More Spring Colour

Hagg Wood – Silverdale Green – Sharp’s Lot – Pointer Wood – Stankelt Road – The Lots – The Cove – The Shore

P1110011

A couple of nights after my last visit to Hagg Wood, I was out again, but this time with some better light to catch the new leaves on one of the Inman Oaks.

P1110012

And the palette of greens in Hagg Wood…

P1110013

P1110014

Not all of the oaks had new leaves yet…

P1110019

The stronger light was short-lived…

P1110021

I watched this blackbird for a while. It repeatedly, diligently wiped either side of its beak against the branch it was perched on. I can’t think why.

P1110025

In Pointer Wood there’s a Wilding Apple I like to visit. It’s almost in flower…

P1110027

P1110029

More Wych Elm.

P1110031

The ‘Primrose Garden’.

P1110032

I arrived on the coast a little too late for the sunset.

P1110039

As I walked across The Lots I watched a man walking his dog out on the Bay. It’s been looking unusually firm and sandy near the coast recently and I couldn’t resist having a walk on the ‘sand’. In this case appearances weren’t misleading and I enjoyed my stroll, doubling back along the coast to pretty much where I had just come from.

P1110042

Sometimes our actions can have unexpected, or indeed unintended consequences. One knock-on of my renewed determination to get out and about as often as I can is the fact that even though April is a month in which I often take a lot of photos, this year I have still far exceeded my standard haul. Also, I noticed with some surprise today, I’ve published a post every day this month so far. In fact, my streak has lasted a little longer than that. That too has consequences. For one thing, a few more people seem to be reading my blog (or at least visiting, and sometimes clicking ‘like’ or ‘follow’, which isn’t necessarily the same as reading). Also, I now feel under some pressure to keep it going; at least till the end of the month, although I’m not sure that I can manage it. We shall see…

More Spring Colour

Spring Colour – Mostly Leaves

Hagg Wood – Home – Hagg Wood – Silverdale Green – Burtonwell Wood – The Row – Ring O’Beeches – Eaves Wood – Elmslack Lane

P1100984

A beautiful, bright, clear spring day. Perfect for going back to work!

By the time I got out for a walk, after work and our evening meal, the sun was quite low, it had clouded up and the light was far from ideal for photography. Also, it helps to have a battery in your camera if you want to take photos, which is why I walked home again from Hagg Wood and then retraced my steps yet again.

First port of call, following that palaver: the oak trees in the fields near home. Had they put on new raiment like the ones we walked past the day before on the shores of Ullswater?

P1100985

They had, and in the same marvelous lemony-green.

As I walked towards Hagg Wood I was struck by the subtle variation in colours of the various trees coming into leaf in that small copse. We make a great deal of fuss about Autumn leaves, but Spring Colour seems only to refer to the latest palette for this season’s cat-walk.

Part of that plethora of hues was provided by these seed pods…

P1100986

I’ve been surprised by how many trees there are in the area carrying seeds of this kind. I believe that these are characteristic of Elms, and given our northern location, I’m assuming that this is Wych Elm, which, fortunately is more resistant to Dutch Elm disease than English Elm.

P1100987

Blackthorn.

P1100988

Gean, or Wild Cherry.

P1100989

Ivy.

P1100990

Hawthorn (blossom soon to appear!).

P1100992

Hazel (I think).

P1100993

A Rose, Dog Rose I assume.

P1100995

Rowan.

P1100996

Again, I assume that this is Wych Elm, although the seeds are so much more abundant that I wondered whether this was a different species than the first tree. Apparently the seeds are good to eat. I shall sample some and report back soon.

P1100998

Sycamore.

P1100999

Crab Apple?

P1110003

Ash. Leaves almost with us.

P1110005

Elder?

P1110007

Another Sycamore. But not just any old Sycamore. This is….

P1110008

The tree formerly known as the Mystery Tree now revealed as a not particularly mysterious Sycamore. Ten points then to my Mum and Dad, who had it tabbed as that all along.

I have decided, having enjoyed making frequent visits in anticipation of leaves appearing on this tree, to continue dropping by and to dip my toe into Tree Following.

P1110009

Although there was much more of this walk still to come, that’s it for this post, since, as you can see, the light was fading fast.

Spring Colour – Mostly Leaves

Place Fell

P1100943

Looking into Deepdale.

