This week I climbed Loughrigg Fell – twice. First at sunset on a clear day with Jennifer Essex, and again with the poet Matt Bryden in a long shower of rain which occluded much of what we saw in mist. It’s a beautiful fell and a regular walk for Dorothy and William Wordsworth. Dorothy records it several times in her journal. Here are some of her observations:
I went forward round the lake at the
foot of Loughrigg Fell. I was much amused with the busyness of a pair of
stone-chats; their restless voices as they skimmed along the water,
following each other, their shadows under them, and their returning back
to the stones on the shore, chirping with the same unwearied voice.
Could not cross the water, so I went round by the stepping-stones…
A very fine warm evening. Upon the side
of Loughrigg my heart dissolved in what I saw: when I was not startled,
but called from my reverie by a noise as of a child paddling without
shoes. I looked up, and saw a lamb close to me. It approached nearer and
nearer, as if to examine me, and stood a long time. I did not move. At
last, it ran past me, and went bleating along the pathway, seeming to be
seeking its mother. I saw a hare on the high road…
After tea we rowed
down to Loughrigg Fell, visited the white foxglove, gathered wild
strawberries, and walked up to view Rydale. We lay a long time looking
at the lake; the shores all dim with the scorching sun. The ferns were
turning yellow, that is, here and there one was quite turned.
When the sun had got low enough, we
went to the Rock Shade. Oh, the overwhelming beauty of the vale below,
greener than green! Two ravens flew high, high in the sky, and the sun
shone upon their bellies and their wings, long after there was none of
his light to be seen but a little space on the top of Loughrigg Fell.