Sorry there's no close up, but I wasn't prepared to jump over the wall in to the morass on the other side for you today so you'll have to look it up on Google Images if you so wish.
On with the trek and the path skirts the bottom of a very steep boulder and scree strewn slope with a few stunted but probably very old trees. This used to be a good place to look for Ring Ouzels but as their numbers have crashed recently I don't know if they are still here - not been to this site for over ten years!A couple of Meadow Pipits and Rabbits were all we could find on the hillside and we heard a Goldcrest in the conifer plantation on the lakeside. It was here that we discovered that Frank likes sheep and when he isn't allowed to chase them he eats their droppings- the dirty dog! Talking of dirty - first rant of the day coming up - why on earth throw away a disposable nappy up here on of he most ruggedly beautiful parts of England.
Why not let your little one do its business away from the path and let some fresh mountain air get to their little backside rather than all those nasty non-biodegradable chemicals. And what is the recommended way of combating Swine Flu? Yes sneeze in to a tissue and BIN it - not CHUCK IT ON THE FLOOR where the sheep will pick it up and infect us with a mutated Sheep Flu double whammy. If you brought it - in take it out!!! Sorry about that but there may be more rants to come - it was a good day - honest...
Much better than nappies were these Harebells.
Absolutely delightful in the 'hazy sunshine' don't you agree?
Continuing along the path we come in to RiggindaleWhere Golden Eagles fly - well only one hunkers down against the weather actually.There are at least six Red Deer in this photo - honest - they are on the far fell side above the highest part of the diagonal wall - you'll never see them they were difficult enough through the 'hazy sunshine' with the bins.
Up on the side of the valley there is more old woodland and still no sign of any Ring Ouzels. No sign of any anything really. If the sheep were fenced out of these woods they would probably start regrowing. Most of the bleak treeless landscape in today's pics was originally wooded and c(sh)ould be again.
We retraced our steps as far as the nappy but it was too early to consider leaving. We couldn't stray far as we had left a note in the car as to our whereabouts so we made a short detour and headed up the well made but seemingly little used track towards Blea Tarn to see what we could find. A Buzzard was the nearest we got to any Eagles.
Looking down at our feet - important in mountainous terrain - the wet boggy areas held patches of Butterwort, not in flower unfortunately. This is an insectivorous plant, and where it occurs there is a good chance of the other more bizarre insectivorous jobby...and there it was a Sundew. Going hungry by the look of it, not a stuck insect to be seen.
A beautiful little water chute in Mardale Beck.As the path climbs higher you get a good view of one of my favourite glacial features, drumlins - aka 'basket of eggs' country.You also get a view of where Gatesgarth Pass goes from this side of the valley.
I think it's on those zig-zags that the worst erosion has occurred.