Cumbria in the Spring

So Tiro and I get to spend a few days in the South Western Peninsula of Cumbria for a bit of a mini break.  The signs of spring, despite the regular and drastically wet rainfall, are definitely here, with the spring flowers and pale new growth being very much in evidence.  As the majority of buildings, drive coverings, walls and lake shores here are slate of various shades of green, grey and purple, shot through with quartz veins, Tiro and I spend time making our own tribute to the county with the most awesome stone circles, (Castlerigg, Long Meg etc) in a temporary artwork:

Slate Circle

Slate Circle

Granted ours was put together in about half an hour, but perhaps it’s a tad smaller and flatter than the traditional circles here 🙂

We passed the Burlington Slate Quarry on the way in to the Duddon Estuary valley, the quarry was originally set up by the Duke of Devonshire (residing in Chatsworth House) to quarry slate.  The views from the slip road (and spoil heap!) are quite breathtaking.

The view from Burlington Slate Quarry

The view from Burlington Slate Quarry

The flat valley bottoms, shallow wide rivers feeding into the Duddon Estuary, steep mountains and sky which seems to go on forever give a sense of infinite space and vastness which I find in precious few other places, though the photographs are a poor representation of what it feels like to stand here and look up.

Grassland

Grassland

Cumbrian Sky

Cumbrian Sky

It’s not just the daytime that provides spectacular views; after sundown the stars are plainly visible and we spent a goodly while just identifying where constellations were.  The simple joy of being able to see so many so clearly was too much to resist 🙂 Sadly our toes and fingers gave in way before our desire to head back indoors, and we had to take them in for a bit of a warm.  It is the middle of Spring after all…

There are plenty of spring flowers in evidence, minature daffodils and iris, primrose, crocus and the occasional periwinkle amongst the bracken in the hedgerows:

Minature Daffodil

Minature Daffodil

Daffodils

Daffodils

Miniature Iris

Miniature Iris

Pink Primrose

Pink Primrose

Yellow Crocus

Yellow Crocus

Purple Crocuses

Purple Crocuses

Periwinkle

Periwinkle

Braken

Braken

Bracken in Stone Wall

Bracken in Stone Wall

The Winter Aconite is still happily flowering here:

winter aconite

winter aconite

winter aconite bud

winter aconite bud

new growth on a clematis – no spectacular flowers due until summer though!

clematis

clematis

Bergenia, found lurking on the top of a high wall:

Berginia

Berginia

Sempervivum, of which there are plenty in the garden,thrive happily in the sheltered conditions found in between slate edges and in the boles of felled branches

Sempervivum

Sempervivum

Sempervivum

Sempervivum

And finally the catkins on the silver birch trees are here already!

silver birch catkin

silver birch catkin

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s