The last day of our Easter holiday (apart, that is for TBH who still had the rest of the week to look forward to). We had arranged a walk with our friends Dr R and her daughter E. Dr R is ticking off the Wainwrights and we needed a route which took in something new, but also gave the potential for meeting some none walking members of the party for tea and cake. I hit upon the idea of climbing Place Fell from Glenridding, descending to Howtown and returning on a Lake Steamer to Glenridding.

P1100945

Place Fell summit.

And a very fine walk it was, although it was very cold for our second lunch stop on the summit.

P1100946

I was pretty confident that this would be an enjoyable walk; it’s one I’ve done many times before, in particular, when we used to have family get-togethers at Easter in the Youth Hostel down below in Patterdale.

P1100947

Skimming Stones.

I’m pretty sure (and I will get around to looking it up eventually) that Place Fell has a fair smattering of Birketts, but I wasn’t too bothered about that today. I did however divert up High Dodd simply because it looked very inviting.

I was pleased I did because the view of Ullswater was excellent from there.

P1100950

P1100956

Scalehow Beck from Low Dodd.

P1100957

Cascade on Scalehow Beck.

P1100963

P1100964

This waterfall on Scalehow Beck looks like it is probably very dramatic, but it’s difficult to get a decent view of it from the path: the photo only shows the top of the fall.

P1100966

P1100967

I was surprised to see that this tree, an oak, had come into leaf, because I’ve been watching for that to happen at home, but I was sure that it hadn’t.

P1100968

The walk around the shore from Sandwick to Howtown through Hallinhag Wood is delightful. And was enlivened for me by the appearance of a pair of Treecreepers, not a bird I see very often.

P1100970

P1100974

Here in the woods, most of the trees were still bare, so this tree, in full leaf…

P1100978

…and a cheerful bright green – I think a Sycamore – really stood out.

P1100979

Arthur’s Pike and Bonscale Pike.

We arrived in Howtown with only a few minutes to spare before the 5 o’clock sailing of the Steamer and no time for the planned tea and cake interval there.

P1100981

But I think we all enjoyed the pleasure cruise. I know that I did!

P1100982

I’ve almost reneged on my promise of some ee cummings before the end of April, but after a trip to Howtown I can’t resist this:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Place Fell

Homework – About Silverdale

P1100740

The George Whittaker Memorial Park.

Little S has Easter holiday homework – to produce a leaflet about the village. His interpretation of that brief was to design a kind of promotional pamphlet: ‘Why You Should Come to Silverdale’. He asked me to accompany him around the village to take some photos to include. Obviously, I was more than happy to do that – this is the kind of homework I like to help with. As a preliminary, I asked him to first draw up a list of places he wanted to visit and a sensible route taking them in.

P1100745

It was interesting to see the village from his perspective and the places he chose as important.

Incidentally, the ‘Climbing Tree’…

P1100747

…wasn’t on his list, but fell conveniently between the Park and the Pepper Pot…

P1100748

…both of which were.

S thought it important to include some places where potential visitors might stay, so we called at Holgates Caravan Park…

P1100750

I’d decided that I would be on my best behaviour: I had a photographic assignment to fulfil and wouldn’t be wasting time pursuing my own agenda. But then this singing Goldfinch, just by Cove Road, dented my resolve…

P1100753

Our next port of call was The Cove where Little S was far more interested in the smelly cave and the opportunities for climbing on the rocks…

P1100761

Than in the view…

P1100762

Or any birdwatching prospects…

P1100763

Shelduck.

Meanwhile, any good intentions I’d harboured had sunk without trace, foundering on the luscious purple of these Violets…

P1100765

…and the surprise of Early Purple Orchids on the Lots…

P1100767

When a relatively pale and largish bird flew up from the field into a Horse Chestnut, B asked whether it could be a Kestrel. I must admit that the same idea had crossed my mind, but it was soon apparent that we were wrong. It was a Mistle Thrush…

P1100778

We were edging towards the tree, trying to get closer in order to get better photographs. When two Jackdaws landed nearby, I assumed that the Thrush would flee, but not a bit of it…

P1100772

P1100779

More accommodation!

P1100780

Gibraltar Farm campsite.

