Woozles on Arnside Knott

As usual, I’d been monitoring the forecast as the weekend approached and it was pretty unequivocal: snow first followed by rain, rain and more rain. I’d just about resigned myself to a lazy weekend indoors, but late on Friday night, decided to check the forecast one more time. And lo and behold, between the two weather fronts, it seemed that there would be a few hours of much brighter weather. I hastily chucked some gear into my rucksack and retired to bed with the Ordnance Survey’s Lake District South East sheet.

Accordingly, I was out early the following morning. Our driveway was coated with a thin film of what had clearly fallen as snow, partially thawed and then refrozen into a crackling, slippery surface. But the road through the village was clear – it would be fine! A mile down the road and I was driving on snow. Another mile and I was passing abandoned cars and feeling the wheels spinning as the car struggled to to gain traction on a short, sharp little hill climb. The main road, when I reached it, was only marginally better. In Milnthorpe, I stopped at the petrol station to ask about the road ahead and to weigh up my options. To the North apparently the roads were likely to be bad. To the South I would find no snow at all.

I deliberated for a while and then decided to head home. I took a circuitous route and found that the snow had indeed petered out in just a couple of miles. Silverdale seemed to be on the dividing line, with green fields on the south side of the village but a thin white-over covering on the north.

 Arnside Tower

Arnside Tower

I’d already formulated Plan B: drag the kids out in search of snow. Little S couldn’t be enticed away from the goggle-box, but A and B were both keen to go seeking the white stuff, with the proviso that we must take sledges and find somewhere to use them.

Arnside Knott from the Tower 

Arnside Knott from the Tower.

In Eaves Wood, there was more mud than snow, and a lot of water dripping from the trees, but once north of the wood we found enough snow to sledge. It was as much ice as snow however and the sledges skittered down even a slight slope at an alarming speed.

Once onto the Knott, the snow was still pretty patchy and I began to worry that I had lured A and B out with false promises.

Saul's Road 

Not that I felt too guilty about that – it was fabulous to be out and they were clearly enjoying themselves, although both seemed to be quite tired, or at least, that’s what they told me when they insisted that I should carry the sledges.

Sledging at Heathwaite 

We kept giving the sledges a try, but it was still too icy to commit to anything but the gentlest of slopes.

Approaching the toposcope. 

Near the top of the Knott however, the snow was slightly deeper, although still with an icy crust. The view across the Kent, of Cartmell Fell and Whitbarrow Scar was wonderful, but the higher hills beyond were obscured by cloud, so perhaps it was serendipitous that I had turned back from my planned trip to the Lakes.

Across the estuary to Cartmell Fell and Whitbarrow Scar 

Along the shores of Morecambe Bay to the south we could pick-out green fields where no snow had settled.

Morecambe Bay 

A and B found another place to sledge….

Another icy sledging run 

…and then we paused for hot black-currant cordial with a view.

A pause for hot blackcurrant cordial

We visited the trig pillar…

Approaching the trig pillar. 

…thinking of heading home for some lunch, but decided first to check on the sledging possibilities in the large open field on the north side of the Knott.

At the top of 'the sledging field'. 

Pay dirt! This was the best sledging yet. A tells me the best sledging ever. That’s her…

The sledging field and the river Kent beyond

…slightly right of centre in this photo, on a long sedate run which will take her almost down to the far trees. Two of those, and two reascents of the hill and she declared herself ready to head home. Whilst A made her steady, controlled progress down to the bottom of the hill, B made several wild careering runs down the steep top part of the slope, all ending with him tipping out of the sledge or crashing into a bush or a patch of heather. They’re very different.

Tracking Woozles and Wizzles 

This photo of the two of them, which really belongs a little earlier in our story, made me smile, I think because it reminded me of..

https://i1.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/_t2na1km4gvs/RdLK-iZooxI/AAAAAAAAARM/RA4-kJr_0-M/s400/woozle5.gif

Well, I know, it’s not very similar. But it was in my mind because we’ve been rereading the stories together. What a delight it is to have an appreciative audience to read them to. All three of the ankle-biters enjoy them and find them funny, despite, or perhaps because of, how many times they’ve heard them before.

Great walk, anyway.

The next day the snow was gone. It’s raining again now, of course.

"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.

"Why, what’s the matter?"

"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it."

"Can’t all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.

"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

Advertisements
Woozles on Arnside Knott

Barley in the Snow

Sledging, Pendle Hill behind.

With a disappointing lack of the white stuff around home this weekend, we filled the car with kids, sledges, spare clothes, flasks of hot drinks etc and drove to Barley near Pendle Hill.

Sledging 

There wasn’t an awful lot of snow there either, but enough for a little sledging. Or falling off sledges…

Falling off sledge. 

..which B managed to do far more often than he managed to stay on board. I think he just enjoyed an excuse to roll around in the snow.

A, on the other hand, didn’t need an excuse….

Snow Angel

….here she is making a snow angel.

Incidentally, we can heartily recommend the Village Cafe in Barley where we were Royally looked after.

Barley in the Snow

Only Weather

P2041108

So, after some bright and spring-like weekends in January, February’s first weekend heralded a return to more wintery fare. On Saturday it snowed. I dropped A off for an overnight stay with friends who live in a cottage on a hillside with a grandstand view of the Lyth Valley. Well, normally it does – on this occasion, with snow falling thickly – we couldn’t see further than a couple of field-lengths away.

By the time I arrived home, the snow had turned to rain and a rapid thaw was underway. This didn’t happen further north however, and that evening, we later found out, A was sledging by moonlight.

Sunday morning brought a dense blanket of fog. The fields were still white over, but what looked from a distance like snow, turned-out, on closer acquaintance, to be wet slush.

The boys wanted to sledge however, and grey, wet and dispiriting though it was, the slush was at least slippy – so sledging it was.

At the Cove a couple of fishermen sat in deckchairs looking out into horizon-less grey.

P2051112 

We met numerous friends on the Lots – sledging seemed to be the order of the day. The forecast had suggested that things would brighten up, but although the sun kept appearing as a white disc through the murk and threatening to break through, the promised improvements never materialised.

Sledging on the Lots

The boys were shown (by our friend E) a run which had a small jump in the middle. Here’s a ropey film of B sledging down it:

Eventually, after a snowball fight and lots more sledging, the boys were ready for some warm, dry clothes and some lunch.

I decided I could wait a little longer for those pleasures and went for a bit of a longer stroll through Eaves Wood and down to Haweswater. The photos I took were of exactly those things I like to photograph at this time of year, in these conditions…..

P2051126

Bare trees through fog.

P2051128

Refracted trees through water-droplets.

Snowdrop from below

The secret hearts of snowdrops…..

Snowdrops near Haweswater

…otherwise known as snow-piercers.

Later in the week (Wednesday?) I arrived home form work just as the moon was rising. Full moons generally rise at around the time of sunset. This was a little after sunset, and rising in the eastern sky, I presume that the moon was bathed in light which had passed through the earth’s atmosphere? Certainly the moon was noticeably red. I fiddled with the settings on my camera, but still ended up with a collection of blurred and useless shots. This one does at least give an idea of the colour:

Blood moon

Today, despite sub-zero temperatures, it rained. Not surprisingly, the rain froze as it landed. It was lethal – I passed the immediate aftermath of a multiple vehicle pile-up on the motorway on my way to work. The A590 in Cumbria was apparently very badly effected.

What next?

Only Weather