Had a scrumptious cream tea in the garden on Sunday with lovely friends to celebrate my birthday (a couple of days early) and then took off up to the Lake District for a few days to walk it off!
I have to say that I sometimes find the mountains in the Western Lakes a bit daunting in scale and severity and even a bit claustrophobic, if I'm frank. But there are teeny-tiny things which I'm more comfortable with, like this exquisite flora. I haven't had a chance to look up all their names yet, so we'll stick with 'wild flowers' for now, until I get the book out.
Oh, I know this one: 'lichen'!
The climate can be so wild that it scours and bleaches any trees hardy enough to survive the searing cold wilds and lashing rain.
But nature has produced something beautiful, even in the face of such inhospitable conditions, don't you think? I love the ghostly colours and gnarled texture.
Here's a big mountain for those of you who can cope with things on such a majestic scale.
and another one
and here's something pretty, small-scale (and man-made). And heaving with tourists.
who all seemed to have enough small change in their pockets after paying the extortionate car-parking charge to stick tuppence in the trunk of an old fallen tree.
And this is something I didn't have time to show you before I went away:
It's a Privet Hawk Moth which had an unexpected shower when Richard was giving the peas a drink on the morning we went. It was huge, about 12cm (there was some suggestion that it even bared its fangs ..)
When we googled it to find out what it was, I discovered that the shiny brown pupae that I'm always finding in the compost heap under the ash trees belong to this big moth. Apparently privet hawk moths like ash and lilac, as well as privet. Which is just as well, because we haven't got any.