Not much of Scotland now. The early morning of the 25th was dull and cool in Fort William so we decided not to go back to Loch Arkaig but to head south.
The drive through Glen Coe was quite nice, with the Sun finally shining-but the bright hazy conditions meant that the eastern side which seemed the most photogenic would not be worth stopping for. The one time dark moody weather would have been welcome. Right at the southern end we did stop for a bit as the hills beyond Loch Tulla looked nice.
The A82 was shut alongside Loch Lomond (not too bad as I am not fond of that stretch so we had to divert to Loch Long and the Faslane submarine base-could not see any and I doubt if it would be a good idea to stop and look anyway. The drive through Helensburgh and Dumbarton made a change and the run through Glasgow and the A74 was pretty smooth, then it was over the border and into England.
Apart from the time we went to Haweswater in 1996 after seeing the Spanish Sparrow at Waterside, I have never been in the Lakes, unlike Colin who had many holidays there, so it was all new to me. Unfortunately the weather had turned back to dull cloud and despite being somewhat off-season it was still very busy with lots of traffic and walkers. Colin did the tour guide bit, pointing out the various lakes as we drove through.
We arrived at Honnister Pass not long past noon and assessed the situation. It was cloudy, slightly damp and cool-not what is recommended if you are hunting Mountain Ringlets. Despite that we decided to climb the old tram track to the top anyway. When I got to the top I met someone wearing bins having a rest so stopped to chat. He and another had been up since early morning, and once the temperature had risen a bit they had found perhaps fifteen Ringlets. As it looked to be getting a bit brighter he decided to stay and took us over to the main area. Over about an hour, we found at least a dozen, some very worn, some very fresh. The variability of the orange and dark spotting was remarkable.
Having met up with a couple of other butterfly hunters we continued up for a while as the view to Buttermere would be worthwhile.
A few plants were noted, but I have yet to identify most. Cinquefoils seemed numerous, and I found a few patches of Alpine Ladies Mantle. On the descent, I took time to photograph the ferns in the walls and rock clefts.