Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pen-y-gent..... meaning (hill of the winds)

Wed. 17th April 2013
             Yesterday we made our annual trek up and over the summit of Pen-y-ghent and the mountain certainly lived up to it's name. Our aim was to make a short H.D. film of the Purple Saxifrage that grows on the Limestone cliffs along the 1900 ft contour of the hill. I've walked up Pen-y-ghent dozens of time in all seasons but I've never experienced the windy conditions (that this hill is known for) like we experienced yesterday. It soon became apparent that making a film was impossible and in many exposed locations dangerous because we were blown off our feet and had to hang on to the rocks when the gusts came.
       I managed about a minute of footage in some of the less exposed areas but the all exercise was completely unsatisfactory. I reverted back to using my small compact still camera.
            Compared to last year the flowers are almost one month behind.

                                     The western aspect

PurpleSaxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) growing on the south facing rocks

                                       The path to the summit

                                                The cairn

There's still about 6ft. depth of snow below the west facing cliffs but the warmth of the rocks as influenced and has a warming effect on the plants growing there

          The plants obtain all their nutrients from the calcium rich rocks

On our way back the clouds melted away giving clear views of Pen-y-ghent's western cliffs

The lane leading back to Horton in Ribblesdale showed how the influence of the sun compared to the shade  has on the spring flowers

                                      Snowdrops in the shade

                                 Lesser Celandine in the sun

Finally just a short bit of yesterday's windy footage


  1. You are very dedicated indeed... such an effort, especially in that wind! Beautiful blooms but I don't think I would be up to that hike in weather like we see on your video! ... Larry

  2. I do enjoy seeing your videos. What a shame it was so windy. Will you get another opportunity this year to finish the video off?

  3. Helen I don't think I'll make it again this season because we're having a few days away in our motor home.

  4. Hi Dave
    Saw the first swallows last tuesday. The Swifts are usually here by the end of April.

    DaveB Alcester