Sunday, 30 May 2004
Pix Of The Day: Highest Ground & Fairest Flower
CREDITS: © Andrew Leaney/Leaney.org; © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: English counties of Cumbria, & Cornwall. WHAT: fair fells & wet flowers.
MAPS: Hardknott Pass, Cumbria; walk route to Hard Knott; Pool, Cornwall.
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For hikers who love the hills of the English Lake District these fells are special: from left to right they are Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, and Great End. Scafell Pike is the highest ground in England at 3,210 feet of altitude: that is the figure I learned as a child, and I am damned if I will change it for resurveys or metrication! Join Andrew as he walks from the top of Hardknott Pass (the road is a 33% gradient worthy, as a simulation for the Alp d'Huez, which Lance Armstrong will climb in his 2004 attempt to become the first six times Tour de France winner) to the top of Hard Knott, the hill after which the pass was named, to look up to the high ground, and down onto the Roman fort of Mediobogdum and the green pastures of Eskdale.
Ian Scott-Parker writes: Calling this the fairest flower in the title is slightly misleading. Photographer & CornwallCAM.co.uk webmaster Charles Winpenny used the picture to illustrate that as expected on an English public holiday, the weather was inclement.
When a child, I discovered a rotting bag of iris bulbs on a waste dump, and proudly dragged them home. My mother planted them in a spare corner, below the front window, where the builders had dumped fine gravel with only a thin covering of soil. The plants flourished, producing purple flowers that were less showy than the one in Charles' garden in Pool, Cornwall, but never the less a source of great pleasure to me as I grew older. Mother grew pinks for my father, and by default I suppose, she grew iris for me. Regularly, for the remainder of her life she would have to hack the clump back to manageable proportions, but despite repeated threats, she never completely removed the iris from her garden.
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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)