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" Return of the Squirrel . . . and others "
Date & start time: Various days in early August, 2018.
Location of Start : Roadside near Lanthwaite Gate, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 158 211 ).
Places visited : Around the garden and a walk from Lanthwaite Woods to Scale Hill.
Walk details : 1.5 miles, 275 feet of ascent, 1 hours 10 mins.
Highest point : Scale Hill (Brackenthwaite Hows) 676 ft - 208m
Walked with : Jo, Ann and our dogs, Amber and Dylan.
Weather : Variable over time.
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With our family leaving to return to their own homes and activities, we settle ourselves but enjoy loads of visitors of a different kind.
To match the delight of the first time appearance of hedgehogs
we notice the return of a long lost species to the garden ... the red squirrel is back.
Obviously a different squirrel from the one last seen a year ago, but a welcome visitor nevertheless.
After an initial wet period when the hot summer weather broke,
we've settled back into a more "normal" English summer of changeable weather, much more suited to the garden and countryside.
Our flower bed has gained new blooms as the plants recover.
Sue and Mike from the Tyne and Wear area were over in Loweswater.
We've chatted by email and it was really nice to meet them and be able to entertain them too.
- - - o o o - - -
What about this for a " turn up for the books ".
Obviously not the same animal that used to call . . . but perhaps a new season youngster looking for available territory.
He seemed to enjoy the seeds dropped from the bird table.
In subsequent days more of the hazel nuts seem to have gone from the top of the table but we've not actually spotted him again . . . so far.
The recent rains have allowed the rest of the garden to flourish.
The pond weed has grown to hide the incoming stream.
I should think of trimming it back . . . but I'm rather leaving it to see what happens first.
Rain drops on the water . . . no . . . the circles made by "Water boatmen" insects that walk across the water's surface.
[ Sorry about the poor focus . . . the camera picked up the foreground not the subject !]
The fresh growth of grass has brought other, unexpected problems.
The local sheep are escaping the fields in search of better pasture and managed to get in and nibble our grass, and unfortunately the new trees.
Still no great damage done but I have had to build up the defences where they entered from the lane.
It looks like this year is going to be a bumper one for blackberries
as the rain and warmth has come just at the right time to swell the fruit.
A pack of "38 Degrees" bee friendly seeds have grown into reasonable wild flowers.
The two larger ones appear to be Borage.
Other wild flower seeds have brought us poppies and cornflowers.
This commercial packet has brought more of the colourful poppies.
The paddock has grown lots of natural insect friendly nettles . . . but we don't want too many . . . again it's wait and see for now.
A close up of the various poppy flowers . . . note the seed heads of many that have already bloomed.
A 'hover fly' settles on the white petals . . .
. . . then returns to the pink as the camera captures the close focus of the bloom.
Our friend Pat calls over for an afternoon chat and a walk.
Pat and Ann have been friends since college . . . that's even longer than I've known her !
She's here while we had a beautiful, colourful sunset.
Sitting and relaxing on the warm evening with the best of views.
A slight chill sets in as the sun finally sets in the west . . . or rather the north west at this time of year.
More wildlife success with the return of one of the earlier hedgehogs . . . eating the 'hedgehog mix' of food we placed on the stones.
The mix appears to be bird seeds but with extra fat granules and dried mealworms.
- - - o o o - - -
Some days later another regular visitor arrives . . . no portrait yet so I'll keep you guessing . . .
With the sun up but the cloud down three of us take a stroll across to Scale Hill from Lanthwaite Green.
The major fell is Grasmoor of course with the Gasgale Valley emerging behind the houses.
Into Lanthwaite Woods and an old tree stump provides a base for this fine new season fungus.
There we are . . . the small party group on Scale Hill . . . Jo, Ann and the dogs.
The view across to the Loweswater hamlet and Carling Knott in the background.
We learn of plans to have our own mobile phone mast in the village this week . . . progress . . . but scary in this lovely valley location.
The plans are out and letters have also been lodged with the National Park Planning Authority to try and ensure
that it will be as discrete, suitably coloured and as environmentally friendly as possible.
Back down now through Lanthwaite Woods . . . our passing has been noted.
" I wonder why these people are walking away and not eating . . . considering all this nice new grass close at hand "
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the return of more normal weather !
Previous walk - 31st July - The Lake District Wildlife Park
A previous time up here - 13th February 2017 - Scale Hill from Lanthwaite Green
Next walk - 6th August - Sale Fell with Richard, Hilary and Peter