Not a soul but us. How could I speak in contravention of my most profound belief. Caught out, for a moment, in an anthropocentric view of the universe- mankind first and foremost, mankind only. With a view so ignorant of ecology we’ll neither Save the Planet nor survive as a species. Thank Heavens we aren’t alone. The air is full of birdsong and we glimpsed a beautiful red squirrel as we set out from High Stennerskeugh. To suggest we are alone denies all the creatures that make my day, all that we see and the abundant life that is hidden from us in the clints and grykes of limestone pavement.
There was no one else on The Clouds. No other people, that’s what I meant. I love solitude, peace and tranquillity and I’m not alone in that. Whilst writing Cumbrian Contrasts that’s something I’ve discovered- how many of us share a need for solitude and peace.
I ‘m interested in working out river catchment: with Scandal Head north off Wild Boar Fell and Scandal Beck flowing north to join the River Eden. Clouds Gill flows west as a tributary of the River Rawthey. The map shows a scribble of blue that disappears down into a cave. There are caves and shake holes, swallow holes and pots: underground hydrology. The Clouds is patterned with ribs of limestone pavement, interspersed with tiny tarns and deep red vegetation of sedges and sphagna.
The name of Fell End Clouds is enchanting and here limestone terraces sweep around into a natural amphitheatre. Cleaning the camera lens, again, I’m picturing how this might look on a day of strong sunlight and shadow. In the mean time----