Swans and their cygnets at Moss Eccles Tarn. Trees reflected dark in the water, in the stillness. The swans came gliding toward us, elegant and beautiful, until they reached the shore where in gruff snorts they asked to share anything we might be eating.
Wise Een Tarn took our breath away. My friends posed for photographs, as I asked. And we spent some while in contemplation of the scene: reflections of trees in the water, and mist which swirled low about the Langdale Pikes, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell. On the shore of the tarn we made out a boat-house. The reflected trees are sharper and darker than the trees themselves.
Into the Claife Heights plantation and up to High Blind How, picking our way over tree roots. Mind the ice, came the call. Seed-heads of bog asphodel beside a sheet of ice. Beneath the pines a carpet of gold pine needles, and the rich green of thick mosses. Cladonia, with scarlet fruit bodies. Tussocks of pale winter grasses, tall stems of seed-heads rising from a cushion of curls, seed-heads of heather. We often come here in winter and as we made our way up to High Blind How we remembered a winter when ice transformed the pine trees into magic.
We crossed Windermere on the ferry, a novel end to a companionable day.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)