Watching The Geese

Greylag goose Anser anser

I think this goose was actually watching me! It was a beautiful start to the day again down by the lake. An easier day beckoned after walking up and down Walla Crag the day before, so what better way to spend but down by the shimmering waters of Derwentwater.

Greylag goose Anser anser

The Greylag geese were certainly enjoying themselves and cooling down.

Derwentwater

This was beautiful stretch of shoreline, looking down the length of the lake, the humpy Catbells to the side.

Derwentwater

Along with the geese folk were out on the water, all having some fun in the morning sun.


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July 2018, Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

The Stony Stream

River Greta

This is actually a shot of the River Greta which runs through Keswick. ‘Greta’ derives from the Old Norse ‘Griótá’, meaning ‘stony stream’.

I have always been fascinated with the concept of just focusing on something, a small part of something, like a patch of grass, or a section of river. I find I see more detail than if I take in the whole. This is the thing with photography, you will never ever capture that same moment again. Whatever the image it is unique, and there is such beauty in that uniqueness.

I used a slower shutter speed to capture the above image. Doing it hand-held is pretty tricky as I wanted to keep the lovely detail in the stones and the driftwood, and yet I also wanted to retain some equilibrium to capture the movement and texture within the flowing water itself. I love to see those little swirls around the stones, and the foamy splashes and silky rippliness (another word that I am not sure really exists, but sounds okay).

This was indeed a lovely spot sitting on the grassy bank, just being, and flowing with the stony stream …


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July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Into The Marsh

Equisetum fluviatile

You may be wondering what this is a photograph of, huh? Well it looks kind of like very fine green barbed wire, but no. It’s not a kind of grass, either. It is does not have any Photoshop jiggery pokery either, this is as I had taken it near the shore of Derwentwater. It was difficult to get at because of a dense screen of trees, so I used my extended zoom. Any ideas, yet?

Well I know it is a Horsetail, and I think it is the Water Horsetail (Equisetum fluviatile).


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July 2018, Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I walked 3 miles from the centre of Keswick to this most mystical and magical Neolithic stone circle of Castlerigg. It is around 5200 years old, built before the Pyramids. I fell in love with it and its magnificent setting some 18 years ago when I first visited here. It is located on a low plateau above Keswick, and is surrounded as in an amphitheatre by mountains and fells which are simply stunning to behold. One could not fail but to be moved when capturing and taking in the whole vision on first sighting.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

I found it stirred and pulled at something deep within me. I couldn’t help but marvel at how people of such an ancient past age had conceived of such an idea, placing such time, effort and energy in such a large project. They were so attuned to nature and the landscape around them, and their view of the world and life was a lot different from ours is today. However they built a beautiful and enigmatic monument which has certainly stood the test of time.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Viewed from within the circle and looking northwards there are two large stones with a wide opening between them which may have been an entrance way. There are 38 stones varying in size and shape forming the circle, and there is a legend that the stones are uncountable. The original circle may have had up to 42 stones as there are some apparent gaps. The tallest stone is 2.3m (7.5 feet) high, and the heaviest is 16 tons, and all are made from local rock which formed an ancient seabed over 400 million years ago.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Inside the eastern end of the circle is a rectangle of 10 stones which has been called the ‘sanctuary’, although nobody know what it actually was or used for.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg Stone Circle

It is hard to imagine that this ancient monument had already been standing for 3000 years when the Romans first arrived in Britain, and for 4000 years when the Vikings landed their longships on these shores.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

As well as being one of the most beautiful and beautifully set stone circles in Britain, it is also probably one of the most important. It is one of the oldest in Britain, and Europe for that matter, and it does not contain any formal burials like the later Bronze Age circles do. Therefore it’s true purpose remains unclear, but at the time it was erected it was certainly at the forefront of the minds of its builders.

Castlerigg Stone Circle

One could almost imagine being back there in ancient times when amongst this ring of standing stones within its natural surroundings. Just imagine the day after the last stones had been erected, how these people must have felt after such an achievement, how their plan and design had finally come into being through sheer will and hard work. And just imagine, even for just one single moment, what it would be like to step inside the mind of one of these ancient peoples to know what they knew, and to feel what they felt within their close connections to the earth and the heavens which helped sustained them, knowing what inspired them so to move earth and stone for future generations to ponder over and to marvel at.


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July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Walla Crag – The Descent

Clough Head

On the way down from the fell and passing by a traditional dry stone wall we see Clough Head on the right beyond rollling green pastures.

Keswick

I thought how lonely and lost those horses looked amidst the enormity of the landscape, and had to try to capture the moment. You may have to click and double-click to see them.

Borrowdale And Clough Head

Following the wall and a stoney path down the fell the vista opens up to the valley of Borrowdale where the Brockle Beck runs wild. (This all sounds kind of Lord of The Ringish, don’t you thnk?). I was so taken with the view before me which stretched out for miles and miles into the distance. Clough Head can still be seen on the right.

Borrowdale And Clough Head

A glimpse of the stone wall and the path we travel, and can you see how the clouds cast shadows on the fells? I am fascinated how the changing light can transform the landscape.

Blencathra

Looking across Borrowdale we see the Blencathra fells, which are the most northerly in the English Lakes. It is also called ‘Saddleback’, and you can see why. Again amorphous cloud shadows shift over the face of the land.

Rakefoot

The path takes us down the slopes towards Rakefoot. Shall we go through the gate? After you …

Latrigg And Skidaw

I had to take this shot just beyond the other side of the gate, leaning on an old dry stone wall, for besides the beauty of the scene, I was taken by all the different layers in the landscape, and the various shades of green. We see the mountain Skiddaw rise up before us like a humped behemoth, and the gentle wooded slopes of Latrigg.

Let’s keep on moving. Crossing the Brockle Beck, now on Chestnut Hill. Keswick is still 2 miles away, but it is still all downhill 🙂


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July 2018, Walla Crag, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

View From The Shore

Derwentwater

This is one of the views from across Derwentwater, a large body of water in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria. The last time I visited here was 18 years ago. I wonder why I left it so long when there is so much beauty here amidst nature.

July 2018, © Pete Hillman.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

This is a first for me. It is quite a fast-flying butterfly, so I was thankful it took a fancy to this thistle. The golden ground colour of the upperwings is immediately striking, yet the green-washed underside with the pale reflective blotches is also quite something as can be seen in the last image. The pink hue is the reflection from the thistle flower.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

It favours open country like downland and coastal dunes, but was quite happy where I found it atop the fells.

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Dark Green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

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July 2018, Walla Crag, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.