Red Squirrel

SOME DAY we’ll climb Cat Bells, one of the most popular fells for walkers in the Lake District. It sits enticingly on the western shore of Derwentwater as you look out towards it from the lakeside at Keswick. Cat Bells is 451 metres, 1480 feet high, and a three mile walk from the town but the boat house in the foreground of my drawing is on Derwent Isle, only two or three hundred yards from the shore.

4.25 pm; A Red Squirrel runs along the pavement by a roundabout near the Lakeside car Park. We’re so astonished to see it that, retracing our route back out of town, I turn the car on to the road we came on – which is one-way! Luckily I realise my mistake before we encounter any oncoming vehicles!

We’ve often come to the Lake District for several days and not seen a Red Squirrel, so this one came as a surprise.

We’ve driven here from home along the Leeds ring-road so many times that we were ready for a change; we headed up the road from home, in what seems like the wrong direction, to Grange Moor, then cut across via Brighouse and Keighley on smaller roads towards Skipton, avoiding West Yorkshire’s larger towns and cities.

Because of a road closure, we found another alternative route for part of our journey along a narrow lane across the moors and fells from Airton to Settle. A large flock of Fieldfares, the most we’ve seen so far, had descended on roadside hawthorns.

In Settle I drew the pillar in the Market Place as we stopped for lunch at Ye Olde Naked Man cafe. Limestone crags rise from woodland on the slopes to the east of town.

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