Early July and the season of aquatic flora on the Lake District tarns. Blea Tarn is surrounded by a boggy sump, with becks draining off Lingmoor and Side Pike, from the Wrynose Fells. Seeking a shady spot for lunch, we sat on a bench looking north across the water whose surface was stippled with a mass of tiny flowers. Was it water lobelia? Too far off to be sure, even through binoculars. I went down to the water's edge for a closer look and discovered a wealth of flowers in a spot I had previously overlooked.
There were tall white flowers of sneezewort, white seed-heads of cotton grass, yellow bog asphodel. And out in the tarn the white flowers of water lobelia. It's a delicate flower with a flush of lilac on a white corolla.
I was surprised by the diversity and abundance of flora on the southern shore of Blea Tarn. Crossing Blea Moss, we found sundew- as I had expected. But the drought had affected the moss and its water tracks were sluggish and lacked their usual freshness.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)