Canon Rawnsley's January at the Lakes

In Months at the Lakes, Rawnsley writes that January is a month of two moods and this January is certainly living up to his description. We are having wind and rain, sleet and snow, ice and sunshine in an endless succession of days.

At the weekend we managed to get up to Hawkshead and it was certainly a grey day and when I got home I reread Rawnsley's description of the Lakes in January and thought how right he was!

It is a grey month this month of January. The copses are grey, the meadows are grey, and the hedgerows are grey, the waters are grey and the skies and the hills are grey, and if snow is not on the hills it is a dark month too. One hardly realises how much we have to thank the snow upon "the tops" for adding brightness to the daylight till suddenly a warm wind brings us a warm rain and the fells are seen in their sombrest Januarian dress. Sombrest, for the bracken has had its colour washed out of it and the bents and the grasses have been blanched to death paleness, while except for the sunny southern fields there would seem to be no thought of returning green. But it is a month of marvellous slate blues and grey lilac at eventide. Many a time when the sun has sunk beyond the western hills, when only one white star has swum into sight, there comes upon the hills a colour such as one sees at no other time of year. They rise to heaven not as if they were mountain masses so much as if they were thick veils of drapery in mountain shape falling straight from some invisible hand to earth, and stand in clear silhouette against the sky, no longer range beyond range, but as if they were all merged into one grey blue lilac wall of delicate lawn.
A grey January day not far from Rawnsley's Grasmere