Lake District Memories VI

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand


It’s Sunday so it must be visit the Lake District day! The Lakes are steeped in history and mystery with some stunning caves, stones and more.

Castlerigg Stone Circle or the the Keswick Circle in the older historical sources, and its exact purpose still remains unclear, but researchers believe that it was used for ceremonial or religious purposes.

Castlerigg Stone Circle was built around 4,500 years ago in the Neolithic times.

The circle, probably once had 42 stones, now consists of 38 granite stones arranged in a circle, approximately 32.6 x 29.5 m in diameter. Within the ring is a rectangle of a further 10 standing stones. The tallest stone is 2.3 meters high. It was probably built around 3000 BC – the beginning of the later Neolithic Period.

Probably built around 3000 BC, the beginning of the later Neolithic Period,
Castlerigg Stone Circle is one of the earliest stone circles in Britain.
It is important in terms of megalithic astronomy and geometry, as the construction contains significant astronomical alignments.
Rydal caves are a must if you visit the Lakes.
Situated above Rydal Water near Buttermere
Inside Rydal Caves are stunning patterns on the rocks. Unfortunately, the caves are manmade.
Rydal Cave used to be called Loughrigg Quarry.
The Lake District is famous for its slate and, in the 19th century,
Loughrigg Fell was a Slate Mine where it would be sourced from.

All photographs are taken by SJ Butler Photography & must not be copied or reproduced without permission from SJ Butler – thank you

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All Hallows Eve

so as it’s Halloween tomorrow here’s a bit of info about the day. Halloween has its origins in pagan festivals held around the end of October in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. People believed that, at this time of year, the spirits of dead people could come ‘alive’ and walk among the living. They thought that it was important to dress up in costumes when venturing outside, to avoid being harmed by the spirits. This may be the origin of the Halloween costumes seen today. In Puritan times, Halloween celebrations were outlawed, but they were revived in later times.

Did you know that the City of York has gained a reputation as perhaps the most haunted city in England and it is often known somewhat affectionately as ‘the City of 1000 ghosts?’

Usually on the way to the Lake District I stop off at Thorpe Perrow Arboretum which is stunning in the Autumn with beautiful tree foliage.
At the moment poor Cumbria (The Lake District) is having a lot of rain and there is a lot of flooding.

Halloween used to be called All Hallows Eve, or the day before All Saints’ Day, observed on November 1.

It can be called Halloween Bob Apple Night or Duck Apple Night but I’ve never heard it call that in North Yorkshire. Apparently, this comes from a traditional game played at this time of year and known as ‘apple bobbing’ or ‘apple ducking’. Some people believe that apple bobbing is a reminder of the way women accused of witchcraft in the middle ages were tried. They were tied to a chair and repeatedly ducked into a river or pond. If a woman drowned, she was declared innocent. If she survived, she was declared a witch and burnt at the stake. So, there was no way out for the women accused of being a witch!

Pumpkins and Gourds which we use to turn into spooky lanterns.
I remember having to carve a very sold turnip which took forever!

Some aspects of the modern Halloween celebrations, such as carving lanterns out of vegetables originated long ago. Many customs originated in the United States and have travelled back to the United Kingdom. All photographs are taken by SJ Butler Photography.

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Nunnington Hall

Gourd!
That’s a lot of veggies!

I had a visit to Nunnington Hall & Gardens which is owned by the National Trust. Their botanical displays were absolutely gorgeous. Here are just a few of the many, many displays. If you want to find any information about Nunnington or any of the National Trust properties/gardens please click here.

Photographs by SJ Butler

Latest Instagram posts – check out the video of the gorgeous piano playing. I will be posting that sometime this week!

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This Empty World

I happen to visit Nunnington Hall over the week and was fascinated by Layla Khoo’s installation of ‘Change in Attitudes’.
There was 5,000 ceramic horns which the visitor could either take as a ‘trophy’ or leave for others to enjoy.
I didn’t take one. The article below is taken from Nunnington Hall website and gives context to the art installation.

Messages left by visitors

Published : 12 Sep 2019

A display of 5,000 small porcelain black rhinoceros horns are on show at Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, each representing one of the remaining black rhinos left in the world.

To draw the parallel between the artwork and the animals in the wild, visitors will be invited to take one of the 5,000 ceramic rhino horn artworks home as a souvenir, but with the moral dilemma that each one taken cannot be replaced and will leave fewer and fewer for others to experience.

Artist Layla Khoo was invited to respond to the big game hunting trophies in the house …

Inspiration for the ceramic art installation has been taken from the black rhino horn once kept in Colonel Fife’s collection but no longer on display. 

Each piece of art aims to encourage conversation about how social acceptance of big game hunting has changed, the rise in support for wildlife conservation, and the acknowledgement that game hunting is still active.

Nunnington curator for the National Trust, Jonathan Wallis said:

“Layla’s installations provide a powerful reminder of the devastating effect of big game hunting on many,
now endangered, species and the conservation issues we
are tackling today. 

A Yorkshire-based ceramic artist, Layla Khoo said:

“Living locally to Nunnington Hall, I was already familiar with and fascinated by both the house and the collection. When the opportunity arose not only to research and respond to the taxidermy display, but to also take the opportunity to engage the public in conversations about conservation, I was eager to develop these ideas. 

