Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
After seven weeks of incessant rain the sun has finally come out. It was a lovely misty morning. All the local buzzards immediately headed for their favourite perches on the top of telegraph poles where they can watch rabbits from a far. Unusually, this buzzard did not object to being photographed; too busy sun bathing.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
if you are an avid reader of Spot's blog you may remember a picture of him standing by a tree in the middle of the Inny (see link). Here is the same tree, 10 feet under water. There appears to be a bulge in the water level here presumably because it is where the Tamar (in spate in the background) and the Inny meet. The water level rises dramatically under these conditions.
Below is a tangled wood photo. It turns out that this pond is by a very ancient road down to the ford at this point. In the mist we can hear the faint sound of footsteps of people long gone, tramping towards the future.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
we were very lucky today because we met Mr Nigel Jonas on our walk. He owns the woodland that leads to Bishop's rock, a rocky crag overlooking the Tamar valley below Carthamartha (and also known as Carthamartha rocks on older maps). He showed us the splendid view from the top of the rocks. Unfortunately, even after all this time, the photographer forgot to reset his camera for the bright light. So this is a somewhat doctored picture of a buzzard wheeling in the valley below. This link will give a better idea of the view (link). It seems to be a very ancient landscape with numerous iron age hill forts, and a bronze age trackway leading down to one of the easiest fords across the Tamar although in this weather, to use an old joke, England would be cut off.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
no, not a scene from the valley but an image of the stunning beauty of Monet's lily pond at Giverny which we visited on our recent travels via Santander, Haro, Alquezar, Rodes, Apchat and Chevreuse. It is reassuring somehow to see how similar our own beautiful valley can be to Giverny. And to realise that Monet was truly the father of digital photography.
Kit Hill Quarry (!)What with the wind and rain, poorly knees and Harriet managing to cut her hind leg badly it is time to take a break from blogging for a bit.
If you are visiting the blog for the first time there are many pictures of the Tamar valley and its flora and fauna within the blog, best viewed by using the labels in the list on the left hand side of this page, or by searching on a specific word or phrase.
We will be back when we are all strong enough to go for a proper walk!
Friday, October 02, 2009
it has been a bumper year for wild plums. These are growing in the hedgerow at the bottom of our garden. The plums are called damsons, possibly because they originate in or around Damascus, and were introduced to Britain by the Romans (see Wikipaedia).
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Carletta came all the way from Maine to visit us. As you can see she was very easy to train, and we quickly had ourselves eating out of the palm of her hand. The woods and meadows are a bit drab at the moment, but it was nice to have a visitor. Anyone else for a guided tour? (please bring own biscuits).
Sunday, September 20, 2009
and a late comma, with very pretty markings on the border of its wings. This is the second generation, and usually they are darker. I thought this specimen was lighter but when I checked for earlier images it is actually darker which may be why the markings on the edge of the wing show up more clearly.
the meadows are full of scabious. I think this is devil's bit scabious, rather than field scabious, Devon in the background. The scabious in these meadows seems quite variable and comes in two distinct colours, dark blue purple and pinkish, and some in between.
everywhere seems to be a very luscious green at the moment. This is taken at one of our favourite places to take a dip before the serious business of the long walk begins. A tree has fallen into the river adding to the sense of lush vegetation on the river; sometimes with the birds singing in the canopy it feels almost like a tropical jungle.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
this odd looking creation is a female scorpion fly (Panorpa communis), lacking the scorpion like tail of the male, but looking like a horse from the Andromeda galaxy. Its habits are fascinating (see link). This one was clearly inebriated and was unable to stay upright on the leaf. I suspect it had been at fermented fruit juice. They are primitive insects and may have given rise to all other flying insects.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
our first proper walk for almost 4 weeks, wading through mud, swimming, eating bur docks, and generally looning about. This little plant is gipsywort which only seems to grow in one marshy patch locally. It is a member of the mint family although it has no obvious scent (or use). The flowers in the meadow have almost gone, except for some scabious (plus hover fly),
and knapweed (plus bee, ?) although now that I look closely at the picture it could be yet another bumble bee mimic, a hoverfly called criorhina floccosa or berberina,
a very small blue butterfly, which I thought might be a small blue, but on closer inspection it is a female common blue, feeding on its favourite plant, bird's foot trefoil. The small blue caterpillar feeds mainly on kidney vetch (qv) of which there is none locally as far as I know.