Friday 1 April 2022

While the Sun Shines

It is gloriously sunny but it's deceiving, as it is bitterly cold just now. Although there isn't any snow on the ground, we're getting occasional wintry showers and it is fairly windy. Quite a change from the last two weekends, when we were lucky enough to experience some wonderfully warm spring weather. My winter clothes were even cast aside for a brief moment and I spent a day in short sleeves! As someone who feels the cold so very easily, this felt like quite an achievement for this time of year ;)

It has felt great to be throwing the windows wide open and letting in some fresh air each morning, so it came as quite a surprise to see a road gritter driving past yesterday, then I needed to break the ice on the bird feeding station and container pond this morning. I am still getting lots of feathered visitors to the garden, so much so that I recently needed to splurge on a huge container of fat balls - they were getting through them so quickly!  Although the nesting box still remains empty, so I will just need to keep my fingers firmly crossed for next year.  

With the overnight frosts we've had, I'm glad I decided to hold off from sowing the wildflower seeds, but I am relieved to have finally got around to cutting back the hedges and the overgrown holly tree. They had begun to get out of hand. I've even treated myself to some new loppers, so I've no excuse not to keep on top of them going forward. As well as the fritillary, there are some hyacinths and muscari in the flower beds now, and it is lovely to finally see some colour beginning to show in the garden. The tulips are biding their time. I had been curious as to why the lobelia had struggled to establish itself last season, until I noticed Mog lying right across it just the other day. Typical!

A while ago now, I made a promise to myself that this would be the year I would get back up Helvellyn, I just never expected it to be quite this early in the season. But the recent mild spring weather meant the conditions would be perfect, and it was too good an opportunity to miss. As you might expect, it was still chilly on the very top but the views were stunning. The pathway up from Thirlmere was fairly quiet, with many, instead, using the more favourable conditions to walk along Striding Edge (perhaps one day, when I'm feeling brave enough). Of course we rounded off the day with a dip in the stream.

Then, as luck would have it, the following weekend we enjoyed another day on the fells. This time we climbed alongside Raise Beck and walked up to Dollywagon Pike, via Grisedale Tarn.

It has been wonderful to take advantage of this lovely sunny weather, especially as it looks set to change again over the coming week. Today is my last day at work before the spring break, and next weekend should see me looking out over some rather different views.

J. X