After overnight rain the birch glistens as the early sun shimmers through rain drops. The morning is still and bright. Sunlit mist highlights the course of the River Kent. We reckon there will be a temperature inversion over the Lyth Valley so we drive to Helsington Church in time to see Whitbarrow rising above the mist. South toward Morecambe Bay, a pall of sunlit mist. How beautiful it is, and transient. In the time it takes to put on our walking boots the white density of the mist is pierced by sunlight.
The sound of beck and cascade in a Lake District landscape is a joy. Especially on a day after rain, when the sun shines. Today we had to wait until the afternoon but then the light was glorious.
Rain all day yesterday so the tarns were brim-full and overflowing, the pastures flooded at Pelter Bridge, Rydal. A blustery wind, stony tracks awash, flowing like becks. Silver How to Loughrigg, and then the sun shone forth.
Snipe well camouflaged at Leighton Moss, but a helpful birder and his telescope discovered them for us. Handsome as they come into breeding plumage. Teal and tufted duck, marsh harrier beyond the reed beds.
Close and confiding, begging for food, a robin.
Fringing the reed beds were alder trees heavy with catkins and a rose bush with several bedraggled clots of something fibrous that had been drenched, frozen and thawed through winter weather. What were they?
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)