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" Rannerdale Bluebells 2012 "
Date & start time: Bank Holiday Sunday, 6th May 2012, 6.15 pm start.
Location of Start : Cinderdale car park, Crummock, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 1620193 )
Places visited : Cinderdale to Rannerdale and back.
Walk details : 1.7 mls, 350 ft of ascent, 1 hrs 20 mins.
Highest point : Rannerdale Beck above the footbridge 595 ft - 183 m.
Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Beautiful late afternoon sunshine.
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On a visit to Rannerdale ten days ago the flowers had only just started to show,
so today we re-visit the valley to enjoy the colourful bluebells to the full.
Let's hope the recent warm days have had more effect than the cool nights on the famous flowers.
After an uninspiring morning of weather, the sun really broke through and the valley came to light.
With cool northerly breezes of late, the air clarity has been so good that we could see the crags on Great Gable at the head of the valley.
The trees are starting to grow their covering of bright, new leaves so we stopped on the way up the valley
to admire the view of one of the larger oaks, set against the backdrop of Crummock Water and the High Stile Ridge.
In order to give the dogs a bit of a longer run off-lead, we parked at Cinderdale car park
and walked the track across to Rannerdale Valley from there. With so few people about, you wouldn't think it's a bank holiday weekend.
Crossing the Cinderdale Beck
Hold your cursor over the picture to encourage Ann on towards Rannerdale.
The craggy outline of Rannerdale Knotts
as our path follows the old stone walls as it curves along the fell side.
Two's company . . . me and my Herdwick mate !
Three's a crowd . . . I'll not be joining them says the Swaledale behind !
A jackdaw . . . a member of the crow family.
The bird book says they often line their nests with the wool plucked from the back of sheep . . . that makes sense here in sheep country.
Rounding the corner, Whiteless Pike comes into view.
A little further still and the bluebell fields suddenly stretch out before us.
In the strong sunshine the purple haze across the hillside ahead was more intense than the photo suggests.
Bluebells are often regarded as woodland flowers, preferring the cool glades and river settings rather than open locations.
The fact that they grow on the open fell here makes their success just that little bit more unusual.
If you believe in legends, the calcium from Norman bones of those that died in the Battle of Rannerdale is the reason for their proliferation
but perhaps it is the micro-climate in the valley that is conducive to the well being of the plants.
The path from Cinderdale traverses through the valley heading for the hause and down into Buttermere Village.
Stopping for a smiley photo shoot for Ann along the way . . . Bethan and Harry.
The extra ten days sunshine and gentle rain that we've experienced since we were last here
has certainly helped the flowers develop nicely in time for this May Bank Holiday weekend.
They should be good to visit and enjoy for several more weeks yet.
Time to sit and enjoy the view . . . eyes turning sky-ward as we do.
"When all at once I saw a crowd . . . a host of rather nice bluebells."
Getting down close as David Bellamy would say.
Lurking in there is the rogue stem of bracken . . . a real weed that will cover the last of the blooms next month.
Looking back and up to Grasmoor through the trees.
More lovely flowers as we walk towards the foot bridge.
The first bank that I photographed a week or so ago in early bloom, is now exhibiting even more colour.
Don't look now but we're being watched.
They seem to be eating the greenery but hopefully not the blue-ery.
A splash of yellow in the form of a gorse bush in full flower.
The larger trees up here are slow with their new leaves
which gives strength to the theory about this being a cold place in Spring.
However there's a very cheerful birch down at the bridge.
From the foot bridge the old flood damage can still be made out.
There's a gravel beach ahead and the soil and flowers have been stripped away from the bank on the left.
Bethan walks down to join Ann as she relaxes in the sunshine.
The sun is getting slightly lower now and in between the occasional passing cloud
it casts a slightly golden light on High Snockrigg and the head of the Squat Beck valley.
Up one side of the beck and down the other.
The bluebells on the meadow are still very small, as are the ones on the north facing slopes of Rannerdale Knotts.
Plenty of time for them to reach maturity.
Grasmoor again with a much more open aspect.
Whiteless Pike stands out over the valley.
Ann chose to return along the top path . . .
while I opted to stay down in the valley to view the flowers from below.
A blue foreground with Ann, Harry and Bethan adding colour behind.
" Hyacinthoides non-scripta " the common bluebell or simply bluebells to you and me !
Time to be getting back after our short walk today.
We'll leave the carpet of blue to the many visitors that may call in and see this lovely display over the next few weeks.
Retracing our steps, we return to the car and home for supper.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's new Canon 220 or my Canon 1100D digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . just a short ride to a delightful place.
Previous walk - 29th April 2012 Castle Crag Before the Rain
A previous time up here - 18th May 2010 Rannerdale and the Bluebells
Next walk - 21st May 2012 Hopegill Valley in the sunshine