Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

butterbur and snowdrops


It was misty this morning, so we went for a long walk, to the site of the butterbur patch (top photo), where as predictably as ever, the flowers are emerging once more. The colours this year with a mixture of orange (old) and green (new) have been striking. Not far from here we found some otter spraint which suggests that otters are active on this part of the Inny, not that with 4 hounds there is any chance of catching one unawares. We saw one once for about 15 seconds, on the other side of the river, during a great spate, when it had been flooded out of its holt. We remain hopeful that the renegade Gunnislake beaver will move upstream and pay us a visit. At 6 1/2 stones he sounds like quite a character. In the meadows Mole has been very busy, but no sign of Ratty.

the eponymous dog

well, it is his blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

lambs' tails


lambs' tails, aka catkins (see link), the flowers of hazel, are out in another sign of the end of winter. Hooray!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

washing the dogs



washing the dogs in the stream just below Luckett village. Luckett is in a 'bowl' in the landscape, and the village stretches up hill on both sides of the bridge (see below, taken in 2002). It is hard to believe that this was one of the most industrialised areas in the world not that long ago. In fact mining created a large part of the local landscape, but it is slowly retreating behind thick ivy into woodland and ruin.

Luckett woods

It was a lovely, soft sunny light this morning, with a blue tinge to the mist in the Tamar valley below providing a marked contrast to the orange of the winter undergrowth.

Friday, February 13, 2009

snowdrops in Cornwall


The first celandines are showing their sunny yellow faces in the hedgerows, a good couple of weeks later than last year (see last year's pages) . It is an excellent year for snowdrops, seen above near Broadgate. And my favourite complex type of snowdrop flower is back again, it obviously isn't uncommon around here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

dawn over Kit Hill


a fiery dawn, heralding a shift to calmer kinder weather. Life tends to come to a grinding halt when it snows because of lack of grit. Which sort of grit depends on one's view.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

more snow from Cornwall




"OK," you can hear the lamb saying, "the joke is over". Above are pictures of Rezare, and Sharp Tor/Bodmin moor in the distance.

Friday, February 06, 2009

still snowing in Cornwall 1



more snow greeted us this morning, bringing life to a complete halt as usual. The rooks were enjoying a bit of apres ski, the goldfinches were trying (impossibly) to look inconspicuous, and the drive into Duchy College looked very picturesque.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snow in Cornwall 4

but not as much fun as mum, the abominable snow dog

making her first snowperson


looking like one



note great paddle paws for climbing on other people's snowmen



do I have to go home now?

snow in Cornwall 3


we, of course, have had a great time, as will most children until the novelty wears off


especially spike's best friends above (spike, being white and small has disappeared)

Snow in Cornwall 2

the snow seems to have the effect of cleaning the air, making the light crystal clear. In the background, on the edge of the hill you can see what is known locally as the Temple. This is a folly built in late eighteenth century (see link). You are very welcome to come and stay there.

Snow in Cornwall 1


It doesnt often snow here but when it does it makes a pretty picture. I love the suffused bronze light as the snow clouds make way for the morning sun.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

changing course


and here is some evidence that after a very wet few weeks, the Inny is changing course. And yes, that is us on the right minding our paws and qs. Pixie hat is off-course travelling travel cone (yes, there is a really interesting link).

star drops

wild snowdrops at the confluence of the river Inny (on the right) and the Tamar. There are snowdrops out everywhere now, and the wild daffodils are coming.

star jelly

every now and again we come across these odd blobs of jelly on the paths through the woods. They look like frog spawn without any sign of eggs, and, as is obvious, are out of water. This specimen is about 8 cms across; occasionally they are much larger. It could be a slime mould, but maybe it is true star jelly (see exciting link), from a meteor that has fallen to ground nearby. For an exhaustive discussion of this phenomenon see this link. Any other ideas?