Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
the first marsh marigold (one flower in a sea of green) and the first greater stitchwort appear by the side of the Inny. We record these first sightings for future reference. Yellow and white flowers are difficult to photograph in the wild without a filter. The raw images have been modulated to exaggerate the detail and reduce the highlights.
meanwhile, rising above all this colourful confusion and doing its best to look like a drab brown twig is this indolent slow worm warming up in the sun. So indolent indeed that it allowed me to move the leaves (of herb robert) covering its head to take a closer look, blinked a bit and went back to sleep.
green alkanet is a handsome plant with a vivid blue flower. The naming of the plant seems to suggest some degree of colour confusion; the name alkanet is thought to derive from the arabic al henna (arabic is very guttural) for red from the red dye extracted from its roots; I would have called it blue alkanet myself. Growing alongside this plant is a very unusual white variant, no doubt best called the white green blue red alkanet. The leaves are deeply fissured and the plant is described as "roughly hairy".
Duchy College, on a sunny Sunday morning after a very wet and windy Saturday. Unfortunately Spot has taken to chasing horses; they do not like it and if this blog stops suddenly it will be because he has had what passes for his brain kicked out of his very silly head.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
we like the contrast between the catkins, now out in abundance, and the deep blue sky. Presumably catkin is a corruption of cats' skins but ... it turns out , on good authority (OED of etymology), that it probably comes from a corruption of the dutch word katteken or kitten, or the French word chaton.
the lesser celandine, closing up in the evening sun
There is a flower, the lesser celandine
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain
And, the first moment that the sun may shine
Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again
by Uncle Max, with some assistance from WW
(did WW really get away with such trite verse?)
industrial archaeology reveals the original mill (to the left) underneath the monstrous corrugated iron carbuncle at Beals Mill. Very soon the little cottages in the shadow of this great hulk will be bathed in light again ...we will keep an eye on the progress of the demolition work.
lesser periwinkle (unimaginatively derived from the latin pervinca when it might have had all sorts of old english connotations). It is a ground covering plant, usually found near habitation, but growing wild in the south west. Good for fertility when eaten by both parties, and nose bleeds in Christians (and no one else?). It is a lovely light purple blue.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
a hellebore growing underneath a hedge tree. Not sure which type but probably a garden escapee, the purple edges are typical of stinking hellebore. Spread by snails, and used to make violent purgatives for worm infestations; unfortunately the treatment tended to kill the patient as well and thus fell (eventually) out of favour
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
the villages of Venterdon and Stoke Climsland are situated between the methodist chapel on the left and the anglican church on the right. Unfortunately there is no pub between them. Dartmoor is visible bathed in sunlight on the far horizon to the left.
Monday, March 17, 2008
our wistaria (named it would seem for an American anatomist, Caspar Wistar, hence the 'a' rather than an 'e', although everyone seems to spell it with an e enywey) is lagging behind the rest of the world (see link)
scurvy grass (qv), spreading along road verges throughout Cornwall; it flourishes in the salty conditions that follow salting the roads in winter. The buildings in the distance are our local junior school, and if you enlarge the photo you will see some red blobs which are the children wearing their vivid red school jumpers out at morning play time.
our village and the church as seen from the main drive into Duchy College, our local university of agriculture, based at Home farm which used to be where Prince Charles stayed when he was visiting his Duchy (most of the rest of Cornwall).
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Spot has also been quite taken by all the interesting interiors on other blogs so he would like to show you where he spends a lot of his time working on his blog. The painting on the right is by Rose Hilton, and the pastel on the left is by Bryan Pearce, two very interesting artists although for very different reasons. Poor Bryan is dead now but his work is going to live on for a very long time. Spot, of course, enjoys looking at himself.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Spot feels very jealous of the blogs (link)he has seen recently with pictures of other people's ancestors; he has roots too, so here are his great grandpa and great granny Fox. He knows how proud they would be that he also is a prize winning lurcher. Great granny looks just like Harri, except that like most Victorians she has a very thick neck.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Carthamartha, the ancient hill fort can be seen just peeping up above the line of farm buildings, the bank of fog is in the Tamar valley, and the much smaller line of mist in the foreground is in the Inny valley. It looks as if someone has combed the land. Spot's interesting discovery today is that rooks build their nests in exactly the same place each year and are not much use, therefore, for predicting the weather.
Monday, March 03, 2008
for me this is an enduring image that epitomises something about this quiet little bit of Cornwall, something restful and loveable and endlessly satisfying.
(painting by paintshop pro XI ... I wish I could paint like that myself. Perhaps it does count as creative painting but just in a different way that anyone can achieve)