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" The Boathouse and the Cutter "
Date & start time: Easter Monday 13th April 2020. 6.15 pm for the walk .
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 ).
Places visited : Scale Hill Bridge, plus the riverside walk to Crummock and the boathouse.
Walk details : 2.6 mls, 180 ft of ascent, 1 hours 30 mins.
Highest point : The weather and the wildlife.
Walked with : Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Clear blue skies but a cool easterly breeze, calm in the woods.
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Another glorious sunny day but there's an edge to the temperature as a cool easterly blows across the valley.
After a leisurely day we head out for a walk late in the afternoon, our late start time being confused
by the bright sunshine and the springtime clock recently going forward an hour.
No problem breakfast was late, lunch was late so supper can be a moveable feast.
Ann and I set off along the road to Scale Hill Bridge.
It is so quiet we don't have the dogs on a lead, though they are not allowed to stray far due to the occasional fast but silent cyclist.
Closer at hand the hedgerow is starting to sprout new life in the sunshine.
There are fresh leaves on this sycamore growing in the roadside hedge.
The River Cocker at Scale Hill Bridge.
The trees of Lanthwaite Woods hide the clear summit of Brackenthwaite Hows above.
Over the back we can just see the top of Whiteside and, to the right, Grasmoor.
Looking at the river on the other side as it disappears beneath us under the bridge.
Due to the lack of rain recently the water level is really low. Normally those shingle banks are hidden under water.
The reason the Scale Hill car park exists here is that it was built on an old spoil heap.
The addit dates to the mid-19th century and the lead content of the mine waste never really allowed vegetation to grow.
When tourism increased and a car park was suggested, this space was still barren and just needed a little leveling and the car park was born.
[ The main Loweswater Mines shafts were located at Netherclose and Moss Cottage, a few hundred yards away on the other side of the river.]
Cut timber line the track, ready to be hauled away once life returns to normal.
We take the riverside track in preference to continuing on the forest track.
The low river level is apparent once more by the exposed tree roots and more shingle banks.
The first swimming pool (Hunter Davies's old pool) has a sandy beach today.
The river level must be a foot below normal to expose that much coarse river sand.
Lorna Thompson in Western Australia told us how she used to swim in the River Cocker in her youth.
In her honour, I present the probable pool she talked about,
complete with another youthful swimmer currently enjoying the water.
Our riverside path sometimes leaves the water side to take a more direct line through the woods.
An old measuring weir about a hundred yards downstream of the lake.
Normally it should work with low river flows, but time has eroded the far bank and the water escapes around the side.
" Twa ducks "
Two mallard, part of a group of four, swim over to the other bank as we pass by.
To the main weir at the foot of Crummock Water.
The overflows and eel matting is nearly dry, the low water level means most of the water is flowing via the fish ladder to the right.
The blue of the lake caught this photographer's eye, the boathouse adding the nice central detail.
Dougal runs along the extended beach, dry shod . . . normally the water is right up to the trees.
We take advantage of the bench, to sit and enjoy the view up the lake to Red Pike and the High Stile Ridge.
Quiet times at the beach . . . I've thrown Dougal's tennis ball in the other direction !
It is a lovely afternoon
and when we are sheltered from the cool breeze the temperature climbs nicely.
Time to entertain the children . . . I mean dogs . . . so the tennis ball flies high in the air.
The retriever sets off to retrieve.
I give Dylan a chance by restraining Dougal by the collar.
Success as Dylan has chance to swim for the ball.
I let go the coiled spring and Dougal flies off in pursuit.
After a bit of gentle inter- doggy persuasion, it is usually Dougal who makes landfall with the ball in his mouth !
Dylan doesn't seem to mind, he's so laid back in that respect.
The Crummock and Buttermere Valleys are well supplied with memorial seats
and we take advantage of another one for a few minutes . . . well time is plentiful at present so why not.
Thanks to the family of GW and BW.
Back through the mixed woodland using the forest track this time.
It's just a short walk back along the road towards home now, passing an early flowering cherry at Jenkin House.
Gillerthwaite and the sheep means we are nearly home.
The young lambs are about three weeks old now and getting very stocky.
This one must be a week of so younger by the look of it.
As we reached home there was a slight scuffle from the hedge
and a badger disturbed by our arrival ran out and set off up the road.
He squeezed through our five barred gate and headed off down the garden.
Sadly he was a bit lethargic and didn't look too fit, but it is difficult to catch and treat wild animals like this.
The fact that he was out in daylight meant that he was probably too unwell to find enough food during the night time hours.
I think he's the same one I saw in the garden a week or ten days ago.
Some apple I left out by the bird table that night had gone by the morning so something big must have ate it . . . maybe he returned later.
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After that rather sad looking badger yesterday evening,
Tuesday morning we had another, all together more active visitor.
I suddenly looked out and from the hedge a red squirrel had arrived.
A quick grab of the camera from the other room and he / she was recorded enjoying a hazel nut from our bird table.
A seat with a view . . . but also close to the hedge which offers a quick exit corridor if necessary.
He came and went three or four times and was with us for ten minutes or so . . . delightful.
Above him, this rather striking male blackbird enjoying the smaller seed and cereals on the table.
A lovely deep black plumage, orange beak and a bright yellow eye surround.
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So it has been a busy two days, lots of jobs done and plenty of fine weather to be outdoors doing them.
You've also sent us photos of your recent days . . .
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .a second tennis ball for Dylan . . . butt then he's not over-bothered !
Previous walk - 9 - 12th April 2020 - Squirrels and Raised Bed
A previous time up here - 23th May - Cinderdale Lakeside Walk
Next walk - 15 - 16th April 2020 - The Pine and Sheepfold