. The flowers are also noticeably paler than some of the hawkbits which it might otherwise resemble.
In the meadow by Challan Hall, I was very taken by the splash of blue provided by these germander speedwells. Not quite as breath-taking as the spring gentians I might have been visiting in Teesdale, if I’d felt a long drive to Teesdale was appropriate during lockdown, but not a bad substitute.
Wild strawberry flowers.
I wish I’d taken more care and had a few attempts to photograph this tiny-flowered plant in the woods by Hawes Water. I now think that it’s kidney saxifrage, a plant which is only native to Kerry and West Cork in Ireland, but which has been introduced in Britain.
I think I dismissed it as a garden escapee and moved on too quickly to look at more familiar plants!
Common gromwell – an architectural plant much more striking for its leaves than for its unremarkable flowers.
It took a while to track this down, but I now think that it’s winter cress. It’s bitter and peppery apparently and the leaves appear in December – hence the name.
This stream, unnamed on the OS map, flows through Little Hawes Water and into Hawes Water, then from Hawes Water through Hawes Water Moss, across the golf course and into Leighton Moss, so I suppose that ultimately it’s one of the sources of Quicksand Pool. The water was particularly clear so that I could see the three-spined stickleback.
Silvery for most of the year but, in breeding season, male acquires red belly and bluish dorsal sheen.
Collins Complete British Wildlife.
A plant generally of streams, although these weren’t growing in an obviously wet spot. The flowers are instantly recognisable as speedwell flowers, and brooklime belongs to the Veronica genus with the speedwells. The fleshy leaves are obviously different however. The full latin name is Veronica beccabunga with the species name beccabunga deriving from the German word ‘beck’ I read, but surely, that’s an English word too?
Bird’s-eye primrose – a Hawes Water speciality, growing at the southern limit of its range.
I read online (at a source which I found whilst looking for something else entirely, and which, annoyingly, I can’t currently find) that Hawes Water is a polje, a kind of deep lake particular to karst limestone areas. I know that it is deep and doesn’t freeze over in the winter, which means that, on the rare occasions that it gets very cold here, the surface of the lake can be thronged with waterfowl.
One of a clump of cowslips all of which had many flowers.
A newish bench.
Jackdaws are generally gregarious birds, but when the rest of the clattering took to the wing, spooked by the interloper with the camera, this one decided to remain alone. In fact, coming towards me to pick out a titbit from the grass…
And yes, clattering is the collective noun for jackdaws apparently. Or train.
New oak leaves.
Male large white butterfly on bluebells.
..is Ursula Southeil, better known as Mother Shipton, sixteenth century prophetess. She lives on today as a statue and a visitor attraction in Knaresborough: you can visit the cave in which she was reputedly born.
She also lends her name to…
…the Mother Shipton moth. I think you’ll see why.
It’s maybe a bit of a shame that this engagingly patterned moth is named after an unfortunate woman whose neighbours apparently called her hagface.
Initially, when this moth bounced past me, I got all a-flutter because I was looking for Duke of Burgundy butterflies. It was actually too early, I think, for them to be flying, and the Mother Shipton is completely the wrong colours, but I still got in a flap. Once I had my camera steady and pointed in the right direction I recognised the moth, because I’ve seen one once before, in the hills above Whinlatter.
I’ve been back to look for Duke of Burgundies since. Repeatedly. No luck. Again. But I have seen all sorts other interesting things, so not to worry. Next year!
Gait Barrows limestone pavement.
Song Thrush. I love the way they have to have absolutely the most prominent perch on offer to sing, like a real diva.
Since some of the trees were cleared from around Hawes Water you get tantalising views of the lake from the higher parts of Gait Barrows. I climbed this small edge..
…to see if the lake was visible from there. It was, but it’s hard to pick it out in the photo…
The slight gain in height gave an interesting new perspective on the limestone pavement though…
I think that this might be a sedge warbler. I watched a pair of them seemingly endlessly circuiting between a dense bush and this ash tree, singing constantly. I can say, with some confidence that it is a warbler but not a chiff-chaff, because the song was wrong, but that’s as far as my confidence extends.
Lots of bugle! This was by the stream again, but this time upstream of Little Hawes Water.
Common carder bee, perhaps, on bugle.
The reason photos of Little Hawes Water have never appeared on the blog is that it’s in there somewhere, or perhaps I should say that those trees are in Little Hawes Water, some of them at least, since trees grow in the pond.
One of the first blues records I bought was a Howling Wolf compilation. What a choice: Smokestack Lightning, Back Door Man, Moaning at Midnight, Little Red Rooster, Killing Floor, 300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy and this…
It wasn’t until many years later that I heard this much, much older version by the Mississippi Sheiks…
And only last week that I stumbled upon Doc Watson’s rendition…
There are, of course, lots of other covers, by the Grateful Dead, Cream and Jack White for example.
But here’s a bluegrass version…