The lambs of Underloughrigg lay fast-asleep in postures of abandonment at 7.00am.
At Fox Ghyll, I emerged from a tunnel of rhodedendron and came upon a heaven of bright stars beside the beck: the massed flowers of bog asphodel fade so fast while the seed heads go on and on. There were orchids and cross-leaved heath, and the white seed-heads of common cotton- grass. What a show! With open ground and water there came a lovely botanical mix and a respite from high bracken which overwhelmed everything else.
On Loughrigg Terrace yellow saxifrage and tormentil would flower through a long season. Coming off the fell was a zone with bog asphodel where a water-track drained into Rydal Water. Attracted by white-flowered sneezewort whose Latin name, Achillea ptarmica, sounds rather like a sneeze, I stepped amongst tussocks and hidden pockets of water, with white bedstraw, yellow greater bird’s-foot trefoil, and purple thistles pollinated by bumble bees with white-tails. There were pale moths, a dark green fritillary sipped nectar from a thistle and an electric blue damselfly came down on soft rush and closed its wings. Magic in a patch of ground that merely looked ragged and overblown a fortnight later.