By WharfedaleBex

Spring Gentians

A paradise of wildflowers met us on Cronkley Fell. After my photography project with the inspiring Margaret Bradshaw last October, we went hunting for spring gentian. In the UK, Upper Teesdale is the only place they grow and they're very rare. These are they! 

It's essential to go on a sunny day as they shut when it's overcast - you can see three that haven't chosen to open yet, despite the sunny weather - and not so pretty if that's all you get!

I had no idea whether other wildflowers would be out at this time of year but we were in luck! Teesdale violets, and other flowers... pink ones, white ones, yellow ones - that don't have an ID yet, and an area with a whole load of orchids. In time, I'll work out what they are - or enlist Margaret for help!

Haven't walked this far for some time and I creak a bit now but the special walks are still worth it! It was a stunning circuit on a day where we walked in shorts and t-shirts all day and dipped our feet in the Tees before heading back to the van.

Overnight in the High Force Hotel parking area and a fantastic dinner there too. The sounds of birds in the surrounding trees is wonderful.

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