Sale Fell lies at the westerly edge of the English Lake District, looking out towards the Solway coast and the Scottish hills that lie over the water, whilst guarding the fringe of the north west fells that so dramatically margin this rugged landscape. It is a modest beauty combining lovely walks, views, splendid birds (of which pied flycatcher and green woodpecker are good examples) and wonderful opportunities for picnics and breathers.It has an interesting geology with outcrops of pure white rock marking the top like sheep biologically washed in the latest washing powder. It has been the location of films, murders, passionate love embraces and probably much much more. May it long watch over us.
The hum of the lawn blurs with the sweet chitterlings of birds – worn out from their chasing, mating, sitting, watching, dashing, singing, struggling lives of springtime as we move into summer. The garden grows wilder by the second, ferning and fronting in an explosion of green, highlighted by the coming flowers of the high season. In the absence of any more immediate inspiration I take my watercolorist outside and play at capturing my experience of the garden into a small series of humble sketches.
I’m currently working on an exhibition together with other members of the Independent Cockermouth Artists group on a “Celebrating Ospreys” show at Whinlatter Visitor Centre in Cumbria. The show will run from 31st March until 30th April to coincide with the hoped for return of the birds to the neighbouring Bassenthwaite valley, a successful breeding ground for the birds since 2001. The valley is of historic ecological importance for breeding English ospreys as there weren’t any birds in the country for the 150 years prior to 2001. To celebrate that and the wonderful work of the Lake District Osprey Project in supporting the re-establishment of ospreys in Cumbria we are holding this show. Brilliant birds and a great inspiration to us all.
The seasons are moving. Winter thankfully moves from its wet beginning to a more seasonal fall in temperature with cold days and clear starry nights. The air is thin and transparent, allowing sight of distant constellations and faraway planets. The fells have a dusting of snow, with more forecast to be on the way. Birds clamour for food to keep their fat reserves up and mammals grow desperate and braver in their search for food.
A hush descends over the countryside as we await the warmer weather that lies ahead. Hope ever lingers.