On Friday 12th October England was battered by one of Autumns regular visitors, a storm. Storm Callum was like an uninvited guest to a party. As a result the Lake District was subjected to floods, road closures and leaves ripped from trees. The same leaves that us landscape photographers long for at this time of year to be part of our images. On Saturday 13th October I was on social media, reading suggestions to avoid the area and Autumn has been ripped away from us this year.
Im a pretty positive, glass half full type of guy. I like to view life where there is hope to most problems or set backs. This was no life changing dilemma but this was my photography time and it would take the possibility of Armageddon to stop me heading North to the Lake District. I woke in the morning, I had a plan in mind. I would travel to Rydal, park in a newly discovered parking area and head up to Loughrigg terrace and enjoy the views of Grasmere and the surrounding areas. First, I had to get there. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
As I approached the A591 heading to Windermere, I was met with a diversion sign. There was approximately an hour until sunrise and I wanted to get set up and ready to go for then. My tired body and mind, still in shock from a silly hour o clock start, felt a wave of disappointment. Still I hoped something good would happen as I took a dark and mysterious road heading to….I didn’t know where I was heading to.
A tap on my app pinpointed where I was. I was heading towards the Eastern side of Windermere which was my intended direction. A few swipes of my phone in an upward direction revealed that I would eventually rejoin the A591 road to Rydal. Original plan back on. There was however a slow build up of obstacles on my journey. This was a game console. The further I advanced, the harder the challenges. Small puddles built up on the road side were becoming more frequent and wider. I was having to slow down to nearly a halt. This was not good, my car was not aqua adapted.
Along with the water logged roads, broken branches also laid to rest from what looked like the aftermath of a war. Time was ticking by and sunrise was getting closer. I had re envisioned again an alternative plan of photography. Amidst all of these obstacles, rather than admit to defeat, I thought of water logged trees under a long exposed dawn sky. I continued my journey, I had come this far and nothing was going to ruin my photography day.
Conditions improved as a approached the welcoming street lights which then lead me back on to the A591 and eventually to Rydal. All I wanted was a clear road to my parking spot on the other side of the bridge off the main road. A spot I had been a few weeks before and familiar with. Once there I didn’t care as I knew I could walk to my destination. So it was to be. I managed to get to where I wanted. I had half an hour to walk to my intended spot. The river was overflowing to near where I was parked. I had visions of my car being swept away but surely this wasn’t possible as it was no longer raining. The wind was gentle, all was well.
I got to where and when I wanted to be. The sun however never welcome me by a beautiful display of colour. The valley was not clothed in a blanket of mist. The light was flat and the morning didn’t favour an ideal Autumnal scene. The leaves however were still hanging on and the seasonal hues were proudly displayed beneath in the valley. It turned out to be an average morning for photography. I spent the whole day around Loughrigg and eventually discovered the beautiful Loughrigg Tarn. The light improved towards the end of the day and I was pleased by the time the sun dipped beneath the mountain ridges. A great day and a good decision. Life is the adventure you make it.