Friday 19 October 2018

Lake District, October 2018. Day 6. Tilberthwaite Touring

Beautiful cloudless skies and anothe frost greeted us this morning.  We were away fairly quickly (for us), driving via Ambleside to the car part in Tilberthwaite by  Andy Goldsworth's Sheepfold.  Our route took us along the road to High Tilberthwaite Farm and then joined the gravel track down through old slate quarries and Moss Rigg Wood.  The Autumn colours were spectacular: gold, green, red, yellow and graceful silver birches were beautiful against the deep blue sky and blue-grey slate spoil heaps.  We wandered down to elegant Slater Bridge in Little Langdale for photography and lunch.  After lunch of cold pizza and hot chocolate we walked back and up to Cathedral Cavern in the Little Langdale slate quarries, named for the cathedral-sized main cavern which leads through to other smaller caverns and dark adits , tempting to explore.  Generations of quarrymen had blasted slate out of here leaving a huge central pillar to support the roof.  After splitting for roof and flooring, the slates were transported down to Coniston for distribution. Although I had already photographed this amazing space I couldn't resist making more images of it. 
Soon it was time to head back up the hill to Hodge Close Quarry.  Yet another fabulous photographic location, this vast hole in the ground has a lake in the bottom that is purported to be as deep as the quarry walls above.  As well as being a favourite haunt of photographers, it is also popular with scuba divers and rock climbers.
Heading down across fields took us back to High Tilberthwaite where we stopped to photograph the beautiful herdy sheep and chat with the farmer.  Sadly he was leaving the following week citing careless and selfish tourists as the main reason.  He complained bitterly of trains of landrovers and trail bikes destroying bridleways and leaving gates open. Saddened but comforting ourselves that we did try to be caring and respectful of this magnificent area we returned to the car.
Our final stop was a potter round Ambleside before returning to the van for rehydration and supper.
Sadly tomorrow we have to return to Grimsby but looked forward to visiting our brand new great-niece on the way.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Lake District, October 2018. Day 5.

We set the alarm this morning to make sure that we didn't oversleep again.  After breakfast I left Heather working on her rope sculptures and headed for Leighton Moss RSPB reserve, a place I had been meaning to visit for some time.  It is a reserve of vast reed beds and lakes,  haunt of bittern, bearded tit, otter and red deer.  I saw none of these on this first exploratory visit with no camera gear other than a red deer stag.  Others could be heard roaring in the distance as the testosterone fuelled rut gets under way.  The belling of the stags is primeval.  Although I dipped out on the reserve's top line species I enjoyed a good couple of hours with 24 bird species including marsh harrier and marsh tit as well as red deer, fallow deer on the way and a couple of late Dragonflies.
On returning to the van we had a sandwich lunch and later wandered across the fields to Stavely where we enjoyed a pint in the Eagle and Child.  The light was excellent and I was pleased to make some pleasing images of our favourite oak tree with the Kentmere fella in the distance.  We are now settled cosily in the van looking out at a beautiful sunset as we cook pizza for dinner.

Lake District, October 2018. Day 4

A lazy day today, partly prompted by a wet misty start.  Later in the morning we drove into Kendal for some shopping.  I was pleased to find some quality wellies in the market in the indoor shopping arcade, something for which I have been searching for ages.  Ready for winter now!!  We had a snack lunch in Booths cafe and then shopped for baby books in Waterstones (we have just become great aunt and uncle).
After a cup of tea when we got back  I went out to test drive the wellies with some photography in Rather Heath Woods.  The colours were spectacular and I came back with some pleasing results.
In the evening we met up with long-time friends Anna and Gordon for a meal at the nearby Strickland Arms.  It was good to catch up and the food was excellent, and the beer.