Ullswater: A lake in the mist

All photos are large files and can be clicked on for detail

Monday was planned to be a ‘big’ day. We would drive to The village of Glenridding, and take the ferry across Ullswater. Once off the boat, we would have a five-hour walk back around the shore of the lake to where we had parked the car. On the way there, Antony suggested a stop where we might get some uninterrupted photos of the lake from near the edge of the road. As soon as we approached the water, we could see that it was shrouded in mist. It was slightly eerie, but a real delight for me, never having seen it before.
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I decided to try metering for light off of the brighter sky. I hoped that this would cast the scene into shadow, and appear to be the evening. This is the result.
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We got back in the car, and continued to the boat jetty. Antony speculated that they might not run the boat, if the mist was that bad. Sure enough, he was proved right. Joining those already waiting, we were refused tickets for that sailing, and told that they would reconsider in another hour or so. We had a cup of tea, and considered the implications of the delay. Adding ninety minutes to the departure would mean that we might well be walking back around the lake as it got dark. This was just not safe, so we abandoned the idea. I was able to get a shot of the boat we would have been on, with no sign of the mist delaying the sailing. That was all in another area of the lake.
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Antony consulted his maps, and suggested a ‘Plan B’. We would walk back into Glenridding, before ascending in the direction of Helvellyn, one of the larger hills. When I saw it looming, I expressed doubts that I could get that far up. However, Antony assured me that we were only going as far as a place called ‘The Hole In The Wall’, then on to the lake called Red Tarn. So we set off, in fast improving weather. Had I known what I was in for, I might well have gone back to the car…

But that is another post.

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35 thoughts on “Ullswater: A lake in the mist

  1. Pete, I love what you did with the second shot of the mist.. It’s wonderful in this day and age we can create such beauty with a camera. Lovely pictures, and I would have told him, “Back to the car, I’ll be going…” Take care, Laura

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    1. Your puns are scalding me like droplets of boiling water! Glad you liked the misty photos.
      The origins of the naming of Helvellyn are discussed here. (Wikipedia)

      Helvellyn. The earliest known record of the name dates from 1577, but early records are spelling variations of the modern name (such as Helvillon, Helvelon or Hell Belyn) rather than any help with the etymology.[43] Various attempts to interpret the name have been made in the past. Some, misled by the present spelling, thought the final syllable was the Welsh word llyn, “lake”.[44] Richard Coates in 1988 proposed a Celtic derivation from the deduced Cumbric word hal, “moorland”, and velin, the Cumbric equivalent of the Welsh word melyn meaning “yellow.”[43]

      Nardus stricta, a pale-coloured grass
      Recent place-name studies have accepted the “yellow moorland” derivation, but have struggled to understand how Helvellyn can be regarded as a yellow mountain.[43][44] Colour, in the Celtic languages, is perceived differently from the way it is seen and described in modern English. For example, in Scottish Gaelic the spectrum of colours was “pastel rather than primary, gentle rather than bold.”[45] Colours were related to a landscape context in which blues, greens, greys and whites in particular were both more diverse and more differentiated than in English. People who relied on the system of transhumance for their livelihood gained the ability to assess the nutritional value of upland grasses from a distance before moving their stock to a summer shieling, and used appropriate colour terms for grasses which would become progressively more green as the spring advanced.[46]:195 Yellow, at least in Gaelic hill names, is not a bright colour. It describes hills which are distinguished by grasses such as Nardus stricta and Deschampsia flexuosa, both of which appear pale and bleached in winter.[46]:197 These grasses are common on the Helvellyn range, in an area where transhumance also used to be practiced. Nardus stricta in particular is an unpalatable and unproductive grass, and the Flora of Cumbria specifically notes a possible connection between areas of late snow cover and Nardus grassland at high altitudes in the Helvellyn range.[47] A name describing the mountain as “pale yellow moorland” is therefore meaningful in a Celtic context.

      Regards, Pete.

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      1. That’s a Hel [sic] of a reply, Pete! But also quite interesting. I’ve always been interested in etymology, and have sometimes availed myself of word origins in order to create a name in one of my fictional works. In my sci-fi book, I mostly go with puns and other forms of wordplay (e.g., the Maycumbac Ferry not only means “may come back,” but also “bac” means ferry in French).

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  2. Plan B is always good, Pete. πŸ™‚ Your photos are all worth a frame, this is most impressive! πŸ™‚
    We’re looking forward to more. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes to Beetley from Cley x πŸ™‚

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