December sun, a rare appearance during the Cumbrian floods of 2015. With a brief respite from rain I hoped to see how the Lyth Valley fared. Up on the Scout Scar escarpment the wind was so strong it was impossible to hold my camera still. Looking south-west and into the wind I could see nothing on screen. I had to look through binoculars, find the barn on Helsington Pool beside the road that cuts across the valley, and the channel of Helsington Pool. Then shoot blind. The ground is so saturated that flood-water lingers, but not so deep as on 6 December when I missed the drama. Let’s look again.
After storm Desmond, the River Gilpin made the news and flood waters made the Lyth Valley look surreal. Struck by design, that’s what my photographs show. Now I zoomed in on those images and saw some forty to fifty sheep stranded high on the embankment of Helsington Pool. I wonder how they fared? The road was flooded so I doubt the farmer could reach them. Now, some 16 days later, you can see glimpses of green pasture. You can see the raised embankment of Helsington Pool where the sheep huddled for safety.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)