Friday, February 29, 2008

little fairy and snowdrops

Cassie posing on snowdrops by stream running through woods at OldMill. The snowdrops are the same variety as those along the Inny, I think, but not described in my reference books. They are just beginning to fade; meanwhile the daffodils are rampant this year. The evidence for natural oscillations is very strong and it should make one ponder about the increasingly shrill tone of the catastrophists and miserablists.

wood mallards

It is quite unusual to see mallards on small streams in thick woodland. These two took off very quickly but somewhat riskily through the trees when they realised they were not alone.

watch the video

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spot takes the biscuit

Harriet, who inadvertently has been shut out, watching Spot being given a biscuit. I know dogs are dogs, but their emotional repertoire clearly includes total indignation. The title might have been "where's mine ???".

Sunday, February 24, 2008

young blackbird

the first young blackbird of the year, fatter than its parents, and very thrush like revealing the blackbird's close relationship with the thrush family (and very early). For a close up see this picture from last year (link)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

the road to Pempwell

a typical lane with a patch of wild daffodils making a pleasing contrast with the red paint on the house in the background. Is there anywhere else in the world quite like Cornwall?l

new arrivals

the annual lamb photograph; someone obviously has a black sheep in the family.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jane's House

and sunset over Vailima in the heart of the village

more twilight buzzards

this is very probably the same buzzard as before (same telegraph pole, same time), no fantasy this time but an honest photo.

Monday, February 18, 2008

twilight orange

it is heading to be the sunniest February on record (since 1681 or some such thing but probably not since the beginning of time). Sumptuous pastel colours, blue, green, orange and brown smeared casually across the skyline by Nature's best painter. Spot thinks somewhat immodestly that it is worth clicking on the sunsets label below to see how lucky we have been to see so many amazing sunsets.

global freezing

Spot wants to know where we would stop if we could control global warming. For example would we allow northern Europe to freeze over if we could return the Sahara desert to fertile grasslands? And who would decide?

goldcrests at work

there are five goldcrests in this picture, although only one is obvious. Very busy birds and fierce for their size, they have colonised our conifer plantations.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

cassie and her fan club

Spot's mum, and a couple of her admirers, reclining after a heavy day at the office hauling logs swimming, ice breaking (see below) and eating. Frozen camellias (I didn't know until now that there were two l's in camelia) to the right. Spot felt he would be skating on thin ice.

tree creeper

we are having trouble identifying birds at the moment, this looks like it should be a tree creeper and it spent some of its time perching up side down on the tree trunk. We also caught just a fleeting glimpse of a bird with a striking yellowish stripe around its eye ... a redwing we (Spot and I) are told, but no photographs yet.

today was blue

There was thick ice in the leets and puddles today as the hard frost persisted through the morning. The sky is deep blue and feels roofless. Nature seems a bit stunned by this cold turn, the frog spawn is stuck to the ice, the snowdrops are drooping and the buds are brown from frost bite. Life is on the cusp.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

scarlet elf cup

a very good clean example of scarlet elf cup fungus


mercury, either dog's or annual, probably dog's because it flowers earlier in the year and is found in woods and shady banks.

Tamar images 2

warm colours on the river above Endsleigh, I am not sure what is flying away from us.


moon, jets, people, poplars, dogs walking on a simply beautiful day.

speed dating for starlings

4pm at the telegraph dating academy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

sunset over Harri Fibonacci

Harri chasing frogs in a reed bed as the sun sets in the Inny valley, the air above her head is full of gnats or flies. As an experiment the photograph's dimensions are based on the fibonacci series, rather than a simple 1.333 ratio which Spot usually uses - does this make it more harmonious?

early bees

a honeybee (?) sunbathing, and a bumblebee feeding on mahonia. These photos are for the ongoing record of the changes taking place in this area. And before Spot can consume them. Why do dogs insist on trying to eat bees and wasps? It is mildly reassuring that the same bee appeared at about the same time last year.

ladybird spring

This ladybird was in the same place yesterday; it may be caught between getting frostbite and sunburn.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

more Spring

the beautiful, slender, diminutive native daffodil is coming into flower throughout the woods. This specimen is perched precariously on the banks of the Tamar in the deep grooves left by the river when it is in spate and it floods through these glades. Further down the river I found a very early flowering wood anemone. At home there were bumblebees, ladybirds and butterflies in the garden. It may be unnatural but it feels like Spring.

why is it so cloudy in Cornwall?

because everyone flies over us on their way to North America leaving huge swathes of condensation trails behind them. Stop it now.

the tower of Stoke Climsland church is on the skyline.

mystery moss, liverwort or hornwort

nor despite some superficial research into mosses, liverworts and hornworts (actually life is too short) can I identify exactly what these red organic parts belong to. They are not scarlet elf cups.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

flocks of what? Fieldfares?

a small but noisy flock of a thrush like bird but I have no idea what they are (except the starling at the top of the tree in the second photo, and the chaffinches in the bottom picture).

addendum:- after a sleepless night of research we think they are fieldfares, a gregarious and occasionally aggressive type of thrush

more from the woods

the same light making the woods seem mysterious and entrancing.

a wall of light

the strong sun low on the horizon created this illusion of a wall of light slicing through the woods. Or perhaps it was a spaceship going into warp drive near Luckett.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

celandine proper

With some sun the celandines and primroses are flourishing. It is so mild it feels like spring, but celandines are always early to flower and these are no earlier than last year (see link).

master rook

just for comparison with the crow below. This bird is all beak.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

and the rest of Cornwall

looking west from the very top of Kit Hill. Pensilva and St Cleer hardly visible in the background, Callington in the middle ground, the pack in the foreground.

quarry, Kit Hill

Yesterday morning (Saturday) was a fine, cold morning with ice under foot and fascinating colours in the rocks.

King crow

slightly smaller than a rook and with a darker beak, this crow posed very nicely in front of the view from Kit Hill