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Friday, 27 September 2013

Architects meet the farmers

We alight  at Kendal Auction Mart, a new, purpose built, multi function Mecca for Cumbrian livestock farmers, and addicted household auction devotees. This is our Thursday post walk venue. Our target, Café Ambio, they have a concession within.

Entering through automatic doors, we see fittings, floor coverings and interior design,  smart and modern, hinting at the head office of, perhaps a posh software company, but is this fit for purpose?

Our visits rarely coincide with livestock auction days,  the café is usually quiet. Today we can’t help noticing we are following a trail of mixed sawdust, cow dung and sheep droppings on the clinical floor which increases as we coincide with the corridor from the livestock auction ring to the café, and furthermore, an overpowering bucolic stench prevails - fortunately that seems to dissipate as we enter the café.

The ambiance is cacophonous with farmers badinage and gossip. We see a range of ages, but mostly with gnarly Cumbrian weather-beaten faces, wearing flat hats, woefully worn and ingrained tweed three piece suits, or layers of moth eaten jumpers or cardigans, all wearing muck shedding wellies, and most carrying home made knobbly sticks for prodding their livestock into spriteliness to impress prospective buyers in the ring, which all tends to belie some of the expensive transport parked outside. This gathering  looks like it has been transported from the stone flagged floors of a Cumbrian pub shepherds' meet, and appears incongruous here where well intentioned designers have failed to marry the Cumbrian farmyard and its attendant livestock with modern architecture.

Our walk was uphill and down dale from Crosthwaite where we parked, (with permission), at the expensive Punch Bowl, (sample starter - seared Loch Fyne scallops, white chocolate and truffle risotto £9.95).

Kendal Auction Mart - Café Ambio is at righthand end

Can anybody identify this flower and...

...this grass/wheat like plant? Click to enlarge

Underbarrow church


Knee update. Just back from scan/x-ray/blood test results appointment. Now have to have hospital visit to withdraw fluid to establish existence of infection. If worst comes to worst the whole op would have to be done over again, but surgeon urges not to panic - "one step at a time". He told me emphatically that the problem is not related to me overdoing things and I must not blame myself - "carry on with whatever you are doing".


The Crow said...

The first flower is related to mints - square stems, flowers at junction of leaves and stem, serrated/saw-toothed leaf margins - but I don't know which one, or even if it is referred to as mint. Horehound? No, not fuzzy enough.

Hmmmm...must visit Google.

The Crow said...

Back again. Possibly penny royal, Mentha Canadensis or Mentha arvensis. M. arvensis is a meadow or slough or marsh plant, likes wet feet. Does that describe the area you were traipsing through?

Those are my best guesses, based upon flower color and location on the stem.

welshpaddler said...

Hope the knee problem can be dealt with quickly. I have a trapped nerve and physio has suggested no bike riding for a while. Hope it resolves as a hill walking holiday is booked in Patterdale on 12th October

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - hi Martha. I like your new avatar. Is that a fox?

Thanks for your identification. I have a wonderful flower book: Wild flowers of Britain and Ireland - Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter and Alastair Fitter. Blamey, in her eighty-sixth year completed her repainting of the entire British and Irish flora, and Richard Fritter wrote the text in his ninety-first year. It is regarded as a classic and the quality of the paintings and the scale of the task is mind boggling.

Having said that, I always find it difficult to know where to look in flower books because I am not well versed in the classification system, whereas birds are much more easy. Your prompt took me to the right place and I reckon you are correct with Mentha arvensis (Corn Mint). The habitat was wet, uncultivated upland.

The red wheat like stalk is still a mystery.


Welshpaddler - hi Bob. I wish you well with your back problem.

The Crow said...

Good morning (here, anyway), Conrad:

That's a painting of crow (of course) with a wolf, which I found after my encounter earlier this year with a beautiful young wolf in my town. She made an everlasting impression on me.

The other plant is still a mystery to me, too. I thought it must be a grass of some sort, because of the stem joints, but my searches turned up nothing - so far, that is.

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - Your message was received here at 12.58 pm (3rd Oct). I receive an email notification of new comments, but for a reason unknown my email had classified it as "junk", a decision with which I hasten to disagree.

I find it surprising that identification of the plant is so difficult. I suspect that it may normally be green in colour and perhaps changing to that red in Autumn (Fall)?

Mark said...

I think the other plant is bog asphodel - looks like a grass and has had me fooled before. That would fit with a boggy spot.