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:
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 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.
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:
The Winter Aconite is still happily flowering here:
new growth on a clematis – no spectacular flowers due until summer though!
Bergenia, found lurking on the top of a high wall:
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
And finally the catkins on the silver birch trees are here already!