Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sand martins - Mawbray to Allonby

Some fairly poor photos of sand martins, but it was lovely to have them buzzing and bombing around us as we walked along the coast today.



Mawbray to Allonby - with chips!

Our usual walk, in superb sunshine, with chips at the Codfather in Allonby - cracking!
General views ..
A good year for the dandelions...coming into Allonby.
Mallard ducklings on the beck on the way into Allonby.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Harrington Beach field sketch ....

The rusty groynes were lovely yesterday ...and here was my field sketch ...kind of hard to find something to draw but good to be challenged. I had hoped to find a collection of buildings to do in a Percy Kelly style - that'll have to wait.


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Parton to Harrington...

We really should have planned these walks in some sort of order as today we returned to Parton and walked in the opposite direction towards Workington. To be fair it was an enjoyable walk - always nice to be on the coast; not as spectacular as other parts of Cumbria's coast but interesting,  none the less, given the industrial heritage. The sea was flat calm and the Isle of Man was very clear ...we could even just make out Ireland on the far horizon. Harrington itself is an odd little spot ...a harbour, stony beach - mainly slag and good views up and down the coast. Just a pity the icecream van left the beach carpark just as we arrived!

Top left - Parton: top right Harrington.
Other photos of the coastal walk.
Harrington harbour ...and a random toad! 
Lovely rusty bits on the groynes at Harrington. 
The Isle of Man. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Whitehaven and Parton - a round trip

With the opening up of the coastal footpath we walked from Parton to Whitehaven; something we haven't done before and a strip of coast that we've whizzed past many times on the A595. We walked from Parton along the wagon way - which was for horse drawn trams  to haul coal from Parton to Whitehaven docks. A lovely little walk and good to see the promenade developments at Whitehaven - an interesting contrast to some of the more run down areas of the town.

Towards Whitehaven along the railway and Parton beach. 
Whitehaven and some of the sculptures celebrating its varied and really interesting history ....
Rope sculptures on the Millennium  Promenade.
Whitehaven lighthouse (1841)...the derelict 'lighthouse' on bottom left photo wasn't a lighthouse but a signal station. 
Jackdaws collecting nesting material in the wall at Parton. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

River Caldew field sketch.

During yesterday's walk I did manage a field sketch - it was cold and on occasions spitting with rain but I was pleased with the result.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Caldbeck to Hesket Newmarket ....spring walk

An early spring walk. The wood anemones were at their best; the wild garlic just about to bloom. The celandines glowed; the herb Paris was just about to blossom. Lunch at the Old Crown and ice cream in Caldbeck...another cracking walk.
Top left: the road to Caldbeck....the rest are from the walk along the Caldew.

Left - Waters meet and then top right - herb Paris (ancient woodland indicator species) and damp wood anemones. 
Toothwort ...uncommon - a parasitic ancient woodland indicator species. 
Bleach cup fungus....found in the spring.
Happy boy -Rocky! 

Friday, 14 April 2017

A distressed nautilus!

Another find from the Victorian bottle dump ...a nautilus ....not sure how or why! It would be fascinating to know how it got to Cumbria to start with...was it an engraved Victorian artefact...why was it discarded.....???




Victorian tile fragments....

On today's walk we found fragments of tiles .......

Add caption

Thanks to Tom for the digital reconstruction ...if only! 


Collecting what the others have left....

A riverside walk through a Victorian bottle dump and lots of finds left by the serious diggers....

The Irish pipe with the shamrock is particularly nice and requires further research! The bottle stoppers are: a decorative glass; a traditional glass stopper and a vulcanite screw stopper. 

Dr Mackenzie's smelling bottle....
The original advert.
The bottle stopper that I didn't find...


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Catbells and Castlerigg.

With Molly back home from Alaska for two weeks, it was an early start to drop paintings off in Grasmere for the Cumbria Local Arts exhibition; then secure a parking spot for Catbells. It wasn't a good day for photography and it was drizzling on Catbells so we didn't bother walking onto Maiden Moor. We did though stop off at Castlerigg stone circle ...but again the light was poor and it was too cold to paint! Back home it was then, to play monopoly next to the aga!



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Howk, Caldbeck.

Well it was a pretty damp and manky morning so up to Caldbeck and a walk up the Howk.

The elephants return!

These little cards are a total pain to make and aren't really commercially viable at the price I sell them for. I had stopped making any but here are a few more! People just seem to like them!


More mothing.....

A bit delayed ....here are some pics from the gloriously sunny weekend we've just had ....how the weather changes!

Left hand column: powdered quaker, satellite and chestnut.
Right hand column: water carpet, early thorn (2nd generation) and  Hebrew character.
Bottom: a pair of red sword-grass.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Wood anemones.....and unfurling fronds

A quick walk out down the local wood ...a spectacular display of wood anemones.
The ferns are just unfurling.



Fleswick Bay, St Bees field sketch.

A treat to be able to sit outside at this time of year and be warm!


Saturday, 8 April 2017

St Bees to Whitehaven ....sea birds and heritage.

Following on from the last blog about this spectacular walk...



St Bees to Whitehaven ...views and spring flowers.

What a cracking walk! This part of the National Coastal footpath has just opened ...all refurbished with new kissing gates. A glorious day and I'd never been beyond the lighthouse on the coastal path at St Bees. Really spectacular cliffs with a feeling of Pembrokeshire on such a sunny day. Swallows and sand martins, chiffchaffs and spring flowers. Lots of guillemots and razorbills on the rookeries. Then you walk on past the sandstone quarry and on to the Haig pit ....a really interesting walk with spectacular scenery. I'd recommend doing it as a two car or return by bus walk as it was 15 miles as a round trip.



Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Bees and bee-flies....spring is here!

A selection of bees and a bee-flies from the verges in the sun at the weekend.
Left and top middle: probable Red Mason Bee
Middle bottom: Common Carder Bee
Right: Large Bee-fly.



Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Red Pike from Grey Knotts oil.

It seems to be a while since I did an oil - this time a small one of the view from Grey Knotts towards Red Pike from our walk earlier in the year up Great Gable from Honister....a fantastic display of heather.



Monday, 3 April 2017

Foulshaw Ospreys

A lovely sunny day at Foulshaw yesterday. The Ospreys are back although they appear to be changing their nest site. Good views through the Trust's scope though. A lovely green hairstreak  ...and quite a well-behaved one too. Good to hear the first willow warbler of the year in amongst all the chiffchaffs.

Bottom right : the forked tree in the middle has an osprey on it! 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Butterflies at Latterbarrow.

A quick stop off at Latterbarrow .....didn't manage a decent comma photo, but nice to see.

Brinstone. 
Peacock.
Small tortoiseshell.