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Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Beatrix Potter Nature Walk

When I left you in my last post we'd just walked the two miles from Hawkshead back to Tower Bank Arms in Near Sawrey.  After freshening up we went down to "our" table for supper.  Tonight they had a lit candle on our table!  Was it because it was Mother's Day or because it was our last night there. . . .
We had another delicious meal. . . .
Guinness Stout; Grilled Fillet of Salmon with Crayfish Risotto, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce; Port Medallions with a Brandy, Green Peppercorn and Sage Cream, with Bubble & Squeak and Apple Fritter
Anthony, the Proprietor, showed us this book by Willow Taylor.  I have since purchased it through the Beatrix Potter Society because I had to finish reading it!  Willow Taylor lived in Tower Bank Arms as a child while her father ran the pub.  She wrote about her encounters with Beatrix Potter and what village life was like for a child in the 1930s. . . .

I'm so glad for the late sunset because we still hadn't gotten around to going back to do the Beatrix Potter Nature Walk along Esthwaite Water.  This would be our last chance to walk in the Sawrey area. . . .

We headed down Lakeside lane again. . . .




                       

And took the lane to the right down to Esthwaite Water. . . .

Just across the Ees Bridge was the Beatrix Potter Nature Walk along the water.  It is only fitting that a nature walk would be made in Beatrix's honor.  From early childhood she showed her love for animals, plant life, and the countryside by the pets she kept and through her drawings and writings. . .

Along the way were these signs with information about the wildlife in the woods or in the lake that Beatrix drew and wrote about.  Each plaque shows Beatrix's character. . . .
Click on photos to enlarge

In the distance we could see people still taking advantage of the light to fish.  If you want to see what can be caught here check out these photos. . .

The woods were filled with wild garlic. . . .

The Red Squirrel is endangered in England because of our American grey squirrels.  In a video at the end of this post you can see what they are doing about it. . . .

Looking over towards Ees Wyke (Lakeside) where Beatrix and her parents spent several summer holidays. . . .




The sun was getting lower in the sky.  The mountain to the west was creating deep shadows on the opposite shore of the lake. . . .

Bluebells were in abundance, too.  We eventually came to a boggy area where a boardwalk had been laid. . . .




                       


The path along the lake ended at a parking lot for the Visitor's Center at Osprey Safari.  It was well past closing hours.  It would have been nice to visit their cafe.  From there we used the road to walk back to Near Sawrey. . . .

We crossed back over Ees Bridge. . . .

Said goodbye to the cows. . . .

And the sheep. . . .


The dramatic landscape made all the more magical by the setting sun. . . .

It was as quiet as this photo conveys. . . .

The sun had slipped behind the mountain.  It was 8:37--time to head back. . . .

We still had to find room for all our purchases in our two suitcases.  We'd be taking three different buses to Grasmere in the morning.  Our total miles walked today (including our time in Coniston):  9.78 miles; 20,751 steps; 60 flights of stairs

This is a wonderful video showing the locations Beatrix used in her stories set in the Derwentwater area.  It was on our itinerary, but we ended up changing our plans so will include this here.  I still hope to visit Derwentwater when we return. . . .
                       

More information about Beatrix Potter's interest in nature:

Between Naturalism and Fantasy:  The Art of Beatrix Potter
The Strange Life of Beatrix Potter - A Story of Rabbits and Mushrooms

Up Next:  Grasmere, William Wordsworth, and Dove Cottage

14 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Your posts keep getting better and better. I've recently been reading about Wordsworth and reading his sisters diary/letters so I'm looking forward to next times post!
    Thank you thank you for this wonderful series!

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    1. Thank you, Erin! I'm looking forward to doing the two posts on Wordsworth, so am glad you are, too.

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  2. Erin is totally right, Cathy. Each post is more interesting than the one before. Just loved the stunning photos & videos you got of the Esthwaite Water. And the longer video of the Lakes District & Beatrix! It looks like a segment of British TV & makes me want to watch the whole series. Where do you find these things? Are there resources given along the walks you've taken or in the pubs & shops of the region? No kidding, but I was thinking that the beauty of the Lakes District is almost unearthly! I kept thinking what it must have been like before humans settled in the area - when not a single man-made sound could be heard. Just amazing. Must have been hard to leave - seriously. Still hoping there's more coming...

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    1. Thank you, Janet. YouTube has some amazing videos of just about anything you're interested in. Just search using keywords for what you're interested in. The beauty of the Lake District IS unearthly, as you put it. That very first walk I kept thinking this can't be real--that I was actually walking IN this scene that looked like a movie set. It shows how we humans really don't appreciate nature to its fullest extent. We are indoctrinated with "man-made" things that we forget our place in the scheme of things. Beatrix campaigned against using Windermere Lake as a test area for the new fangled airplane and won. Can you imagine what that area would look like if there'd been no Beatrix Potter! There's much I could say about "progress" so don't get me up on my soap box!

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  3. All good things, as they say, must come to an end, but oh! what a time you have had, and such memories made. I'm impressed that you did all this without a car too, just proving you don't need a car to get out and about, and you experience the land in a deeper, more meaningful way too.

    I often wonder what Beatrix would say about her home and her global popularity, with so many travelling so far to honour her achievements and gifts to the nation.

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    1. One reason I've dragged my feet about going to see the Lake District is I was afraid I would not want to go home! Thankfully, I have enough here to want to go back, but we both said if we could move our family with us, we'd emigrate to the Lake District. Using public transportation put some restrictions on us time-wise, but when someone thanked us for supporting their bus system, I felt I was doing my part in conserving the rural feel of the area. The narrow roads I think have also helped to keep it from being over-developed, but they do occasionally present problems. We saw a several mile-long traffic back up leaving Grasmere our last day that thankfully was going to rather than away from Grasmere or else we may not have made our train reservation in Windermere back to Manchester! Now that we are familiar with the transportation choices in the area we will be old hands at it the next time we go.

      I think Beatrix would be just as surprised as she was with the enduring popularity of her "little books" during her lifetime. But deep down, she may have foreseen it all. While she was not immune to flights of fancy, her very practical outlook on life served to make her path in life obvious to her. Because she'd spent so much time observing life around her, she saw the way things should be. Once Norman died and she experienced true independence for the first time in her life when she bought Hill Top, she was not going to let anyone get in her way of implementing her perspective on how things should be.

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  4. Bucolic ... the first word that popped into my mind as I scrolled through these professional-quality photos! How very glorious it must be to behold in person. Thank you once again for sharing so much with us.

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    1. My pleasure to share, Sharon. A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled!

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  5. I am so glad you were able to experience this adventure!

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  6. I agree with other writers above, Cathy. One thing that impressed us in Cumbria was the profound silence. That is something we do not enjoy in our little world. I really enjoyed the darling video at the end of your post. Charming! Magic everywhere in Lakeland. Bless Beatrix Potter for protecting this land! ♥

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    1. And I agree with you, Martha Ellen--bless Beatrix Potter for protecting this land!

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  7. It's not the same as going, but next best. It's better than a travel book because its so personal and I feel like I know you, though I guess only virtually!

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    1. Dotsie, I feel when bloggers follow each other they DO get to know each other to the extent they reveal themselves. I'm so glad you are enjoying my travel memories. It adds to MY enjoyment of the experience knowing others are enjoying it too, if only virtually.

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