Sunday, April 29, 2007

flowers in paradise

in the sunny clearings in the wood the beautiful and subtle tones of bitter vetch stand out like beacons, the cowwheat is already out. Let's hope the heath fritillary returns


I truly believe that when the sun is up and the bluebells are out this is a little bit of paradise.

mother's little helper

shattering the space time fabric of calm reflection, am I drowning or what? Helping mum comes naturally.

trout rising

leaving only a trace of a ripple spreading through the reflections on the river; an instant in the fabric of space and time.

Friday, April 27, 2007


the beautiful and heavily scented rhododendron lutea or yellow azalea which grows in many of the woods locally.

lurking in the compost

this sleepy slow worm was found sunning itself on the compost heap

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

mistle fledglings

finally, with a great deal of whirring and clicking and general pandemonium, the mistle fledglings have just appeared. They tend to try and pretend they do not exist by keeping very still until you approach just a bit too close.

rock rose

for example (see below) I have never seen a rock rose growing wild locally, but this one is growing in the bank of the little stream between Old Mill and Luckett.

Old Mill by the stream

I met Freddy Fisher, our local post man, in the woods today with his springer spaniels. He told me a lot about the land between Old Mill and Luckett; after the first world war the land was used to provide gardens and allotments for unemployed local men. This explains why there are so many unusual plants in this area. Freddy is a mine of information which should be taken down and recorded for posterity.


this is the inaptly named green alkanet, one of my favourite blue flowers at this time of year

brimstones bluebells and campion

all of a sudden there are lots of brimstone butterflies in the woods, the top photo is on bluebells, not our lovely native variety but the big fleshy Spanish variety, and the bottom photo is on campion for contrast. They are very quick in flight and rarely seem to settle with wings spread.

Friday, April 20, 2007

ducks in a row

I am not sure what type of water fowl these were. There are mallards in the middle ground and sheep safely grazing. Poor lamb to be consumed so by one so consumed by life.

Tamar images

the same scene as last week but with the benefit of bright Spring sunlight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

flocking sight

I thought at first that this was a large gathering of buzzards, but it was probably gulls of some sort catching a thermal as the wind got up in the afternoon.

more grey wagtail

a chance close encounter with the grey wagtail on a little stream running into the Lynher.

orange tip feeding

an orange tip butterfly feeding on May (April?) flowers. For the first time I noticed the dainty brown tips to the orange.

Monday, April 16, 2007

bitter vetch

a view reinforced by the appearance of bitter vetch in the hedgerows.

more than one

there were lots of swallows around today at Beals Mill, so I think we can officially announce that summer is in.

thrush party

these look like song thrushes but they may be a family party of mistle thrushes. Song thrushes look brown, and mistle thrushes look greyer.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

pink wood anenomes

this photo shows just how pink the white wood anenome can be.

more tales of the river bank

although this scene looks tranquil the water is foul; it is full of nitrites, nitrates and slurry and anything else the modern agribusiness can flush down the river. The detergents make the water foam up, and it is full of algae. When you look around the only crop anyone cares about is cash, and soon the world will be covered in cash and everything else will be dead. This isn't husbandry, it's murder.

Pheasants eyes

Harriet admiring the dog violets in a field of pheasants eyes.

yellow, well, all right, grey wagtail

this pretty little wagtail was down by the river Tamar early this morning. I also saw two dippers flashing past in their very intense way but much too quickly to catch on film. Another day maybe.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

countryside colours

stitchwort (white) campion (red) dog violet (violet) and celandine (yellow) add some colour to this black and white photo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

the speckled wood

this is the female speckled wood, warming up in the sun

and the first is not summer

two swallows, the first of the year, flying through Kit Hill Quarry

still ducks

this tranquil image comes from Kit Hill quarry this morning. Unusually, it was almost perfectly still

Monday, April 09, 2007


peacocks are always appear quite early in Spring but we also saw the first speckled wood butterfly of the year today


compared with the much simpler design of the speedwell, (two l's). I am still trying to take the perfect photo of this lovely little weed.


while not strictly speaking a wild flower I could not resist blogging the seemingly perfect symmetry of this red camellia in our garden. And I thought it had only one l.

dog violets

The last few days have been warm and dry and the dog violets are now out in profusion

heron ascending

we found ourselves very close to this heron this morning on the Tamar and had time to take this picture as it flew up to perch in the trees. There is often a heron here which suggests they have well defined territories.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

rhodo jungle

one of the hundreds of subspecies of rhododendron in the woods opposite Endsleigh.

Tamar hairy seal

a very rare image of the Tamar hairy seal ploughing upstream (note radio collar for GPS)

purple toothwort returns

seemingly rare, but definitely spreading, the elusive purple toothwort, appearing on time deep in the woods.

chiff chaff

this could be any one of a number of warbler types (what Bill Oddie describes as willow chiffs) but its call is very distinctive.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

pink purslane

continuing the pink theme, pink purslane is back along the Inny. My impression is that this is quite early this year.

Venterdon sunsets

another stunning sunset over our village, the weather is set fair for a very fine Easter break. The mower is working, the grass is growing, I know where I will be.

not at Duchy College

not all pond life is at Duchy College studying how to drop litter.