Tuesday 1 July 2003
Pix of the Day: Large Scale Landscape Gardeners
CREDITS: © Dave Newton/Dave's Lakeland Mountains
The landscape of the English Lake District was created by these animals. The Norsemen, who invaded centuries ago, are often credited with introducing many of the sheep herding practices in the district, and this is borne out by Norse words that have endured in the local dialect. The grazing hill sheep crop the biomass so closely and efficiently that only the turf grows, along with the inedible bracken featured in Sunday's item, and the wild and woody heather. When Dave Newton walked Moses' Trod he followed in the footsteps of one of the area's legendary characters, an alleged moonshiner about whom Dave relates the scant traditions that have been passed down. Another famous moonshiner, in another local valley, was Lanty Slee.
In the Roman Times of the late sixties I bought a motorcycle and sidecar in the south Lakeland industrial and ship building town of Barrow in Furness: the seller was a direct descendant of Lanty's. Where I wonder is PFS 46 these days, a single cylinder 500cc BSA M33 model of the type made famous by the 'Scouts' of the AA (Automobile Association). Forgive the ramblings of an old man's recollections. I will try to keep more closely to the plot.
Many years later in the Modern Age I was on the summit named Pillar, which is close to Dave's walk. In fact if you visit the walk web page you will see the Gate to Nowhere, which was once part of the now derelict 'Ennerdale Fence' that was installed by incoming investment owners from the early Industrial Age to mark off their ownership of the valley of the same name. My quiet summit contemplation of the view on that occasion was rudely interrupted by a surprise rear attack from one of this beast's relatives, who demanded by means of relatively gentle butting to share my luncheon. The first sheep in the district to become domesticated to the point where they could be hand fed were around Honister Pass where Dave started his walk. The sheep became known as the 'Hungry Sheep of Honister', and it seems the behavior developed as the number of recreational visitors to the district increased.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)