Lucky Man

Winter Aconites – not quite flowering, but almost there.

Mid-January. It’s a whole fortnight (and two posts) since I walked around the coast to Arnside and back over the Knott. Better do it again! What’s-more, I was back to it the following day. You have been warned!

Looking back, the first photo I took that day, from almost outside my own front door, had me puzzled for a moment. Then I remembered – it shows a thin strip of blue along the northern skyline – the weather had suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly improved, and the photo was an aide memoire to remind me of that happy change. To the south the skies were still black. Later, I took a picture of a dark, shadowed Arnside Knott with completely blue skies behind it.

Fortunately, rents began to appear in the massed clouds, giving some prospect of sunshine to go with the blue…

Light show off Know End Point.
Round the coast again!
Grange-Over-Sands and Hampsfell.
Turning the corner into the Kent Estuary.

I like to drop down on to the sands at this point, if not before, but the tide had clearly been high and it looked far too wet to take that option. Which was a shame, because the cliff path itself was extremely muddy and puddled.

The Salt Marsh at White Creek – inundated.
Meathop Fell across the Kent – showers beyond?
From New Barns – Whitbarrow Scar catching the light, hint of a rainbow behind the viaduct.
Witches Butter – another gelatinous fungi.
A train crossing the viaduct.

I’m no trainspotter, but a train crossing this, or any viaduct, always has me scrabbling for my phone to take pictures. I can’t explain my disproportionate excitement. Having said that, I also love crossing the viaduct on the train, but I think that’s mostly to do with the views it affords. I really hope the proposed footbridge along the viaduct becomes a reality, but I don’t know how likely that is.

Whitbarrow still basking in the sun. Yewbarrow in a black shadow.

The Lakeland Fells were mostly missing in the views, hidden in cloud, and it was clear that there were plenty of showers about, and the occasional attendant rainbows. I never tire of watching the play of light and shadows across the landscape on showery days like this one. It helps if the showers are falling elsewhere, on someone else!

A vicious looking cross-current in the river.

The photo doesn’t really do it justice, but the river here was highly agitated, with waves apparently surging in opposing directions, upstream and down. Maybe the tide was on the turn?

Now Whitbarrow has lost the sun and it’s the viaduct which is lit-up.
Arriving on Arnside Promenade.
A rainbow from High Knott Road.

There are lots of paths up the Knott, but I’ve definitely found a favourite, the path which climbs up from Redhill Woods to the bench on the south side of the summit, on which I don’t think I’ve ever met another walker.

I had company, however, on this occasion – two pairs of Roe Deer which I could see on the slopes below me, but which then darted across the path ahead of me, making their way into the trees towards the trig pillar. Although we often have deer in the garden – there are two there now – I still enjoy seeing them whilst out walking. It’s a bit harder to get good photos in the woods though!

Roe Deer – one of a group of four.
Winter flooding and Silverdale Moss – Ingleborough just about visible.
Beetham Fell and Farleton Fell from Arnside Knott.
Reclining Beech.

I wonder how long ago this tree fell into its current position? Before I moved to the area, so quite a while ago. It’s sent up a thicket of branches, each like a separate trunk. Is it the resilience of fallen trees which live on like this which I admire?

I’ve recently finished reading ‘Wild Fell’ by Lee Schofield about the RSPB management of two farms in the Lake District at Haweswater and Swindale, and which I can thoroughly recommend. One astonishing fact I gleaned from it is that there’s a single Aspen in Utah, called Pando for some reason, which occupies over a hundred acres, has 40,000 trunks, is estimated to weigh 6,000 tons and is thought to be several thousand years old. Aspen spread by sending up suckers, so all of the trunks are genetically identical and are thought to share a vast root system. It is, of course, under threat, probably due to overgrazing.

Looking along the Kent.
Gummer How – the Fells beyond noticeably absent from the view.
Grange-Over-Sands and Hampsfell.
Another free light-show over the Bay.
Arnside Knott.

I was heading home via Far Arnside and Holgates Caravan Park – using the same paths I had set out along. In stark contrast to earlier, Arnside Knott was now brightly illumined by the sun, but the skies behind were heavily clouded and rather ominous. I could see that a shower was coming, could I beat it home?

Caught in a sharp shower when almost home.

No! Still, a brief drenching seems a small price to pay for what preceded it.

Alan Price:

The Verve:

Lucky Man

Jelly Ear and Millipedes

Morecambe Bay and crepuscular rays from Castlebarrow.

