Wednesday, 17 October 2012



I love the autumn. The fresh greens of spring and summer have given way to the hues of a technicolour mantle. In afternoon sunshine, bronzed brackens give fellsides a cosy, comforting glow. Trees and hedgerows display abundant clusters of scarlet berries. The occasional rainbow gives colour to an otherwise darkened hillside. Tarns and lakes mirror their beautiful surroundings. It's the last hurrah before the clocks are turned back and the walking day is shortened. 

On our most recent walk, we came across photographers who had had to wait for mist to clear and colours to reveal themselves. Despite the colours all around us, the light and weather can contrive to give us a reduced palette. In many respects, it simplifies our surroundings and enables us to reflect upon the beauty of structures in the landscape.

Nine Standards Rigg

The Nine Standards cairns draw the viewer in to the slight rise beyond, and the structure silhouetted on the horizon. In the same way that a good novel becomes a 'page-turner', so the cairns encourage us to satisfy our curiosity to explore further.

Harter Fell

Close up, the cairn on top of Harter Fell is a sprawl of stone and rusty fencing, long since dispensed with. With diffused light behind it, we were able to appreciate the cone. (No, it wasn't a saw wedged in on top!)

Selside Pike
I was stunned when I came across this view on Selside Pike the other day. A simple fence junction and excess wire wound round and hung up. Silhouetted against the sky, it was suddenly transformed to a structure of beauty. A place far from the 'madding crowds'. A lonely place perhaps, but a much welcomed landmark to guide the walker down from the hill in adverse weather.

Place Fell
  Rugged?      Wild?      Scary?    Forbidding?    Cold?      Height?       Space?    Loneliness?

Beacon?      Achievement?      Endurance?      Hope?       Stability?    Strength? 

Many thoughts come to mind when looking at this triangulation column on Place Fell. It depends upon your viewpoint. Seeing it in relief against white cloud, allowed us to enjoy its splendid isolation.

'Colours let us off lightly; black and white forces us to think.'

Even in the middle of a glorious autumn afternoon, an atmospheric viewpoint might be waiting to be discovered on the hillside. I love seeing a depiction of a structure on an OS map and discovering it on the hills as we navigate our way around.

Whilst we might have read about structures in guide books, there is nothing quite like seeing it for ourselves.

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