Eaves Wood – Arnside Tower – Far Arnside – Park Point – White Creek – Blackstone Point – New Barns – Copridding Wood – Arnside Knott – Redhill Woods – Hagg Wood – Black Dyke – Silverdale Moss – Gait Barrows – Hawes Water – Moss Lane – Redbridge Lane – The Row – Hagg Wood
Big clouds and the beach at Far Arnside.
The best day of my solo week was the Thursday, which was windy and changeable, but which also brought quite a bit of sunshine. Because the forecast wasn’t great, I decided to stay close to home again.
Last autumn, I collected some sloes with a view to making some sloe gin. I was a bit early and the sloes hadn’t had their first frost yet, but I’d read that you can just stick them in the freezer and achieve the same affect, which I duly did. I’m sure that I warned TBH about the sloes. Well, fairly sure. Anyway, she forgot, and added the sloes to her breakfast smoothie one morning, thinking they were frozen blueberries. The resulting smoothie was more crunchy than smooth, being full of bits of the stones from the sloes and it was also mouth-puckeringly tart.
I’ve posted pictures of these fossilised corals from Far Arnside a couple of times before.
They aren’t always easy to find, which doesn’t make much sense, I know, but I was pleased to find them again on this occasion and spent a happy few moments seeking them out on the rocks.
This delicate and inconspicuous plant bears slender spikes of pale lilac flowers. It is hard to understand why our ancestors regarded such a modest and unassuming plant as immensely powerful.
from Hatfield’s Herbal by Gabrielle Hatfield
Can’t think that I’ve noticed this plant before, but there was quite a bit of it blowing about in the stiff wind on the rocks hard by the shore. It was apparently sacred to the Druids, widely regarded as a panacea in the Middle Ages, and thought to be both used by witches and proof against witchcraft.
Looking along the shore towards Grange.
A similar view taken not too much after the previous photo. You can see that the weather was very changeable.
The Kent Estuary.
A Tellin. I don’t know whether it’s a Thin Tellin or a Baltic Tellin, but I was interested to read that the creatures which occupy these shells can live beneath the sand at densities of up to 3000 per cubic metre.
A shower on the far bank.
Meathop Fell across the Kent – bathed in sunshine again.
The Kent at New Barns.
Big Clouds over Meathop Fell.
After our stay in the Tarn Gorge, where most flowers seemed to have already gone over to seed, I was on the look-out to see what was still in bloom at home. The refreshing answer was that there was so many things flowering that I soon lost count.
A Hoverfly on a Hawk’s-beard. I wish I could be more specific, but Britain has several species of Hawk’s-beard and over 250 kinds of hoverfly and I can’t be sure about either of these.
Another hoverfly – possibly Helophilus Pendulus.
And yet another kind, also unidentified.
Creeping Thistle and, I think, a Mason Bee (22 resident British species).
Mason bees, although closely related to social wasps, are solitary hunters which stock their nests with various insects to feed their larvae.
Yet another kind of hoverfly, perhaps a Drone Fly, this time on Yarrow.
And another, on Common Knapweed, I think.
This has been quite a year for fungi, and this walk was no exception, with many different sizes, colours and forms seen.
A rather faded Brown Argus butterfly.
This area is unusual because it’s on the northern limit of the Brown Argus and the southern limit of the Northern Brown Argus, but has both species. I’ve rarely seen either though, so this was a bit of a bonus.
In Greek mythology, Argus was a giant with a hundred eyes.
Bedeguar Galls, home to wasp grubs.
Common Darter, this colouration is typical of older females.
The view from the Knott, excellent though it was, was curtailed somewhat by clouds obscuring the larger hills of the the Lake District, which, to some extent at least, justified my decision not to head for the hills for a walk.
I stopped for half an hour, to sit on a bench and make a brew. I chatted to a couple of chaps I’d met earlier in the walk and was also befriended by a wasp, which was apparently fascinated by my phone and insisted on crawling all over it.
A bumblebee on what looks like Marsh Woundwort, although it wasn’t growing in a remotely marshy spot.
Blackberries – I ate plenty during this walk.
A male Small White (I think).
That bumblebee again. I can’t see any pollen-baskets, so is it a male or a Cuckoo Bee?
Arnside Knott pano (click on this, or nay other, image to see larger version on flickr.
A common plant with many names: Broad-leaved Plantain, Rat’s-tail Plantain, Banjos, Angel’s Harps. To the Anglo-Saxons it was Waybread, one of their nine sacred herbs and another powerful medicinal plant. I remember playing with these as a child – gently pulled away from the plant, a leaf would bring with several long thin fibres – the challenge was to get longer ‘guitar strings’ than your friends. Who needs Fortnite?
It wasn’t only me enjoying the blackberries!
Middlebarrow and Arnside Knott.
Arnside Knott across Silverdale Moss.
These look like mutant Blackberries, but in fact they are a related species: Dewberries. They have fewer segments and are so juicy that they tend to disintegrate when picked. In my opinion, they’re superior to blackberries. They’re apparently more common in Eastern England, but I now know several spots where they grow.
Grasshopper (possibly Common Green Grasshopper).
This is the field adjacent to the one where I found lots of mushrooms just a couple of days before. All along this track there was a new rash of small mushrooms.
A little later I passed through another field with, if anything, even more mushrooms.
Of course, mushrooms are fine in the field, but even better with a piece of rump steak and a creamy blue cheese sauce….
Fine way to finish a fine day.