“The narrative of the work evolved as I was able to explore the social and historical context of Colonel Fife’s life experiences. I was then able to contrast this with current times and attitudes towards the natural environment with the help of Flamingo Land zoo, who were able to demonstrate the impact of breeding programmes for endangered species, including black rhino. My hope is that people will come away from the installation pieces with an insight into the stories the collection tells and consider how this reflects on their own choices and current environmental issues.”

Nunnington Hall (click on the link to read the full article)

As I scrolled through Instagram I stumbled across this photographer and his work which fitted with my visited to Nunnington Hall and the exhibition. His work is amazing and very powerful.

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Something Spooky…

…this way comes

If you are out and about in York this week take a walk through the Museum Gardens if you dare!
You will find ghosts in and around the garden. Apparently there are 10 but I only found 9!

Apparently, the City of York has gained a reputation as perhaps the most haunted city in England and it is often known somewhat affectionately as ‘the City of 1000 ghosts’.

Spooky things happening in York Museum Gardens today
I liked the squirrel ‘ghost’ the best!

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IGPOTY – Results

Hope everyone’s having a great week so far?

We are in the final week of October as it is the first of November on Monday. Who’s having a Halloween party or have decorated your house or carved a pumpkin?

The results of the IGPOTY results for Square Crop Competition are in. Unfortunately I was not shortlisted this year but I’m not surprised as the winners are absolutely fantastic. Next year maybe!?

https://igpoty.com/competitions/square-crop-15-results/

Seductive Wings by Claudia Gaupp
IGPOTY Winner

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Lake District Memories V

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand


It’s Sunday so it must be visit the Lake District day! If you go to the Lakes, be prepared for every weather. All photographs are taken by SJ Butler Photography.

Walking round Derwentwater – no rain today
Slater’s Bridge – if you look carefully at the River, you’ll see that’s it’s absolutely pouring down!

The climate, together with the geology of the area has made the Lake District what it is today.

In the last 2 million years a series of ice ages have left the area buried under glaciers.
These rivers of ice carved deep lakes & u shaped valleys between the hills.

Lake Distrct National Park


One minute it’s sunny – the next the heaven’s open

Ten highest mountains

  • Scafell Pike at 978 metres (3210 feet)
  • Scafell at 964 metres (3162 feet)
  • Helvellyn at 950 metres (3114 feet)
  • Skiddaw at 931 metres(3053 feet)
  • Great End at 910 metres (2986 feet)
  • Bowfell at 902 metres (2940 feet)
  • Great Gable at 899 metres (2960 feet)
  • Pillar at 892 metres (2926 feet)
  • Nethermost Pike at 891 metres (2923 feet)
  • Catstycam (2917 feet)



Sixteen largest lakes

  • Windermere – 14.8 square kilometres
  • Ullswater – 8.9 square kilometres
  • Derwentwater – 5.5 square kilometres
  • Bassenthwaite Lake – 5.3 square kilometres
  • Coniston Water – 4.0 square kilometres
  • Haweswater – 3.9 square kilometres
  • Thirlmere – 3.3  square kilometres
  • Ennerdale Water – 3 square kilometres

  • Wastwater – 2.9  square kilometres
  • Crummock Water – 2.5 square kilometres
  • Esthwaite Water – 1 square kilometre
  • Buttermere – 0.9 square kilometres
  • Grasmere – 0.6 square kilometres
  • Loweswater – 0.6 square kilometres
  • Rydal Water – 0.3 square kilometres
  • Brotherswater – 0.2 square kilometre

Slater’s Bridge
Soaked to the skin at this point

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Weekend Vibes

Welcome to

The Weekend

Today started off really good, the image on the left of Red leaves at Thorpe Perrow Arboretum will be printed in the York Press on Monday 25th October. I will put a link up on Monday so you can (hopefully) view it online.

How exciting!

New to the site? Start here

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So tired…

Zzzzzzzzzz

Well my answer is yes, I’m feeling really exhausted and I’m so ready for a few days off coming up soon. I haven’t really been out with my camera taking any Autumnal shots yet. I’m hoping that next week might have some really lovely days so that i can go out and take my camera out again.

Copyright SJ Butler Photography

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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Lake District Memories IV

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness ”
Yann Arthus-Bertrand


It’s Sunday so it must be visit the Lake District day!

Today I’ve included a video of how powerful (and noisy) Aira Force Waterfall is and a video of the sunset over Ullswater & Glenriding a few years ago.

An 18th-century pleasure ground, Aira Force was the backdrop for William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Somnambulist’ – a Gothic tale of love and tragedy. There are so many woodland trails to discover in this landscape of contrasts. Quiet glades give way to dramatic waterfalls, with Aira Beck thundering down a 65-foot drop past ferns and rocks.

The Somnambulist

William Wordsworth

List, ye who pass by Lyulph’s Tower
At eve; how softly then
Doth Aira-force, that torrent hoarse,
Speak from the woody glen!
Fit music for a solemn vale!
And holier seems the ground
To him who catches on the gale
The spirit of a mournful tale,
Embodied in the sound…

Sound on!
Top of Aira Force – Cumbria

Aira Force is a showcase for the power and beauty of nature; it’s a place to escape the ordinary.

Evening sunset

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