Saturday, 15 December 2012

A year in the Lake District (Part 2 Jul - Dec)

And so our journey through the past 12 months in the Lake District continues.  We've tried to do more than just hike the fells (not that there's anything wrong with that!) and during the second half of the year in particular we've tried to learn more about the wildlife.  (And if you missed Part 1 it's here.)

July

The beautiful Ullswater taken from St Sunday Crag.  A wonderful walk and a fabulous place for lovely quartz crystals - just look down when you're on the summit.

Ullswater from St Sunday Crag.
Our next walk was far more humble; a few miles along the river Kent near Kendal, but there was still plenty to see: remains of an old fort, wonderful bridge, sewage works...

River Kent, Kendal

And lastly we visited the wonderful Sizergh Castle.  We don't get out to nearly enough of these places and our new year's resolution is to visit more.  Especially if they have daisies...

Gorgeous daisies at Sizergh Castle.

August

Although we'd been to a few RSPB sites we were now really making an effort to get to grips with learning which birds are which, though the pesky varmints don't often stay still long enough for us to ID them.  Thank goodness for Steve and his camera!

Marsh Harrier over Leighton Moss

We also took advantage of a brief dry spell (!) to try and get to the top of the Howitzer on Helm Crag.  One of us made it, the other chickened out and took the pictures...

Steve on the top of the Howitzer
And then came a lovely sunny bank holiday Monday.  The fells were packed solid with hikers but we found miles and miles of peace and quiet along the lovely Cumbria coastline.

Cartmel Sands, not long before we stopped for 2 essential pints of fluid...

September

Following on from the Olympics a touch of cycling greatness came to Cumbria when the Tour of Britain can zooming through.  Shame about the weather...

A rather soggy Bradley Wiggins...

We also encountered some local wildlife up close when we paused to take some scenic shots at a popular layby next to Coniston.

"Excuse me, would you mind terribly if we came by?"
And then there was the wonderful Easedale Tarn.  It was utterly deserted and we had loads of fun chucking rocks in and playing with the cameras.  The route up wasn't bad either.

Easedale Tarn.

Easedale Tarn & amazing levitating rock!

October

With the beautiful autumn colours in full swing where else to enjoy them than the wonderful Langdale Valley?

Langdale Pikes - not shrouded in mist!
And just behind us was Blea Tarn.

Blea Tarn looking lovely as ever.

We also nipped over the border to Scotland for a fab weekend of hiking, cycling & starry, starry skies.

Delores - all cosy for the night.

November

A busy month for us where we got to see our first starling murmuration.



And we got up close with assorted other small birds.

Coal tit (I think..)

Nuthatch

We also had the first snow of the season so it was straight up the Old Man to play!

There were several clues telling us we weren't alone up there...
And the snow looked pretty impressive from afar too; this was the view from the back of Whitbarrow Scar.

Whitbarrow is wonderfully deserted but has spectacular views.

December

And here we are - the end of the year already.  See what I mean when I say it's flown by?  At the start of the month we skidded our way around the Langdale Pikes.

Gorgeous to look at, treacherous to walk on.

And then we kept it a little lower when we visited Wansfell Pike.

It may have been lower than the Langdales but it was still frozen.

We don't get a lot of hiking in during the second half of the month as we tend to spend as much of it was we can catching up with family.  But the fells will still be waiting for us in January.  Unless of course the Mayans were right all along...



MERRY CHRISTMAS & A VERY HAPPY & SAFE NEW YEAR!