All’s Right With The World

Park Road – Eaves Wood – Middlebarrow – Arnside Tower – Saul’s Road – Arnside Knott – Shilla Slope – Black Dyke – Middlebarrow Quarry – Eaves Wood.

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Oystercatchers and Black-headed Gull.

The day after Boxing Day was the kind of bright sunny day which always makes me feel cheerful.

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in His heaven—

All’s right with the world!

Which is apparently a passage from Browning, although I know it because Wodehouse’s characters are apt to quote it when all is going well (which is to say, just before everything goes horribly, comically wrong).

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And yes, I know that the lark isn’t really on the wing at the end of December, well at least not in its characteristic steep display flight, but sunshine and blue skies just make everything look fresh and special and spring like.

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Reading up on the water tanks in Eaves Wood for my previous post, I was reminded that amongst the former owners of Hill House (now the Woodlands pub) were the Inman family  who were responsible for the planting of many of the trees in the woods.

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I think the circle of trees in the Ring o’Beeches must have been planted. I wonder if it was by the Inmans, who owned the wood in the first half of the Nineteenth Century?

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The larches too must have been planted.

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Arnside Tower.

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Arnside Tower Farm.

The hill behind the farm is Arnside Knott and that steep slope is covered in a very loose scree, known locally as shilla. After I’d climbed the Knott I took a route which looped around and recrossed my ascent route, taking me down to a path through those trees at the bottom of the slope.

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Saul’s Road.

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I’d walked out of the front door before I’d decided where to go, but with a host of competing ideas in my head – it’s nice to have so many options. I’d plumped for Arnside Knott because I’d assumed that there would be great views of the Lakes…

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…but in fact everything beyond Whitbarrow Scar and Gummer How was lost in a grey haze. Never mind: plenty to see close at hand.

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Magic.

All’s Right With The World

The Man In the Ion Mask

Ullswater.

Tiredness dictates a very brief post. Another Sunday off to go list-ticking in the Lakes. The weather was a bit poor, but the company was excellent – CJ and X-Ray completing a Last of the Summer Wine triumvirate.

We climbed Arthur’s Pike, diverted to Loadpot Hill (not part of our original plan) and then returned via Swarth Fell and Bonscale Pike, neither of which feel even remotely like separate hill in their own rights.

It was a rainbow day, although the top half of the rainbows invariably disappeared into the clouds.

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CJ and X-Ray.

We saw a red squirrel on a dry-stone wall near to Howtown and possibly a peregrine on the slopes of Arthur’s Pike.

And the post title?* Well – I finally got round to replacing my last pair of walking boots ,which gave up the ghost at least five years ago. I splashed out on some Hi-Tech boots with the new-fangled nanotechnology waterproofing. A review may eventually follow. Or perhaps not.

* – The pun is entirely CJ’s work.

The Man In the Ion Mask

Autumn Lady Tresses and King Crow

With the kids away at their grandparents’ I was out for an evening stroll earlier then usual, with the sun still shining. As I approached Stankelt Road a mix flock of tits bobbed about overhead in the branches of tree. There were long-tailed tits amongst them and as ever they tantalised me with fleeting photo opportunities.

I dropped down through Fleagarth Wood. At Jenny Brown’s Cottages I could hear an angry chattering – what kind of bird is that? If you put your tongue between your teeth and then suck, and follow that with three loud tut’s, you should get a good approximation. It wasn’t a bird at all though, but a riled squirrel.

Which wasn’t perturbed at all by my interest, but just carried on telling the world how angry he was.

A wader on the sunlight mud-flats.

At Jack Scout, a small sign exhorted me to stick to the path because of the Autumn Ladies Tresses. This is a new flower to me so of course I was anxious to see it. At first I  missed it – I could see plenty of other flowers: harebells, eyebright, wild thyme and more, but not the orchids. But then I tuned in, and suddenly there they all were…

It’s quite a tiny plant, relatively easy to miss. The flowers weren’t all fully open yet, but they seem to spiral like around the stem.

Nearby several low growing thistles, now gone to seed, were silvered by the low sun.

On a sun warmed rocky knoll above me, a crow had found a prominent vantage…

….looking like a cloaked impassive chieftain, master of all he surveyed.

I settled on the stone seat to eat an apple and wait for the sunset.

But was soon up taking photos again when I noticed how the golden light complemented, or maybe complimented, the travellers joy.

And the sun….

…set!

Autumn Lady Tresses and King Crow