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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Bruno’s Interesting Day

plenty of space
I got the idea for thee title of this blog post from a Topsy and Tim book. I’m working towards being able to read Wuthering Heights, but I realise its a long way off yet.
After an extended severalteen days of writing stuff, none of which is finished, I decided to go for a walk and, it would seem, picked the sunniest day for months either side of today. me and Bruno went to Wet Sleddale, principally to bag the little Birkett Glede How wot I’d failed to do the other day due to a footwear emergency.
We Sleddale is Very Wet. And squishy.
resting on glede how pennines from glede how
We wandered up a permissive path and across a bridge and up to a farm where Builders Bum was being practised by some builders. We heaved up the hill (I heaved, Bruno pulled). At a stile with a high wire, Bruno did his usual superdawg leap but, (and maybe this is a first sign of age) – his trailing leg caught on the wire and he went down in a big and very snotty heap. He didn’t yelp or whine, but he tried to stand up and couldn’t. I got myself psyched up for carrying 20 kg of wriggly dog the two miles back to the car.
After some massage and kind words and, maybe a mention of next door’s cat, Bruno suddenly recovered and continued up the hill in much the way he’d been doing a few minutes earlier. I kept an eye on him all day and worried a bit at fence-jumping time, but he seems fine.
seat robert trig station seat robert
We plodged upwards and on to a knobby plateau and, after a bit of light navigating involving map-to-ground guesswork and the tossing of a coin, we duly arrived at Glede How. Glede how has a little rocky outcrop and a fine view of the Pennines. We lunched. ….. I lunched, Bruno dribbled. I did let him have a small piece of egg butty as a kind of reward for being a brave little doggy.
We snoozed in the sun for quite a while.
Afterwards, we climbed Seat Robert which has a cairn and a shelter and a little concrete ring for the Ordnance Survey people to dance around in one of their magic contour rituals where they call on the gods to make magnetic North nearer to true North….
superdawg
Then we wandered over the Shap fells for a long time in a kind of aimless-roughly-back-to-the-car park kind of way. At a rest stop, I heard a deer bark. It barked several times. Bruno noticed. I could make out a small herd of, maybe fifteen red deer about 400 metres away. they were drifting off slowly and letting out the occasional warning bark.
hunting mode
We continued and, on crossing Tonguerigg Gill, we disturbed a herd of sixty or seventy red deer. They made off at speed from about 300 metres away. Bruno went into hunting mode and had to be put on the lead. Bruno’s recall is actually quite good, and I’ve managed to call him off chasing at least one deer in full flight. He’ll even come back to a hand signal, providing he’s looking in your direction, but sixty red deer in full flight, and, probably stinking of mating hormones (its about that time of year, folks) would probably have been too much for his canine self-control.
The herd disappeared over the hill, but Bruno had their scent and he followed with his ears up. I followed at the other end of the lead, just to see what would happen. After a while, we disturbed the same herd again. they’d moved about half a kilometre and had sentries, it would seem. In places even I could make out the scent. I called off the chase. We returned to the car.
deer making off at a distance
We did about 8 miles and 1400 feet but I can’t be exact about our route, so I’m not doing a map. Apart from anything else, when I did the track, it spelled a rude word.
The Shap fells were empty today aprt from me and the dawg and the deer and, somewhere, a shepherd doing some shouting and whistling, and, right at the end, a fisherman on a bike who went off to see the deer after I’d spoken to him. saved a few fish, there, so I’m a piscatorial hero. The Shap fells are not a place for lonely agoraphobics or people who like a lot of noise.

11 comments:

Alan Sloman said...

Was the shepherd stamping on his hat? I once saw a shepherd in that neck of the woods do this when "Meg" or some such collie didn't do as he wanted her to.

beatingthebounds said...

Cunning plan to climb Glede Howe and Seat Robert after a really wet spell. Did any of the deer sport armbands?
I've just been reading a piece by Harry Griffin in which he advocates walking in a straight line across the fells, but using a satnav to track your route as you spell out rude words takes things to an entirely new level - the gutter. Totally infantile behaviour. I think I'll try it this weekend!
(Does it count the same if I use crayons on a map - I don't have a satnav?)
Mark

Mike Knipe said...

I've witnessed shepherd rant behaviour in other places, Alan. maybe its such a relaxing job that there's a rage deficit which has to be made up by shouting at sheep and dogs...
Mark - the potential for satnav ruderies on Brown Willy or Lord Hereford's Knob present themselves... Harry Griffin's idea is attractive, though...hmmmmm....

becausetheyrethere said...

My wife once crawled out of our tent very early one morning in the far west of Ireland and heard a commotion on the far side of a dyke. Peering over, she saw a shepherd crouching down and performing a bodily function while whistling his dogs at the same time. I’ve held shepherds in high regard ever since because this takes multi-tasking to a new level. I hope this has added something to the debate but I rather fear it might have taken something from it. Sorry.
Alen McF

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks for that Alen. A smile and a whistle goes a long way...

Mark said...

Here are Harry's suggestions: due West across the Lakes on grid 09, from Clappergate to the top of High Raise detouring to take in all of the knobbles just off a straight line, from Cockley Beck to Scafell Pike.

Mike Knipe said...

Hmmm not sure if that line works - Scafell Pike is on 07- but there must be a line somewhere that is adventurous, but doesnt involve actually falling off a crag.

Alan Sloman said...

A tumble down to the bar at the Wasdale Head Inn, though...

Mike Knipe said...

Whoa - Justaminnit - a straight line pub crawl..... there's a theme developing here.
I'm still looking for a good grid line to follow. The eastern side of the ponds is more promising...

Mark said...

Sorry! didn't punctuate, that; at all. well.
It's three different straight lines:
Clappersgate - High Raise
Cockley Back - Scafell Pike
Grid 09

Meanwhile - someone almost got there first:
http://walkingfortbragg.com/2011/09/new-app.html

Mike Knipe said...

That makes more sense, mark. They're all pretty challenging lines. Grid 09 is my choice. I'm not sure I'd survive it, though...