In January I did a lot of local walks, not venturing far from home. Since January, the same generally applies, although I have occasionally been a bit further afield. It’s partly laziness, I know, but also, when the forecast is for mixed weather, which it often has been, it makes sense to save time, and petrol, by walking locally, with the added advantage that I can scoot home if it really does turn unpleasant.

Warton Crag and Silverdale from Castlebarrow.

And then there’s just the fact that I enjoy walking in this area. There’s always something to see. Even on a short wander in Eaves Wood. Especially when you take a closer look. So, for example, I was examining this Jelly Fungus…

Jelly Ear fungus in Eaves Wood.

When I noticed the millipedes crawling on the surface of one of them.

Eyed Flat-backed Millipedes.

To my untutored eye, these look like Nanogona polydesmoides, which is the Eyed Flat-backed Millipede, or the False Flat-backed Millipede, depending on which website you believe. The website of the British Myriapod and Isopod Group – millipedes are Myriapods, apparently – lists well over eighty species of millipede, but these seem quite distinctive, so it’s at least possible that my identification is correct. Millipedes are detritivores; creatures which feed on decaying organic matter. I think it’s fair to say that these Jelly Ear fungus were, at the very least, on the turn.

Jelly Ear fungus is allegedly edible; I tried it in a restaurant once and whenever I recall that meal I always remember the wise words of Michael J. ‘Crocodile’ Dundee: “Well, you know, you can live on it, but it tastes like shit”. I’ve seen the words ‘rubbery’ and ‘gelatinous’ used to describe the texture of these toadstools and neither of them seem like good companions to the word ‘appetising’.

The following day I started out in Eaves Wood again, in very gloomy conditions, and was somewhat surprised when I reached Bottom’s Lane to notice that lots of blue had appeared in the skies behind me…

Brightening skies over Eaves Wood.

I was pretty confident that I would find Stinking Hellebore about to flower near Silverdale Green, because they appear on the verge here every year…

Stinking Hellebore.

Since they even beat the Snowdrops, in the flowering stakes, they always feel like the first proper sign of spring, and so I’m always disproportionately pleased to see them.

A Heald Brow pony.

Buoyed up by the improving weather, I continued over Heald Brow and then down an exceptionally muddy, slippery path to the end of Quaker’s Stang, heading for Jenny Brown’s Point.

Carnforth Salt Marsh and Clougha Pike from Heald Brow.
A shower in the Bay, from Jenny Brown’s Point.
More fungi.
Jelly Ear and Millipedes

New Year, Same Old Song.

Humphrey Head and Grange from the coastal path to Arnside.

Taking advantage of some much improved weather, and the fact that my covid-inflicted fatigue seemed to be wearing-off, I got out for a longish local wander, around 11 miles, on the second of January. These days, I’m increasingly drawn to the route around the coast to Arnside with a return over the Knott.

And again.

There are lots of other great walks in the area, but the appeals of this one are hard to match.

Looking out into the Bay.
Looking back towards Silverdale.

Just in case the sunshine is making you think it might have been a warm, balmy day, this is the first sight that greeted me when I left the house…

Car bonnet frost flowers.
A car roof frost spiral.

On the way to the coast at Far Arnside I indulged myself with some old favourite obsessions, which perhaps haven’t appeared on the blog as often recently as they once did…

Back-lit leaves.
Back-lit leaf.
Almost seasonal holly berries.
Back-lit Bramble leaves.
Back-lit Oak leaves.

Leaves, berries and Robins and the like.

Grange and Hampsfell.
Turning in to the Kent Estuary.

At the far end of the White Creek shingle beach there must have been rich pickings in an area of rough grass just above the high-tide line; several Chaffinches, a couple of Robins, and a Blackbird were darting to and fro from the low trees nearby to the turf.


In amongst the others was a bird I didn’t recognise, and I got overly excited thinking that it was something exotic. In my defence, I did assume that it was a bunting of some kind. It is: a Reed Bunting, which I’ve seen in lots of places locally, but never down on the coast before.

Reed Bunting.
The River Kent and Grange.
Across the Kent to Meathop Fell.
Along the Kent to the Howgills.
River Kent pano.
Arnside Knott from New Barns.
The river, the viaduct and the Howgills from New Barns.
Complex channels at New Barns.
Looking back to New Barns.
Close to Arnside – it was busy.
Whitbarrow Scar and the viaduct.
Clouds reflected in the Kent.
Another Robin.

