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Rannerdale and the Bluebells
Date & start time: Tuesday 18th May 2010, 2. 20 pm start.
Location of Start : Hause Point car park, Rannerdale, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 163 184 )
Places visited : Rannerdale Knotts, Low Bank, Squat Beck, Rannerdale Valley, and back to Hause Point.
Walk details : 2.85 mls, 1000 ft, 2 hrs 15 mins.
Highest point : Rannerdale Knotts 1160 ft - 355m
Walked with : Sherran and Bill, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunny and very warm, but with a pleasant breeze on the ridge.
Sunshine and clear visibility again. Bill and Sherran are up on holiday
and they suggest a walk to the Rannerdale Valley to see the famous Bluebells.
They might just be reaching their best about now so it would be a good time to check them out.
Parking at Hause Point on Crummock Water,
again we get the last place in the car park which was handy as we had all piled in one car for the short journey.
Steep paths mean you gain height quickly
and from the top of the first rise we had a great view of Crummock and the fells of the High Stile Ridge.
A little further up and we get our first view
of the blue waters of Buttermere reflecting the cloud free skies above.
Did I say cloud free ? . . . there is just a suggestion of one over the high fells.
That patch of snow we passed on Green Gable the other week is still hanging on . . . but it is definitely getting smaller.
Below us as we climb is Rannerdale Farm.
The grass and the hedgerows are at last showing good signs of late spring growth.
Looking north west we see the blue of Loweswater and the Scottish hills in the background.
But what is this apparition in the foreground . . .
Oh no . . . where have you been . . .
Who me ? . . . I was only getting a quick drink from this nice brown pool !
Okay . . . but don't ever complain that your water bowl at home has got dirty water in it.
The two girls successfully reach the top of Rannerdale Knotts.
Well it was quite warm . . . but it really wasn't that difficult.
We can't help looking over the edge of the fell and down into Rannerdale Valley to see if there is any sign of tell-tale colour.
We'll drop back down to see them at the end of the walk.
Firstly we continue on along Low Bank and enjoy the views of Buttermere on offer this beautiful day.
Very near the end of the ridge we take a small path to the left
and drop down into the Squat Beck Valley.
Your path goes that way . . . the Herdwick keeps her lamb safely to one side as we pass.
Mmmm . . . not quite a pretty sight.
As we suspected, the area alongside the beck which was severely damaged, shows little sign of grass let alone Bluebells.
But fear not . . . high on the bank and out of harms way, the new season flowers are reaching their peak of finery.
Today they are the purple equivalent of a host of Wordsworth's daffodils.
The mixtures of colour are superb . . .
Bluebells, yellow gorse and white May blossom on the Hawthorn tree.
Looking down on the bridge at the top of the bluebell area.
Looking the other way towards Low Bank and distant High Snockrigg.
As Bill, Sherran and I took the high path, Ann chose the low path. [ That reminds me of a song ! ]
That way the dogs could have a dip in the river too.
Bill zooms in for a photo through the gorse bushes.
The slopes of Grasmoor make a fine background for the valley colour.
Down by the beck the summit of Whiteless Pike stands out like and alpine peak.
Did you just call me a Peak-enese ?
I'm here getting rid of all that mud I found earlier.
It's also rather nice and cool for them too . . . I'm sure those are smiles of contentment.
Meanwhile the three of us are further along the top track
The blooms make you rather forget the damage to the river bed beyond.
Looking back up the valley from the same place . . .
Ann can just be seen in red across the way.
Dancing gently in the slight breeze, a fast shutter speed captures a clear image.
That's me in matching red . . . taking the previous photo.
Down by the river bank there is the first signs of life in the deep gravel.
The flowers are pushing through as nature fights back.
Looking back at the triangular Whiteless Pike summit as we leave the valley.
Looking forward, the bluebells on this area of ground are nowhere near as advanced as the others.
Bill hadn't been here before so I took him over to see the Bloomery. This is where they used to burn bracken in days gone by
in order to collect potash, which when mixed with lanolin from sheep's wool made a sort of basic soap.
Fortunately the flooding filled it with no more than the lightest covering of gravel.
With the cold weather hanging on so long there was always the possibility that the bracken would outgrow the bluebells in places
but to our great delight, this year's flowering is up to standard despite all the harsh treatment they have suffered over winter.
It looks like they will be a sight to see for a while longer too.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . Sunshine and gentle airs to hold the still subtle scent of the flowers.
Previous walk - 15th May 2010 Rampsgill and Kidsty Pike
A previous time up here - 19th May 2008 Rannerdale Bluebells visit 2008
Next walk - 20th May 2010 Dale Head to Buttermere