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" Rannerdale Bluebells ~ 2013 - 2 "
Date & start time: 24th / 26th May 2013.
Location of Start : Cinderdale Car Park, Crummock, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 162 194 ).
Places visited : Rannerdale Valley.
Walk details : Two shorter walks of about two miles each.
Highest point : On the fell overlooking the valley ~ a climb of of indeterminate height.
Walked with : Jill, Nigel, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan,
then myself and the dogs 2 days later.
Weather : Blue skies, partial cloud cover and fast moving shadows.
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Following the visit last week we decided that the Rannerdale flowers still had a short time to go before they reached their climax.
This weekend, which fortunately for many people coincided with the Whitsun holiday weekend,
the sun came out and the colours came through in a big way . . . perhaps the best display for many years.
They must benefited from the "winter climate" we've experienced this spring.
Ann visited Rannerdale on Friday, meeting Jill and Nigel as they descended from their Grasmoor/Whiteside walk.
On Sunday I managed an hour or so, dodging the traffic and the people, to seen the "full technicolor" display for myself.
First Ann's Friday walk as she parked at a quiet Cinderdale car park and headed slightly up the fell to give the dogs a bit of a run
on the open fell before she planned to meet up with Jill and Nigel high on the fells above her.
Hints of blue as she walked across to the wall above the bluebell fields.
The shapely peak of Whiteside looks down on a sun-dappled valley below.
The bluebells up here at the top of the slope seems to be more colourful,
probably due to the extra sunshine they receive on the south facing slope.
Hold on . . . what's this . . . it gets better as you go along.
Rannerdale Beck cascades down the fellside from the flanks of Whiteless Pike
and the dogs are first down there, enjoying a dip in the cold water as they usually do.
On cue . . . Ann recognised the two people walking down the track from Rannerdale Hause.
A short cut across the field and they meet up at the top foot bridge as arranged . . . perfect timing !
Walking back down the opposite side of the valley now, on the footpath that skirts Rannerdale Knotts itself.
Across the way, that bright patch of blue can be seen to extend all the way down the stream.
The open fell has a definite blue colour.
The notable think about these Rannerdale bluebells is that they thrive on the open fell side.
Similar examples of this sort of phenomena are usually found under tree cover, but there's hardly any trees here at all.
Walking back down Rannerdale Valley.
The stream here is Squat Beck, the Rannerdale Beck is across the other side of the flat field, but they will join shortly.
By the overhanging boulder, the view across to the bank of flower is excellent.
A little sun would help however !
Jill takes a sideways view of the stream .
Nigel adopts a more level-headed approach to his art.
Ann . . . just takes nice pictures !
Up close and personal . . .
Those dreaded bracken fronds are just starting to grow so therefore aren't spoiling the display.
One last look back at Whiteless and the bluebells before they all return to the cottage.
- - - o o o - - -
Two days later, the Sunday of the Bank Holiday, I venture out to enjoy the views that Ann has told me about . . .
A sunny Whit Sunday, one of the busiest days of the year potentially . . . the cars bear that out.
I head up the hill, following Ann's route and escape the crowds.
This was the wide angle view across the lake of Mellbreak and the surrounding fells.
Again click here for a larger version
The car park at Hause Point is full to overflowing too.
Zooming in on the bottom gate . . . the one that had fallen over last week.
Blue sky . . . blue water . . . blue bells.
At the top of the field . . . looking over the wall.
A wider panoramic shot from a little further on.
It seems that even the two days has made a difference to the display.
Mellbreak again and that blue is mesmerising.
The sun goes in and the colour deepens.
The fast moving clouds means that the wait is short before another burst of sun illuminates the scene.
The yellow gorse bushes add contrast to the sheen of blue.
Looking across top more visitors arriving from Cinderdale car park.
Zooming back out at the wider picture.
After their brief off-lead session across the top of the fell side these two have been perfectly behaved down here
and have followed me along the narrow paths between the flowers without going berserk.
The last section down to the point where the two streams meet.
This is another patch where the flowers are at their best.
They fill the viewfinder . . .
. . . and closer still the picture reveals their intricate shapes.
Unusually this year there are sheep in the area, maybe because of the broken gate last week.
Time to be heading home . . . along the top track.
The gentle hum of machinery tells me that I am not the only one to have come to see the bluebells today !
I decide to walk down to the bottom of the slope to view the flowers in close-up.
A path through the carpet . . .
. . . being used by the visitors . . . and shortly by myself.
The reverse shot . . . and my last one for today before returning home.
I think the flowers this year are the best that they have been for four or five years . . . must be the weather !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220or my 1100D SLR digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . well the bluebells are best viewed after a cold and late spring.
Previous walk - 23rd May 2013 - Carrock Fell and Lingy Hut.
A previous time up here - 6th May 2012 Rannerdale Bluebells 2012
Next walk - 25th May 2013 - Yoke, Bells and Romans