Thursday, November 29, 2007

a pause in blogging

Spot and I apologise for the paucity of new pages recently but we have been on very few walks. With any luck things will be back to normal sooner or later, probably in the New Year. In the meantime if you are interested in local colour and views please explore the archives or try the labels for areas of interest.

Remember, things could be worse (we could be posting daily)!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

happy ewes

autumn is coming to an end. Contented ewes taking it easy near Trecombe.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tamar dogs

Harriet meets Frank, and is determined not to let him get away.

more brackets

another type of bracket fungus, again growing on a fallen silver birch

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

spot chills out

for all his adoring fans

Nature notes - November 2007

Those of you not on the enormous circulation list of the Old School News (our local newspaper covering the parish of Stoke Climsland) may not know that each edition contains a short piece on local fauna and flora plus a photograph (colour if we are feeling very rich) (and much else besides). To find out more use link to the Old school (see local links to left). Here is the offering for November 2007

The long dry early autumn period has produced a fantastic display of colour in the local woods though it looks as if it will be short lived. It remains a very barren time for mushrooms although just recently a few have started to appear.

I have noticed that often I see things in photographs that I failed to notice at the time. For example the spot of ‘milk’ on the underside of a milk-cap mushroom. This illustrates the difference between looking and seeing. Konrad Lorenz, the father of animal ethology, encouraged his students to learn simply by looking, for example at a bowl of goldfish, for months on end, so that they would learn to ‘see’ behaviour. It took me a long time to realise that there are two species of butterfly orchid in Greenscoombe woods that look very similar, but now I have learnt to see them and the many subtle differences between the two. Seeing is the prelude to knowledge.

Animals must have brain states without thoughts (cognitions in the jargon), a state of perpetual looking. We have thoughts that allow us to ‘see’ into the world although our thinking can sometimes interfere with experiencing. Perhaps the best mental state that a naturalist can achieve is to experience the world with knowledge but without thought, the aim of meditation. And thus I can recommend the former in the pursuit of the latter.

And so as our summer visitors depart, and our winter visitors arrive, and the newts look for safe hideaways, the last red admirals bathe in the sun and the myriad leaves carpet the ground, there is much to see and experience. Try it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

nothing goes to waste

brackets growing on the trunk of a dead silver birch tree, making it look like some exotic jungle flower

Friday, November 09, 2007

the DVD - reflections:- images from a cornish parish

DVD (for TV) now available. Eight audio visual shows, combining photographs and music on the themes of wild flowers, wildlife, the rivers and landscapes of Cornwall in the Tamar Valley in the area of Stoke Climsland (plus pictures not available on this blog).

Reflections on:-

blue (7.13 mins) all things blue
water (8.48 minutes) all things watery
yellow (5.08 minutes) all things yellow
spring (3.46 minutes)
summer (9.01 minutes)
autumn (12.49 minutes)
spiritus (3.11 minutes) the church in the land
rubbish (2.36 minutes) bad behaviour views

more than 50 minutes of scenes, flora and fauna, combining the tranquil beauty of the Tamar Valley with pleasant music. Only £10, on request (use Spot's email address at Ideal Christmas presents.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


the starlings are back in great numbers. It is strange how they seem to disappear in the summer, and then return for autumn. The absence of posts recently is due to computer problems and no walks, but with any luck we will be fully functional again after tomorrow.