Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lake District

A Valentine's 'Real Photo' postcard (k9438)

Although this card says twelve lakes there is in fact only one lake in the Lake District all the rest are waters or meres. Never say Windermere Lake, it is a tautology.  So can you spot the one lake?

Well you would have to squint if you did not know already for these photos are quite small.  It is Bassenthwaite Lake, the most northerly and the shallowest at 70 ft.  It also contains a rare fish, the vendace.

Now what is strange about this card is that it does not have a picture of Hawswater.  There could be a number of reason, the most obvious being that thirteen lakes would not have fitted on the card, but Rydal Water is on the card, and although one of the prettiest stretches of water is more like a tarn than a lake.  

Mardale, which Alfred Wainwright said was the most beautiful of all the valleys, was flooded in 1935 to create Haweswater, and it took until about 1940 for it to reach its level.  I think the K series were possibly published in the 1950s so it would be full by that time.  Maybe the photographer thought it not as attractive with the dam at one end, although from the hill tops it is quite a pleasing shape.

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