P1100781

I noticed these flowers in a copse off Hollins Lane, near to the Wolfhouse Gallery. On a larger photograph (click on the photo to view on flickr) this is unmistakably Cardamine Bulbifera  – there are small black bulbils on the stems, which is how the plant spreads. It prefers calcareous soils, and in this region is probably a garden escapee, although it is endemic to the British Isles. It seems to have several common names: Coralroot, Coralroot Bittercress, Coral-wort.

P1100782

“There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine,
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain;
And, the first moment that the sun may shine,
Bright as the sun himself, ’tis out again!”

William Wordsworth

P1100783

This was a Celandine sort of day, starting dull but brightening up in the afternoon.

P1100784Woodwell.

P1100801

The path up to the Clifftop.

There were other places on Little S’s list, but with the various distractions we were susceptible to, we’d already managed to make a modest walk of less than five miles drag out to around three hours. We decided to make do with what we’d got and head home for some tea.

Homework – About Silverdale

Little and Often – Three is the Magic Number

P1100540

As if to underline my point about the ubiquity of Nuthatches, I spotted this one, well heard it first, but then found it, when I was hardly out of our front door.

P1100541

An early start this one, you can tell from the long shadows.

P1100552

Female Blackbird.

P1100556

Looking back at the village and Eaves Wood from near the Green.

P1100558

Song Thrush…

P1100559

…singing.

P1100560

On Stankelt Road many of the roofs and chimney pots had one or two Jackdaws.

P1100561

I suppose, like Arnside Tower and Trowbarrow quarry where I often see them, this environment is sufficiently like the rocky cliffs they prefer to feel like home.

Like Nuthatches, Blue Tits are ubiquitous, but perhaps even more fidgety and difficult to see clearly long enough to photograph.

P1100563

Today, at various points around the walk, they were more amenable.

P1100565

This prominent perching spot…

P1100568

…was occupied by a Crow the last two times I went past it, but today the Crow had seemingly been usurped by a very strident Nuthatch.

P1100570

A hazy view of Grange.

P1100571

Shelducks and Oyster-catcher

P1100573

Another female Blackbird, with….? Doesn’t look particularly like food or nesting material.

P1100574

P1100576

Male Blackbird looking on. With a broken wing? I feel a song coming on.

P1100578

Like I said, the Ramsons on the verge on Cove Road are flowering already.

P1100580

So are the Bluebells.

P1100581

Move gave this walk as 3.9km, but when I’ve walked a slightly longer variation on this subsequently, it gave it as 3.8km. I shall have to assume that it’s only approximate. I’ve tried measuring the longer version on a map using WalkJogRun (thanks for the tip Jackie) which came up with 2.34 miles, which, by my calculation, is a little bit less than the 3.8km, but then, measuring on the ground really ought to give a slightly greater value so that’s okay.

P1100583

I think that this is probably another Raven, simply because it seemed so large. It was in the field by Cove Road and hopped onto the fence in front of me. Unfortunately, the camera’s auto-focus wasn’t playing so I didn’t get what should have been an excellent photo. When the bird regally hopped down onto the road, it managed to give the distinct impression that it wasn’t the least bit afraid of me, but was moving because it genuinely wanted to.

P1100588

Green Alkanet.

Apparently, according to a study conducted in New Zealand last year, people who have Type 2 diabetes should exercise three times a day, preferably after eating. Frankly, I’ve rarely managed three walks a day, but I’m quite often out twice. And, yes, I have T2D, something I’ve only obliquely referred to on the blog before. I feel more comfortable about mentioning it now, since my blood test last week showed my HbA1c to be down from 9.7 (pretty bad) in January to 6.7 (almost acceptable) last week.

So, I was out again after tea, without my camera, since it was cloudy and wet, for a tour around Eaves Wood, including around the northern side, Middlebarrow, which I don’t visit all that often. That came out as 6.0km. This three miles business is easy. When I’m not at work, anyway.

Little and Often – Three is the Magic Number

Celandines, Buds, Sunset, Hirundines.

Hagg Wood – The Green – Clark’s Lot – Hollins Lane – Slackwood Lane – Leighton Moss  – Lower Hide – Yealand Allotment – Hawes Water – The Row – Hagg Wood

P1090840

Lesser Celandines enjoying the sunshine.