I’ve joined a Facebook group, Fungi of the World, and the weird and wonderful photos which are posted there have inspired me to pay more attention to the varied forms of fungi in our local woods. On my way up on to the Knott, I took a circuitous route, including a wander around Redhill Woods to have a gander at the fungi there.

Tiny, tiny fungi – Ear Fungus fruiting bodies just appearing?
Shiny, black bracket fungus.
More fungus.
Even more fungus.

I found many kinds, but not all of them are here as some of the photos came out a little blurred.

Warty excrescences on a Birch log.

I don’t think these are fungi, but I think that it might be the case that the trees produces these odd growths in response to the promptings of a fungi.

Ingleborough and Silverdale Moss from Arnside Knott.
Arnside Tower, Arnside Tower Farm, Middlebarrow, Warton Crag and the Forest of Bowland Fells from Arnside Knott.
The Howgill Fells and Middleton Fells from Arnside Knott.
Rain in the Lake District pano.

As I often seem to do, I looked at the clouds obscuring the Cumbrian fells and felt vindicated in choosing a wander straight from my door rather than going further afield, but usually this weather based justification is superfluous – in reality I’m looking for excuses for doing just what I wanted to do anyway.

Starting to clear pano.
Very short, faint rainbow over Yewbarrow and Whitbarrow.
Clougha Pike from Heathwaite.
Ingleborough from Heathwaite.
Male Kestrel.

Near Far Arnside I spotted this male Kestrel perched on a telegraph pole.

Male Kestrel in flight.

It didn’t seem too happy with my attention and flew from pole to pole, with me following and taking lots of pictures. Of course, after all that effort, it was the first two that I took which came out best. A great way to finish a really terrific start to the new year.

New Year, Same Old Song.

A Brief Outing to the Goldsworthy Sculpture

Udale. I think – the stream at the bottom is Udale Beck anyway.

We had a ‘continental’* training day at work, starting at eight and finishing at one, not that I actually got away at one. It was the end of November, so that didn’t leave an awful lot of daylight, but with a high start from the Littledale car park, which is not far from Lancaster, and no ambitious plans, there was still time to squeeze in a good little wander.

The wind farm on Caton Moor.
Approaching the Andy Goldsworthy sculpture – that’s it on the horizon.
Lovely, low winter light on the moors.
The Andy Goldsworthy sculpture.
The sculpture, the wind farm and some changeable weather.
The Caton Moor wind farm again.
The sun dropping towards Morecambe Bay.

That’s it, short and sweet. I’m beginning to think that these short, hit-and-run excursions might often be my favourite walks. Having said that, I notice that this one was nearly six miles, so not too brief after all.

Of course, it helps if you have the right terrain for a pleasant, short walk on your doorstep.

*Is there anywhere on the continent where people actually work these hours?

A Brief Outing to the Goldsworthy Sculpture

Grey Friar from Seathwaite

Waterfall on Tarn Beck near Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley.

When, last January, in the first flush of enthusiasm for my new assault on the Wainwrights, I tackled the Coniston Fells in less than optimal weather conditions, I chose an inefficient route taking in the three central fells of the range and leaving three scattered outliers – Dow Crag, Grey Friar and Great Carrs. With hindsight, I think that this is no bad thing, since it gives me an excuse for more walks in the area.

So, this mid-November Saturday found me parked on the roadside by Tarn Beck, just outside Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley.

Another waterfall on Tarn Beck.

It was a glorious morning, and very quiet in Seathwaite, in stark contrast to what I might have expected on the Coniston side of the hills.

Heading away from Seathwaite.
Harter Fell.

Harter Fell tended to dominate the views on this walk and I took lots of photographs of it, many of which, but by no means all, have made it into this post.

Tongue House.
Throng Close and Tongue House Close. Tongue House High Close is slightly out of the picture to the right.

The Coniston Fells are liberally supplied with crags and hows and pikes and this western side is no exception. The path climbs between Tongue House Close and Tongue House High Close, just right of centre in the photo above.

Harter Fell pano.
Grey Friar.

The path I had chosen fell away slightly leftwards here, towards those shaded crags on the slopes of Troutal Fell, the south-west arm of Grey Friar. Between here and those crags, the path crosses Tarn Beck. There’s no footbridge marked on the map, but this is the busy, touristy Lake District – there’ll be a bridge surely?

Harter Fell again, and Cirrus clouds – a sign of what was to come?

The ground descended very gently towards Tarn Beck and was quite boggy. When I reached the stream…

Tarn Beck again.

…it was to discover that there is no bridge. What’s more the stream was large and deep and fast-flowing.

