Saturday, 30 December 2017

Mawbray to Allonby - with bricks!

Again, not the best of days weatherwise, so we headed off down the beach for a brisk walk!


A range of brick types found on the beach.

The new groyne repairs have suffered this winter; bolder-clay has been exposed; fossil coral - single and colonial
 and a 303 bullet.

Friday, 29 December 2017

The Howk, Caldbeck

With a poor forecast we stayed local and went for a walk up the Howk. Starting in Caldbeck we walked through the ruins of the old bobbin mill, which housed the largest water wheel in the country, and alongside the waterfalls in the picturesque limestone gorge before emerging and walking along the riverside and up to Whelpo. We then returned along the road.

The mill ruins

Waterfalls in the limestone gorge 
Four signs of a clean environment: mosses and ferns on the trees; dipper; otter spraint and lichen clad branches.

....and a damp dog! 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Mardale Ill Bell and High Street views....

It felt like being on top of the world today with views through 360 degrees!






































..and Rocky enjoyed himself!


Mardale Head round walk - wintery conditions.

We arrived at 10 am at the carpark at the far end of Haweswater intending to walk around the lake. However, the sun was shining on fresh snow on Blea Water Crag, so there was a rapid change of plan! Up to Small Water tarn and up Nan Bield Pass and then onto Mardale Ill Bell. Absolutely stunning views and a fair bit of snow. Then onto High Street and then over: Riggindale Crag; Rough Crag; Eagle Crag; Heron Crag and Swine Crag before descending to the lakeshore and the car park. A cracking winter walk with an interesting but safe descent.


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

New Solway Mosses boardwalks.....walk

We parked up, for our traditional family Boxing Day walk, opposite the Glendale Caravan Park turning on the coast road, just south of Port Carlisle. Then we walked towards the park and turned right down the lane that runs down the side of the park. This now leads to a new birding/viewing platform with splendid views across Glasson Moss to Skiddaw; then onto a new stretch of boardwalk that takes you right across the moss to the Bowness on Solway to Kirkbride road. After crossing the road and walking for a hundred metres or so, you come to the Rogersceugh lane. It was a tad damp after the last two days of rain, so wellies were undoubtedly the best option! Then the lane leads down to the board walk across Bowness common and to North Plain farm. A super walk - blue skies; rusty winter colours; lots of wigeon and teal and good views across to Criffel. We did the walk with two cars - one parked at North Plains and the other, as I said, on the coast road. Lovely to be able to get into the middle of the mosses.

Boardwalks ...

Views .....
Reflections ....

...and frog jelly/star jelly.
If a frog is attacked by a predator, it will dump its unfertilised spawn, which then swells on contact with water.
There were at least four exampes of this. 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

High Pike and the Drygill shales.

At home we were completely encompassed by low cloud and driving mizzle. As we drove through to Caldbeck though the cloud disappeared and there was even a hint of sunshine - our annual pilgrimage to the Drygill shales via High Pike looked a lot more promising than first anticipated! We parked up at Calebreck and took the direct route up High Pike and then along to the top of the Drygill shales. There had been a lot of new material dislodged, a few small fossil fragments/ traces but the minerals were as good as ever.

The Christmas tree was blowing wildly in rather a keen wind! 


Remnants of last week's snow. 
The Drygill shales-bottom left.
Mimetite var. campylite ; possible pyromorphite/plumbogummite; mimetite.
Various minerals including: mimetite var. campylite; pyromorphite-mimetite; quartz; manganese oxide ;
baryte and possible  sphalerite.


Friday, 22 December 2017

Snowdrop textile cards

In anticipation of spring, well the first bulbs are poking their leaves through the soil as it is so mild, here are some snowdrop cards. I always get caught out after Christmas as Christmas dominates production and then most of it has either sold or is irrelevant! Not this year though, and hopefully if I can clear the decks of cards and mini oils it'll free up some time for painting big pictures.



Thursday, 21 December 2017

Finglandrigg NNR - a wintery walk

Not a particularly good day weather -wise, but always worth a walk out. A few fungi, a moth and plenty of opportunities for macro photography.
Woodland ...

A November moth....

Damp underfoot....

I particularly liked the green elf cup - right top.

Woodpecker fun! 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Lapwing in the sun.

As we drove back home from Carlisle we went round the Cardurnock peninsula...always worth taking a camera.


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The Great Print Exhibition 2017 - Rheged.

Spent a very pleasant morning walking round this exhibition and watching the three short films - lots of vibrant and varied prints. Here are a selection of my favourites. The exhibition runs until Sunday 18th February.

Winter (Collograph) Hesta Cox

Left hand column:
Hare and goldfinches (linocut and watercolour) Andrew Haslen
Little terns (relief print) Lisa Hooper
Harvest hare (linocut and watercolour) Andrew Haslen
Looking back ( reduction linocut)  Ian Phillips
Right hand column:
Eider ducks (lino cut) Janice Earley
A forest lll (aquatint etching) Jamie Barnes
The Cuillin from Sligachan (aquatint etching) Susan Dobson
Out to Morecambe Bay (screenprint) Kelly Stewart.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Water droplets

As the ice began to melt there were some lovely droplets on our walk around Ennerdale Lake yesterday ...some of the trees looked like they had Christmas lights on when the sun shone, momentarily, on the droplets.




Saturday, 16 December 2017

Round Ennerdale Lake walk

A very atmospheric walk around the lake today....Not too icy underfoot - a good crunch, but the rocks weren't iced.



Lovely Herdwick sheep.

...and Rocky enjoyed it too! 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Polar bear Christmas card design

I didn't actually think I was going to get round to doing a hand-made Christmas card, but then I decided to have a go at a polar bear using the gelli plate. I only did 6 different designs and actually really quite like them.

My favourite.
I really liked this one - the ghost of a bear 
walking into a snowflake wood...


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Mini paintings of Carrock Fell

Following our walk last Sunday I was looking forward to doing some mini oils of Carrock in the snow...



Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A frosty dog walk.

Another gorgeous, cold morning, so with the temperature due to rise it was dog walk with camera. Lots of lovely ice crystals, slippy underfoot and lots of finches, fieldfares and redwings in the hedges.




Ice crystals on a frozen puddle. 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Carrock and High Pike round walk.


A lovely, but very cold, day. We parked up at Calebreck, the road from Hesket Newmarket to Calebreck was fine, but after that very icey along the foot of Carrock Fell. Great conditions underfoot and the 'soggy saddle' between High Pike and Carrock was lovely and frozen.

The start of the walk looking across to Carrock Fell 

Top left: Carrock Fell
Top right: Blencathra
Bottom two: High Pike - photos taken 2 minutes apart - fabulous skies today!

High Pike summit with Carrock Fell in the background.

Carrock Fell and sumit.