P1090841

The western edge of Hagg Wood, a small copse which edge’s Bottom’s Lane, seems to be a good place to spot our common songbirds, or at least at the moment it is, whilst the trees have no leaves.

P1090843

Chaffinch.

I keep returning to this particular path at the moment, because I’m anxious for clues to help me identify The Mystery Tree. It has been suggested that it might be a Sycamore, A Field Maple or an Ash. Here are its buds…

P1090844

…which categorically rule out the latter. And if it’s a Sycamore, it will be in leaf very, very soon, so I shall soon be able to confirm or discount that possibility.

The oak trees, which form the line which ends with the mystery tree, have much browner buds, in clusters and part way along the twigs as well as at the ends, rather than singly and only at the ends of the twigs.

P1090845

P1090849

As well as the ground cover plants, which I mentioned in my last post, many of the woodlands under-storey shrubs are coming into leaf ahead of the trees above them. Honeysuckle is one of the earliest and is now often fully decked out with leaves. The raspberry canes have leaves again, and the gooseberry bushes have both leaves and flowers…

P1090851

Gooseberries are quite common locally and are very obvious at this time of the year, but, sadly, much less easy to spot in July when they are fruiting.

P1090856

Leighton Moss from the ‘Sky Tower’.

Although I’d set off with blue skies and sunshine, by the time I reached Leighton Moss, the sun was sinking low and it was beginning to get a little dingy for photography. Which was a bit frustrating, because I was very struck by the Alder trees…

P1090859

On the left are the cone-like fruit which have been on the tree all through the winter, on the right the long dangling male catkins, and just above those the tiny female catkins.

P1090861

As I struck out across the causeway, the sun was sinking behind the ridge of slightly higher ground which isn’t named on the OS Map, but which I shall call Silver Helme after the Scout Camp which is situated there.

P1090868

From the causeway I continued along the Lower Hide path, which, in my mind at least, is ’round the back’ of Leighton Moss.

P1090869

Eventually reaching Lower Hide itself.

P1090874

I was enjoying getting a variety of different perspectives on the sunset. I was also very excited because skimming low over the water were lots of very fast-flying birds…

P1090879

Hirundines!

Even if it hadn’t been so dark, I’m not sure I would have been able to tell whether these were House Martins, Sand Martins or Swallows. But I don’t care, because I know what they mean – they’re here to tell us that spring has arrived!

The remainder of my walk was a bit dark. I’d neglected to bring a headtorch. Again. Half an hour later, having crossed Yealand Allotment to Hawes Water…

P1090886

It was still just about light enough to see to walk.

P1090887

In the woods I heard something crashing about in the trees – Roe Deer I thought. Which was confirmed moments later when one of them ‘barked’ nearby. This is a pretty unearthly cry, and quite loud when it’s close to. I think that if I hadn’t heard them before I might have been unnerved by it.

When I passed Hagg Wood again, it was Orion’s belt I was trying to photograph (without success) and I was glad that I’ve walked these field paths many times before, including in the dark, because there was no moon and it was exceedingly dark, so it helped that I knew exactly where I was going.

Celandines, Buds, Sunset, Hirundines.

All Beer and Skittles?

P1090336

Just in case I’ve given the false impression that we had an endless of succession of bright and sunny days here over Christmas and New Year, I’m posting a few photos from a turn around Eaves Wood which TBH and I enjoyed on one of the two foggy, final days.

P1090337

We’d had some considerably more grotty weather than that previously too.

P1090338

P1090339

Actually, if I don’t have to drive, and if it doesn’t last too long, I quite like a bit of fog for a change. The woods are quite atmospheric when full of mist.

P1090227

When the weather was poor, we managed to find other things to keep us occupied. Games are always popular. We played several old favourites over the holiday period, but we also acquired some new ones.

P1090231

Here, A and I have just finished playing my favourite of those – Carcassonne – which has quite simple rules, but really makes you think as you play.

I also picked up, second hand, this old favourite…

P1090226

…which I first played when I was in the sixth-form and which later became the fall back activity for some of our group of hill-walking friends if prolonged diabolical weather dampened our enthusiasm for being outdoors during trips to Scotland. I’m very excited about playing it again, although I’m uncertain whether I’ll ever find the twelve hours of free time needed, or six other players willing and able to join me.

All Beer and Skittles?