It was so sunny at this point that I actually contemplated a swim, but sanity prevailed, in part because of how fast the stream was running. I hate to think how cold the water would have been.

Since I clearly couldn’t cross Tarn Beck without a dip, I followed it instead and then cut up to the dam of Seathwaite Tarn…

Seathwaite Tarn pano.

I paused on the dam to take several photos of a lone Goosander, none of which came out very well.

The rough rocks of Tarn Brow and Cirrostratus – another warning sign!

The early part of the steady climb away from the tarn was enlivened by the presence of numerous brightly coloured waxcaps…


Naturally, I took loads of pictures, but I’ve restricted myself to just two here.

Brim Fell and Dow Crag.

In my mind, Dow Crag is always associated with the eponymous crag above Goat Water, with the south ridge over Brown Pike and Buck Pike and with Easy Gully, which is far from easy and which I haven’t ascended for many, many moons. It was good to see it from this less familiar perspective.

Harter Crag, with ominously dark skies behind.
Looking north – the Scafells capped with cloud.
Looking south-west, back to the Duddon Valley. Oh no!
Brim Fell and the Old Man – just evading the clouds.

Sadly, I arrived at the summit cairn on Grey Friar at the same time as the low cloud brought by the encroaching weather front. I was lucky to still have some views, but not the spectacular views I might have expected given the open blue skies at the start of the walk. In addition, the temperature had dropped appreciably and, without the warming sunshine, it now felt very much like mid-November in the hills.

Grey Friar summit. And very grey weather.

I found a sheltered spot for a quick drink and a snack. Truth be told, as usual, I had an overly ambitious plan B which involved climbing the main ridge and completing a horseshoe round to Dow Crag. It was clear though that I didn’t have the daylight hours left for that route, or the weather to make the extra effort worthwhile.

One last, contrasting, view of Harter Fell.

So, I beat a hasty retreat, retracing my ascent route initially, before following a track down, which gave very easy walking and which is presumably a remnant of the construction of the Seathwaite Tarn dam.

Looking down to Seathwaite Tarn.
Seathwaite Tarn pano. Dow Crag now lost in cloud.

Presumably due to the lack of retail outlets and other tourist attractions, the lovely Duddon Valley often seems to be relatively quiet; I saw very few other walkers on this outing. When I get around to ticking-off Dow Crag I think I shall have to do it from this side for a change.

Grey Friar from Seathwaite

The Trouble with Lichen*.

On the coast path: the Kent Estuary and Meathop Fell.

The final day of October half-term, and for reasons I can’t remember, I only set-off for my favourite stroll around the coast to Arnside and back over the Knott at around three in the afternoon.

The foreshore at White Creek.

When I moved to the area, around thirty years ago, there was no salt-marsh at White Creek and none at Grange either, but you could walk on the grass from Knowe Point to Far Arnside. Now the situation is reversed, testament to the way the river channel changes and so keeps the Bay in constant flux.

Little Egret.

Likewise, thirty years ago, I wouldn’t have expected to see any Little Egrets in the area, but now they are relatively common, and Great Egrets are also beginning to establish themselves.

The Kent Estuary and Meathop Fell again from a little further around the coast.
Spindle berries.
Spindle berries.
Xanthoria parientina. Possibly.

If I’ve identified this lichen correctly, and it is Xanthoria parientina, then it’s a common lichen which produces a yellow chemical, xanthorin “thought to be produced as a defence against UV radiation” (source), when the lichen is shaded it doesn’t produce the chemical and is then green.

Lichens are famously a symbiosis between a fungi and a photosynthesising partner, either an algae or a cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). I’ve been reading ‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake, which TBH bought me for Christmas, and apparently many lichens are now known to be multi-species symbiosis, that is, to have three or more species living in partnership.

I didn’t study Biology at school, even to O-level standard, but with hindsight that seems like a crazy decision; the more I learn the more unlikely and astonishing almost every aspect of life seems to be. For example, also gleaned from “Entangled Life’, did you know that are own mitochondrial cells might have started life, in evolutionary terms, as independent bacterial cells? I think I’ve got that right, although, as I said, I’m no biologist!

Andy Goldsworthy leaf sculpture. Or the tideline.
More fungi.
Waxcaps. Possibly Orange Waxcap.
Distant view of the viaduct and the sun catching Heversham Head.
Looking back along the Kent Estuary.
The viaduct, Whitbarrow Scar and a couple of boats.
Little Egret in the Kent at Arnside.

