January: Another Year Gone By!

Well, when I first started documenting my walks and places I've visted through photography, I never imagined I would have my own website - let alone have had one for 2 years! The time has absolutely flown by and I've been overwhelmed by all your love and support on here and across social media! Thank you all so much for all the comments and feedback you've given me, it hasn't gone unnoticed and I appreciate it so much!

I know for sure that this new year will be one filled with lots of change, for the good I can only hope! The main change would be my upcoming house move the beginning of next month! Due to this I have been without internet (having to upload this at a friends house - thank you!) so typically I am full of ideas and features I want to release on this website - I think it is due a makeover soon! It shouldn't be too long until the internet is connected, and I can get back to interacting with you all properly across all forms of social media! I really do appreciate having people with similar interests who I can chat to about allsorts, not just photography or nature related topics! I also know that with these changes in responsibilities it may mean I need to prioritize what I do, but I am hoping that my photography won't have to be on the back burner too long! Rather, I hope it will be useful to maintain life/work balance by using photography and nature walks as a creative outlet and a well needed rest from responsibility!

My current residence, as I am between houses is on the outskirts of town, rests just underneath Serpentine Woods and Kendal Fell. I have been up here quite often just for some change of scenery and time to process the going ons of the last month or so! Serpentine Woods is fantastic as it not too far from the bustle of town, but it is a great escape as it feels like you're far, far away from any built up area. The main path is dedicated to the Alphabet Trail, but there are plenty of secluded walkways between the trees if you want somewhere a bit more secluded to explore, especially if there are others wandering through here too. The evergreen leaves above have preserved majority of the fallen leaves in their crisp state similar to when they fell, so the crunch under your feet echoes out between birdsongs and the slight whistle of the wind. We had a bit of a snow day this month (not much in my town but plenty sprinkled over the hills surrounding us!) so I decided to venture into Serpentine Woods and onto Kendal Fell. Due to the canopy above, not much snow had fallen onto the ground, so I was able to enjoy the dulcet orange tones before stepping out into a clearing directing you towards Kendal Fell.

With the sun shining, the landscape was filled with vibrant colours, especially in contrast to the snow which had made it halfway down the peaks and valleys. Looking primarily towards The Howgills, the view was basked in tranquil blue tones as there were thicker groups of clouds making their way across them, casting shadows that bathed their every curve. These hills slowly blend into the vast collection of Lakeland Fells towards the West, and the blues blended into the dynamic shades of greens and oranges from the fields and bracken into a perfect gradient. As you climb further up Kendal Fell, the Lakeland Fells become clearer, and you can see towards the Lyth Valley which had a faint sprinkling of snow remaining. There are plenty of places to sit up here on sunnier days, but the ground was covered in frost with only a few patches slowly starting to melt in the midday sun so I slowly wandered off the path in places to take in the view and avoid the few people who were also exploring the fell. The bare gorse bushes were glittering as the dew and fragments of snow reflected the winter sunshine and it truly added to the tranquility of the landscape. I know that just further into the county/district they get 'proper snow' and it truly looks dramatic against the landscape, but I still think the little sprinklings we get here are still magical - plus it's a lot warmer to be looking at snow-topped fells than it is sliding about up there!

On the way back from Kendal Fell, I wandered back through Serpentine Woods, passing several people making their way towards the fell and its stunning views. Instead of walking directly back to my house, I decided to detour via Bowling Fell, or 'The Monument' as it is known to the locals, and this particular area has stunning views across Kendal town. You can clearly see the Howgills from here, as you could from Kendal Fell, but they seem so far away on the horizon. I always find the Howgills to have quite a mysterious feel to them - one minute they seem so far away and suddenly whilst on the same walk it's as if they are watching over you, dominating the horizon! I would truly love to walk up the Howgills some day! The monument is built on land which was believed to be home to Kendal's first castle, on top of the mound which would have formed the motte. I can understand why such a building would have been located here as the view stretches far beyond the outskirts of town and slowly fades into miles of rippling hills. Recently they have been thinning out the trees which climb up the hill so that their final branches tower over the green pasture, which has meant that there is a much clearer view of Kendal Castle sitting proudly above the town and the expanse range of the Helme can be seen. When the sunshine hits the castle just right, as were the rays that were causing the patches of snow to glisten, it is predominant against the hills behind it and each jagged edge of the stones forming its defences are distinct. Definitely adding the castle to my list of places to wander to now I'm living closeby!

One thing I have decided after wandering around the hills on the outskirts of my town is that this year is the year that I will finally climb Beson Knott! It's always dominated the skyline and been one that I have been eager to explore, mainly as I have heard/seen very little about it! I tend to use the geocaching app a lot when planning walks as I have the trail feature enabled which makes exploring much easier, and the app showed clear footpaths leading up towards the Trig Point and the hidden geo! I think Benson Knott will be a good place to visit as it will allow a completely different view over my old greytown, and I look forward to spotting the many hills I've climbed up previously which has views of Benson! I also would like to venture deeper into the Lakes this year, or at least further on the outskirts. I love the views I get of the Lake District because there's just some magic spotting faint peaks in the distance and orientating myself by finding the Langdale Pikes on the horizon but it just makes me long to be in amongst the hustle and bustle of it all! There is just so much the amazing county I live in has to offer and I just want to explore it all!

I can't wait to see what the next 12 months will bring! Hopefully sunshine & good times!