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  • Jamie Dean

The Lakes: Loughrigg and Rydal

The view from Loughrigg Terrace.

Today's forecast wasn't looking much better than yesterdays unfortunately. Predicting a 40% chance of precipitation at 08:00 increasing by 10% each hour until reaching 90% at midday. After midday the rain is forecast to stop and the remainder of the day would be mostly cloudy. Well if this was what the weather was going to be doing, it was going to be a car morning. As we turned out the carpark of the Woolpack and drove a short way along the narrow country road the rain began to fall. We headed out of the Nation Park towards Arnside on the coast where the weather could be better. It wasn't, but while we where there we took the opportunity to grab some brunch. We ate at the Wagtail Deli and Cafe, and I had avocado and sourdough bread, yummy.

The detail of a small brook following over gnarled tree roots

From Arnside we headed back into the National Park and towards Ambleside with the thought that if the weather was still as bad as predicted we could have a wander around the town, but if the weather had or set likely to improve we could drive the short distance to Loughrigg and walk along the footpaths to the Terrace. The rain, did in fact, begin to ease and eventually stopped falling as we approached Ambleside so we continued to White Moss carpark. We easily found a space to park the car and after grabbing our stuff we started the walk along the well worn path to the base of Loughrigg. We headed up to and then along the Terrace to Rydal Cave, but along the way I noticed a small brook cascading down the gnarled roots of and old tree. I stoped to set up the tripod and attached the D800 with the 24-70mm lens onto the ball-head and got in as close as I could. I shot with a slow shutter speed to blur the water as it went on its journey. The circular polariser helping to keep speeds low. The resulting image is above.

Robin, outside Rydal Cave.

Continuing along the path I captured a view looking down Rydal Water to the fells beyond, unfortunately there was no real light to speak of, which was a shame as the colours in the trees were amazing. Ranging from shades of orange to shades of brown with even a narrow line of trees the colour of purple. The shot I captured at this moment is the one at the top of this page, once again it was captured on the D800 and the 24-70mm lens. If only there was a little afternoon light to brighten up the scene and enrich those colours. Oh well.. At Rydal Cave we paused for a coffee break and while James went to look for a stream to fill the pan to make a brew I noticed some jittering about out the corner of my eye, I slowly turned and there was robin perch on the rock no more than 10 feet away from me. I slowly change lenses on the DSLR, switching the 24-70mm to the 70-200mm. This wasn't really necessary as the robin seem quite tame and stayed around the whole time we were there. We were even able to capture reasonable images on our iPhones it was that fearless. Above is my favourite image captured on the Nikon, showing the robin suitable fluffed up to protect it from the cold January weather.

Slow shutter speed shot of a small river flowing over mossy rocks.

After drinking our wilderness mocha coffee we continued along the footpath that would eventually takes us back to the carpark. As the path began to descend towards the shore of Rydal Water, I paused again to shoot the scene above. Again slowing the shutter speed on the camera to cause the water to blur and smooth out inn the image. I was attracted by the gentle curve of the river and the vibrants green of the mosses on the rocks and the old crumbling stone wall to the upper right of the frame. This was the last image shot on the DSLR this day. Once back at the car we drove back to the Woolpack and sat in the bar drinking great beer and eating awesome stone-fired pizza. This evening we discovered their halloumi fries, which where amazing and incredibly moreish.

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