Where water-tracks run off the fell-side there will be devil’s-bit scabious, bog asphodel and – if it’s not too late- grass of Parnassus. I know this because I’ve been photographing this seasonal motif for years, on Lingmoor and on Loughrigg Fell. 1st October, a balmy, beautiful day. Sunlight pours through the last of the flowers, down the fell-side toward Grasmere Lake. The slope faces north-west so water-droplets will linger on spiders’ webs. What can I find?
The dew highlights the spiders’ webs clustering around the flowers where insects search for pollen and the grasses are slung with hammocks. A beautiful day in a long sequence of perfect days, sunlit, warm and calm. Everything is greedy for sunlight, busily storing up energy against the coming of autumn. I love to come home and discover more than I’ve seen, once my images are on the computer screen. What is that strung along a strand of spider silk? It looks like a chrysalis, dark gold with darker shapes within. I can almost see some inchoate form. It doesn’t look like spider-lunch. I can't quite focus-in close enough to make it out.
Flowers of devil’s bit scabious amongst bog asphodel, the sun powering through them. This hover fly stores up late pollen. Eyes on stalks, look at them. Delicate creature.
I wanted to show the glory of sunlight upon these late-summer flowers. The harvest moon shines bright and full but summer lingers on this day on Loughrigg. An infusion of sunlight through devil’s bit scabious and bog asphodel. I know where grass of Parnassus grows up on Loughrigg Fell but it was so serene and magical here above Grasmere Lake we sat on a bench in the sun. To catch the sun through vegetation I needed to be down-slope, looking up, so Loughrigg Terrace was the perfect spot.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)