Some seem to defy gravity, like this mighty oak which overhangs a bluff, high above Rydal Water. Great branches take surprising twists and turns. It's a host tree with holly leaves at its heart although the oak is still tight in bud. A low branch is hollow and filled with stones, as if ready to arm the sling of young David about to take on Goliath.
The wood is strewn with toppled trees. One mighty tree has crashed down right across the path, bringing down part of the wall. Storm Arwen last November, probably. I remember other fallen trees from previous visits.
Time changes who goes here. I haven't walked this way since before Covid, that's well over two years. Signeage beside Rydal Water suggests a significant influx of visitors. ' To the Caves', and signs telling what's not allowed, an indication of all sorts of behaviour that isn't acceptable here. Toward mid-day the Coffin Route is becoming busy. There are families taking the sun, young people. It's not half-term, Easter is a couple of weeks away. Fine weather has brought forth holiday makers, those who are working from home, able to take a holiday at a moment's notice. It's a striking change in social patterns.
The day is sunny and bright, unusually warm. Drive home and cherry and almond trees are in flowers. Not here along the Coffin Route. Spring always comes rather later to the Lake District. There's a fallen cherry tree I know, toppled down onto a wall, and it's showing no sign of blossom. The woods look wintry still. There are celandine in flower, and catkins, but little else.