A walk in the English Lake District

My previous post was about seven colours.  On a walk near Crummock Water in the Lake district this week I was struck by the number of colours in nature.  Green fields and blue skies are what we are likely to think of, but that is far from the truth.

The buttercups and other wild flowers in the hay meadows and sheep fields give a wide range of colours.  Impressionist painters tried to capture this.

Meadow flowers
Meadow flowers

There were different colours predominating in fields closer to water.  Marsh plants such as reeds are a darker green than grass, which sheep graze on.  Some fields were reddish with sorrel predominating.  Even the hawthorn hedges had new growth tinged with red.

Field with reddish hues
Field with reddish hues

In the hedgerows and woods there was a profusion of wild flowers.  The hawthorn blossom (or May) was not over.  Dog roses, cow parsley, vetch, herb Bennet, red campion, ragged robin, Welsh poppies, red clover, stitchwort, mouse-ear hawkweed, dandelions, foxgloves, crosswort, nettles, speedwell, ivy-leaved toadflax, common cow-wheat, fox and cubs, different species of hawkbit, were among the species we noticed and identified.  Our reference books are Wild Flowers from Collins Gem Guides and Wild Flowers of Britain and Northwest Europe in the Eyewitness Handbooks series from Dorling Kindersley.

The weather was dry, but overcast, giving interesting patterns of light and shade.  Ours was a low-level walk, looking up at the fells, which surrounded us.  The lake was moving with ripples as the gentle breeze and the currents affected its surface.  My phone’s camera saw the reflections more clearly than the naked eye, freezing them momentarily.

View across Crummock Water
View across Crummock Water
Another view
Another view
Crummock Water
Crummock Water

There were the sounds of birds singing, but few to be seen.  These were chaffinches and pied wagtails.  A buzzard appeared overhead, but we lost sight of it.  There were also rooks or crows and hang-gliders.  On a weekday, we wondered whether they were making a hobby into a business.  Of course, some people are able to take their holidays in June if they aren’t restricted to UK school holidays.

The route we chose led us along country lanes between ancient hedgerows, across fields on grassy paths, along cart tracks, over stiles and footbridges, along the side of Crummock Water and through woodland above the river, which is fed from the lake.

Although it is known as the Lake District, only one expanse of water in Cumbria has lake as part of its name.  The others are waters or meres.  Small mountain lakes are tarns, a name also used in Scotland.

Hubby and I took the walk at a gentle speed, stopping to look closely at plants, trees, fungi and insects, although we did not notice many insects.  We spent about two hours in the open air.  The overcast weather suited me well.  Had it been sunny I ought to have worn a hat.  So far this year I have not thought of looking out a sun-hat.

Beauty easily overlooked
Beauty easily overlooked

We saw ancient trees, oak, ash and sycamore all with enormous girths.  There were also trees, which must have been planted a long time ago for decorative purposes, cypress, cedar and possibly eucalyptus.  I began to imagine distant lands where these species dominate the landscape.  Places I have never travelled to and probably never will.

This corner of Northern England has a great deal to offer in the way of landscape, flora and fauna.  As in Australia the sheep are more numerous than the people.

I took sixteen photos.  Two are of hubby.  Now I must decide which of the others to include here.

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