There were four Little Egrets stalking the shallows just off the promenade in Arnside. They fish by stirring up the riverbed with their feet, and look pretty comical doing it, a sort of avian ‘Ministry of Funny Walks’.

And another – note the characteristic yellow foot.
Black-headed Gulls on the Kent.

I know: they don’t have black heads, but their name is a bit misleading, because that’s breeding plumage, which, by autumn, they’d just about lost.

If you are reading in the UK, and haven’t got around to watching ‘Wild Isles’ yet, and, to be honest, I’ve only just started myself, there’s some amazing footage in the first episode of Black-headed Gulls trying to steal Sand Eels from Puffins.

Sunset from the Knott.

One advantage of a late start!

*If you were expecting at least a passing reference to the John Wyndham novel, my apologies**. I like his novels, this one included, but haven’t read it, or any of his others, for a very long time. Fifteen years in to blogging, when most of your posts consist of photos of leaves and butterflies, and the same three walks repeated ad infinitum, it’s sometimes hard to come up with titles you haven’t used before. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

**Although, now, of course, you’ve had it. What are you complaining about?

The Trouble with Lichen*.

Anniversary Lunch In Yealand.

A view from the causeway at Leighton Moss.

Our wedding anniversary. Brass and nickel apparently. TBH had been doing some tutoring and a grateful tutee had given her a voucher for the New Inn in Yealand. So we’d booked a table.

Leighton Hall, Leighton Moss and Arnside Knott from Summer House Hill.

Uncharacteristically, we left early enough to be almost on time. If we took a direct route and didn’t tarry. So we did, and didn’t, if you see what I mean.

Despite the slight pressure we’d put ourselves under, it was a pleasant walk, if a somewhat gloomy day, as you can see.

Summer House Hill Standing Stones

I used to be a bit sceptical about the stone circle on Summer House Hill, thinking maybe the boulders just happened to be here anyway, but then I discovered that it’s actually a scheduled monument, and that the four remaining stones were once joined by thirteen others, now evident due to the socket holes which show their former positions, and by a ditch which ran around the circle.

Lambs on the ‘wrong side’ of the fence.

Not a great photo, but it does demonstrate how wet and muddy the ground was back in October and the propensity of lambs to get through a hedge or a fence and then decide that they would prefer to be back with the flock, if only they could remember how they managed it.

Autumn colour and Farleton Fell.

I used to come to the New Inn quite a lot. When I first moved to Silverdale, I would walk here to meet friends for a meal and a few drinks, then stagger home in the dark.

The pub closed for a while and was refurbished and I haven’t been back since then.

A house in Yealand smothered in Virginia Creeper (I think).

Anyway, the food was excellent. TBH was very happy with her vegan option.

Gammon, eggs and chips with a little piccalilli.

Mine was good too, and the beer went down well.

Heading home.

On the way home, the weather even brightened up a little.

White Moss.
White Moss.
More Honey Fungus.
Abundant Honey Fungus in Eaves Wood.

It was a grand day and we really should have repeated the experience by now. Soon, hopefully.

Anniversary Lunch In Yealand.

Honey Fungus?

TBH approaching Hawes Water.

Another October half-term outing, a short walk with TBH, around Hawes Water and back.

Hawes Water.
Turkeytail Bracket Fungus. I think.
Honey Fungus.

I think theses last three photos all show Honey Fungus. I hope so anyway, because it’s fascinating stuff. It grows on wood, dead or alive. When it attacks living trees it will kill them, so it’s not popular with gardeners.

And more?

The colour of the cap varies, depending on what kind of wood it’s growing on.

It’s apparently bioluminescent. Every year, I tell myself I will bring some home to see this for myself, and every year I somehow don’t get around to it. Maybe this autumn.

Younger specimens.

It’s sometimes called Bootlace Fungus because the mycelium, the main body of the fungus, consists of black strings which resemble, well….bootlaces. This mycelium can be huge; a related specimen in Oregon was discovered which occupied almost four square miles of forest, making it the largest known organism on the planet.

It is reportedly edible, but not when raw. Details like that make me feel suspicious, so I haven’t tried it yet.

Honey Fungus?

Yellow Berries

Looking south along the coast from Heathwaite.

October half-term. Some very mixed weather, if I remember right. I stuck to local walks. Actually, the weather was sometimes better than expected, and then I felt a bit cheated, because I could have gone further afield, but in truth we were probably getting better weather here on the coast than I would have experienced in the hills, so local walks weren’t a bad choice after all.

A lot of weather out in the Bay.

