After last week's superb weather on The Cleveland Way we were somewhat disappointed at the cooler more inclement forecast for our trip to The Lakes. We drove over in the last of the really good weather and were soon settled in in the dry, although it quickly clouded over and began to rain. It was lovely to see the motorway verges swathed in cowslips in places.
On the Tuesday morning we woke to a dry but windy morning and that was to be the order of the week: cold temperatures and a very strong wind making things uncomfortable on the site. The weather did improve to give some sun but turned to rain again by 1.00 pm. We treated ourselves to a lazy breakfast and a relaxing morning before going for a wander around Rather Heath Wood for some drawing and photography while it was still dry. I enjoyed looking at and photographing the detail of the stone walls covered as they were with mosses and lichens. The leaves of larch, beech and sycamore were opening as well as hazel with it's beautiful red bud scales contrasting with the bright, fresh green of the leaves. Newly opened beech leaves are fine and delicate with an edging of soft downy hairs; they look totally vulnerable, having already been attacked by insects. Wood sorrel was brightening up corners of the wood and the gorse, as always was a blaze of colour.
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