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22 May 2006 @ 12:00 pm
Lakes, Sheep and Hills  
This was the first time I went to the Lake District and I was not disappointed. Lots of water everywhere, fells and sheep.

If you're having trouble following along with the geography, here's a reasonable map of the Lake District.

Place: The day started in Keswick. From there I took the B5289 to Buttermere with stops along Derwent Water and in the village of Grange.
Date: May 22, 2006
Weather: Wet.

Post Office
I had some shopping to do first thing, so I walked around in central Keswick. All the houses are out of local stone, like this one -- the Post Office on the Main Street. It gives a very solid impression but the dark colour isn't terribly inviting.

Moody Lake
Then I set out on the B5289, heading south toward Buttermere. My plan was to explore along the way and then take a walk up a hill in Buttermere.

The B5289 goes along the east side of Derwent Water. If you're into art, the name Derwent probably rings a bell. It's the name of a manufacturer of pencils, including water colour pencils. In fact Derwent own the domain pencils.co.uk. They also run a pencil museum in Keswick.

But back to the present, I stopped at one of the National Trust car parks manned by a helpful volunteer, and took some photos. The first of these shows a rather moody lake view.

Ducks Grooming
Some sleepy ducks were hanging around, attending to their personal hygiene when they weren't napping.

I stopped at Grange. Looking back northward on the road, we see a sheer cliff face dropping down toward Derwent Water. I like how the hill is looming over the trees and the river. It certainly gives a bit of perspective.

Derwent Bridge
This bridge across the River Derwent is the only way to Grange. I found the stone structure very photogenic so I took quite a lot of photos of it. This one is from near the road on the east bank of the river. You can see how the clouds were dragging along the top of the hills on the right.

Derwent Bridge
This photo is taken from the west bank, the same side as the village. I was trying to frame the bridge between the seedling on the left, the alder and the ground.

Derwent Bridge
Finally, this one is again taken from the eastern bank but it also shows the first houses in the village Grange on the other side.

Along one of the ubiquitous drystone walls in Grange, some Welsh poppies were spreading their sunny cheer in the overcast weather.

Cottage under Cliff
Looking up, we see how naturally the village fits into the landscape. Of course that also means that there is no room for expansion. The roads through the village are very narrow. It's enough that one tourist thoughtlessly parks in a tight spot to bring all traffic to a standstill. The sign on the house wall admonishes people not to park in front of the gate. Fortunately there's a car park by one of the churches. It's a mundane thing but the cafe in the building on the photo would not get many guests if there was nowhere for them to put their cars while they tuck into their cream tea.

I'm not sure what I liked so much about this scene -- the blue gate, the pink clematis or the wagon that's missing a wheel.

Here is a closer look at the pink clematis. I believe it is Clematis montana.

One of the roads in the village is flanked by stonewalls with bluebells growing below.

This is a tributary to the River Derwent. Seeing scenes like this, it's not hard to understand why the Lakes have become so popular.

The Lake District is famous for its sheep and there are certainly plenty of them. I took quite a few sheep photos. Here a ewe was lying down on the juicy grass but not resting. She looks as if she were prepared to bound up any moment. I decided not to get any closer.

Here ewes and lambs are lying down or grazing in a pasture outside Grange. I particularly like the lamb that's playing with wild abandon in the top right.

It looks as if the lamb on the right is whispering in the ear of the of the other lamb, but in fact it was headbutting it.

Lamb & Ewe
A black lamb approached me with some curiosity but its mother came chasing after it to keep it out of trouble.

This ewe has better control of her lamb. With her upturned eyes, it looks to me as if she's thinking "Oh no, not again. Another photographer."

By the time I left Grange, it had started to rain. This is on the B5289 just after the Honister Pass. It's a very impressive road as far as scenery is concerned but it's not very wide. That's why cars are waiting for others to pass. Normally I would have waited for the road to be clear or removed the cars in Photoshop. But here they give a sense of perspective compared to the hills on either side.

A coworker had recommended I walk up to Red Pike (755 metre above sea level) above Buttermere. From there I could continue to High Stile (806 m) along the ridge and then drop down to Buttermere Water and back to the village. This is near the beginning of the walk, where I catch a glimpse of Crumock Water, north-west of Buttermere, between the trees.

I don't think I got as far as Red Pike and it was getting late, so I turned around soon after this photo of the village of Buttermere. My coworker had stressed the importance of trekking poles and he was right. Unfortunately I had left mine in the car, so the going was very slow and I ended up on my bottom a couple of times.

This is the zoomed in version of the photo above. If you look really carefully, you can just make out a little red car under the trees in the car park below. That's where my trekking poles were. I wasn't too annoyed, though. With a view like this, how could I be?

Looking in the other direction, a better view of Crumock Water.

This was the terrain. With this sort of tussocky grass liberally sprinkled with brooks, walking without anything to hold onto is very hard. Still, it's very pretty.

I took a slightly different route back down and came across this hawthorn in a pool of bluebells with Crumock Water behind. It could have been on a postcard.

Tree by Crumock
The last photo of the day shows a lonely tree on the banks of Crumock Water. You can see in the sky that the sun is starting to set. I was glad that I had turned around in time to be back by the car before it got dark.

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