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" Fire and Ice at Loweswater "

Date & start time:      12-14th February 2021.  

Location of Start :     By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :          Daily walks down to Crummock Water.

Walk details :              Local for an hour or so each time.

Highest point :           The vagaries of Mother Nature . . . though the cold was very cold !

Walked with :              Neighbours Joan(12th) and Loes(14h) plus the dogs, Max, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Sub zero temperatures with sunshine, turning windy, then mild and wet.

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It has been an interesting couple of days here in Loweswater.

We haven't had as much snow here on the west coast, compared to the Scotland, the Pennines and the eastern side of Britain.

It has been sub-zero however and that has brought its own delights.

First a picture from my neighbour up the hill of a Tawny Owl sitting on a post in the newly planted tree field.

He'd seen a local Barn owl up there occasionally and was delighted with this special find.

This is what he was keeping an eye out for . . . the visiting Barn Owl.

He doesn't roost at Martin and Shelagh's house but does visit occasionally.

What a lovely couple of photos.

- - - o o o - - -

Here the weather this second week of February has been better than some, in that we haven't had the disruptive snow that others have received.

On Friday I head out for a walk to the lake, meeting a neighbour Joan and her dog Max along the way.

Joan and I had planned more or less the same dog walk and so we both ended up down at Crummock Water.

Grasmoor seen across a winter lakeside meadow.
Hopegill Head and Sand Hill, where I walked recently with Martin.

The air temperature is below freezing and in the last few days the wind has got up

so the waves are splashing against the concrete wall.

The water has frozen on the path so conditions were tricky for getting across without falling over or getting wet.

Full marks for waterproof boots.

The spray has also settled on the vegetation, where it has immediately frozen.

The ice on the bushes reflect the height of the spray from the waves behind.

It has been quite three years since I've seen this phenomena down here at the lake.

- - - o o o - - -

Saturday morning I ventured out again, this time approaching via Lanthwaite Woods and the weir.

More frozen spray on the overflow channel and the trees alongside.

Such delightful effects as the cold water chills further and settles on already sub-zero plants.

- - - o o o - - -



This evergreen sapling has been caught in time


with the small branches now fixed in ice.



Where the greenery is already covered in ice


the excess water has frozen


to form icicles.



- - - o o o - - -

The 'centre of interest' at the weir is totally different today.

Walking the path, towards the bridge over Park Beck.

The same place but taken from a low angle.

Suddenly the reality of the grass also becomes evident as each blade is also frozen with ice.

One can spend many a happy hour looking for shapes in the ice sculptures.

Spot the flying bird at the front and the walking spaceman to the right.

Around the corner to the Pump House . . . but my way is almost blocked.

Walking the path it has to be, as the wall top is covered and sliding off this would find me in the water !


The reed like grasses next to the pond had coalesced into one gigantic lump of ice.

I had a fiddle with the colours to try and increase the definition . . . hold your cursor over the picture to see the artistic effect.

A taller bush has formed an amazing upright ice statue.
Dougal investigated the lakeshore path beyond the Pump House.

Without spikes I think the crossing today would be unwise . . . the dog agrees !

Time to head home.

Joan had also visited the same place herself today . . . it seems she had chosen a better time with more light.

The second day and Joan's picture shows that the stronger wind has sent the ice further across the marsh.

- - - o o o - - -

During Saturday morning I was sent a mini-video

by Lorna at the Grange Hotel.

Someone has posted a report of a moorland fire

which was well alight on the fells between

Loweswater and Ennerdale.

- - - o o o - - -

Fire service personnel at Cogra Moss.

Pic: Times and Star Newspaper / Sam Smedley

- - - o o o - - -

Looking across the the Loweswater Fells on my way home, the fire seems to be getting closer,

carried ever forward on the strong winds that are also causing those waves on the lake.

During the evening the fire reached the top of Black Crag overlooking High Nook Farm.

The white lights bottom right are small lights of the Kirkstile and Loweswater Church.

Zooming in with the bigger lens.

My neighbour Zoe at Moss Cottage sent me his zoomed in photo from a little later in the evening.

- - - o o o - - -

Today (Sunday) I walked to the lake once again, using a different route but aiming to see the icicles once again.

A different friend also wanted to walk the same route so we joined forces for our outdoor exercise.

The weather is on the change, with a westerly weather system starting to push the easterly high pressure back towards the continent.

Consequently the wind has increased, but so has the temperature, and the net effect has been the start of a thaw.

The waves are greater, the water splashing higher, but in so doing it is starting to melt the ice sculptures.

The shapes are less distinct . . .
. . . and the path blocked by spray rather than ice.

Walking the long way around, we're now near the Pump House, where Dougal was pictured yesterday.

The ice is still thick on the path to the weir at the foot of Crummock Water.

Most of the ice has gone from the weir and iron work.

Loes crossing the first bridge.
Looking down on the fast flowing fish ladders.

The natural ice sculptures are thawing fast today.

This was the fir tree yesterday . . .
. . . today it has lost most of its ice.

- - - o o o - - -

On the way home we spotted a Kestrel flying near my garden.

It landed in the big oak alongside the road.

On a more gentle note . . . Spring Galanthus . . . snowdrops to you and me.

- - - o o o - - -

One final photo . . . since I returned home and sat at the computer compiling these pictures the weather has changed, just as forecasted.

The south westerly gale has arrived and the windows are soaking wet.  Loes and I picked the best part of the day for our walk.

The ice will all be gone by the morning . . . but at least the last traces of the fire will be out too.

Every wet cloud has a silver lining.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures generally taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a study of the life cycle of an icicle.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 11th February - Round Derwent Water with Julie

A previous time up here - 17th March 2018 - Little Beasts and Crummock Icicles

Next walk - 21st February - Haystacks via Moses Trod