These photos are from a short outing up Arnside Knott. An ascent of the Knott, or a walk around the coast to Arnside, or some combination of the two are my go to walks these days, especially when there’s some drama in the skies.

Gummer How and Whitbarrow from Arnside Knott. No sign of the Lakeland Fells beyond.

I’ve joined a few Faceache groups, a butterflies and moths one, obviously, a plant ID one, and a fungi of the world one. I think the latter made me more conscious of the huge amount and diversity of fungi on display locally last autumn.

More fungi.

I took loads of photos on this walk, and through the week generally. The ones I took on this day mostly weren’t very sharp. Maybe it was a gloomy day, although there were definitely some periods of blue sky…

Autumnal-leaved Silver Birch.
Yellow-berried Holly.

Finally, I was surprised to find this holly bush, which was liberally festooned with yellow berries. I wondered if it might be a cultivar, a garden escapee, but I’ve since read that yellow or orange berries are just a rare variation of our native holly.

Yellow Berries

Ampersand Mountain

Adirondacks Day 9

TBH on Ampersand Mountain.

Time for another family hike.

We parked in the same place as we had for our first swim from Ampersand Beach. The route was very straightforward – up and back on a well-marked trail.

Initially, the going was fairly level, and the path crossed several small streams.

One of three rickety bridges on the path.

The bridges seemed a bit superfluous, but I suspect that, at other times of the year, the streams have a great deal more water in them.


Eventually, the gradient rapidly increases and in some places the going was very steep…

Steep and rocky.
TBH on tree-root steps.
Tantalising glimpses.

As we approached the top, there were glimpses through the trees of the views to come.

Large fungi.

Also, close to the top, there is a jumble of huge boulders, which were too much to resist for the DBs (it’s fair to say that the DBs ranks had swollen to five)

Clambering on huge boulders.
The path skirts beneath one of the boulders.

At one point, there was a very small rock step, maybe 10′ at most, which had to be climbed. TBH and I used tree roots again. It can’t have been that difficult – Prof A had challenged the DBs to get to the top without using their hands and they managed it some how.

The last part of the ascent.

The final part of the climb was steep and rocky again, but still just a walk.

The view over the Saranac Lakes.

The views were amazing. I think that this was the day when Prof A pointed out the Green Mountains in Vermont. In honesty, I’m not sure how far away they are, but it felt like we could see forest, lakes and mountains stretching on for ever.

More views.

It was really pretty warm in the sunshine. Too much so for Coco, who doesn’t generally seem to be very fond of water, but clearly needed to cool down on this occasion…

Coco cooling off.

Ampersand has a second top and Prof A was keen to head that way for a quiet lunch spot. We could see that there was nobody on the other top, but to get there we had to drop down another small rock step. I was confident I could get down safely, but not at all sure I would drag myself back up again, so, unfortunately, had to veto that plan.

Lunch stop.

Still, our lunch stop had great views.

Another Pano.
Ampersand Lake. Seymour Mountain, Seward Mountain and Donaldson Mountain beyond.

Ampersand Lake supposedly resembles an ampersand sign. I can’t see it myself.

South of the lake lie four of the 46. They look very remote, but apparently they can all be knocked off in one day by keen baggers.

Ampersand Lake pano.
Retracing our route.
Another rickety bridge.
More interesting fungi.

Once again, I took far more fungi shots than have made it in to this post. Most were blurred as usual. I also took some blurred photos, under the trees, of a Scorpion Fly and a Broad-leaved Helleborine, or at least, in each case, something very, very like the species I see close to home. I’m not sure why I was repeatedly so excited when I encountered something which seemed familiar, or which I could partially identify due to its similarity to something I see at home. Perhaps its because I didn’t really expect the things I’ve learned over the years, plodding around my home patch, to be applicable in any way elsewhere.

It was no surprise, on the way down, to find that TBH and I were left even further in the wake of the rest of the party than we had been going up. The others were all keen to cool off with a swim and/or a couple of cold beers at Ampersand Beach….

Another swim at Ampersand Beach.

The boys had found a plastic box full, I think, with floats and were having great fun ‘fighting’ over it and tipping each other into the water. You can see it on the right of the photo above. I chose to avoid the horse-play and swam out far enough to get out of my depth, which turned out to be quite a long way.

Dead Man’s Fingers. (I think).
More fungi.

We didn’t climb any of the 46 whilst we were in the Adirondacks, but Ampersand Mountain is one of the Saranac Six. I think we’re duty bound now to go back at some point and hike the remaining five? That must be a rule, surely?

Ampersand Mountain