I am beginning this month’s blog with a picture of Crummock Water on this morning’s dog walk. The lake was incredibly still and even the clouds are reflected clearly.

It is mid June, the cuckoos are still calling across the valley, the cow parsley has taken over from Jack in the hedge and the hedgerows are closing in over the paths and lanes. The grass has not been cut in the churchyard apart from little footpaths winding through the gravestones and there is a carpet of wild flowers, bistort, dog daisies …..

Down by the lake I always look out for ragged robin in the boggy meadow between the kissing gate and the pump house.

The yellow iris were flowering in the wooded area but I didn’t get a very good picture of them.

On checking my previous blog I realise I wrote it before bluebell time at Rannerdale, like many other early flowers they were a little later this year. The bluebells cover wide swathes of the sides of the valley but I like this picture as it shows the density of the flowers.

The creation of the ponds in the field towards the wood behind Foulsyke is progressing apace. There was a Himalayan balsam bashing session a couple of weeks ago then the diggers moved in …..

and the ponds are starting to take shape.

If you go on the road over Mockerkin Heights there is an old, ruined building at the top on the right. I often wondered what it was – I learned recently it was the old Mockerkin School established in 1781 which remained open until the late 1800s. I went to have a look at it on a cycle ride this week and was amazed by how small it was. There is also a stone from the school on Mockerkin Green which reads:

‘Mary Mirehouse of Mockerkin founded and endowed this school in the year 1781. Remember now the creator in the days of youth’.

There is a fascinating article by Walter Head about the school in an old History Society newsletter, many of the family names of the children who attended are still familiar in the area. I think I need to find out more.