Sunday, September 26, 2010

the view from Pleasure rock

the Tamar valley just below Gunnislake, looking towards Drakewalls and St Ann's Chapel, on the old railway line from Devon Great Consul mine to Morwellham Quay (see Tamar Valley AONB link for more information about these walks). I wonder how the rock got its name. Below is a picture of Gunnislake from the south side of the valley.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

on the road to autumn


a full moon, and the eerie sight of a moonbow from light refracted from ice crystals in the clouds. Why are moon shadows so much sharper than normal shadows?

Monday, September 20, 2010

not for the faint hearted

no martins or swallows now, but plenty of garden spiders pretending to be much bigger fiercer animals from above.

Friday, September 17, 2010


the martins have left the nest. I hope they make it to Africa.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No, not another boring skyscape. The little black dots that look like grains of dirt on the lens are dozens of martins gathering for the return south. But they can't leave yet because there are STILL fledglings in the nest.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

or fearful symmetry

just making sure we leave the area, and quickly

on the forest floor

this pretty little flower is trailing St John's wort, one of 13 different species of this perennial (hypericum) which range in size from the very small as here to the Rose of Sharon. On close up you can see the little black glands along the edge of the petal which contain various oily compounds including the compounds responsible for its antidepressant properties.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

chaffinch return

There has been a complete absence of chaffinches in the garden this summer but suddenly they have reappeared. Where have they been? There has been a lot of concern recently (see link) about the plight of chaffinches, who are vulnerable to a protozoan infection caused by trichomonas, and we thought that maybe the local population had been infected, but it appears not, at least not completely. I suspect they find easy pickings away from garden feeders.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

very very late

I think there are four very late martins in this nest under the apex of one of the eaves of our house, two of whom can be seen just poking their heads over the edge of the nest.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


It is not Autumn yet but the countryside is beginning to show signs of the end of summer. Puffballs are appearing, and goldenrod is flowering in fields of scabious. And our martins have still not fledged ...they are cutting it very fine if they are going to build up enough fat reserves to fly to Africa.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

drawn in the valley

a couple of images from the studio of a local artist, Mel Guy (see link for more), which magically capture in pewter the rhythm and laminar flow of the Tamar, plus one photographic image of the water which illustrates the visual synergy of metal and water to be found in her work.

Her studio was open as part of an event arranged by Drawn to the Valley, a group of local artists, and part of the ever flourishing artistic scene in the SouthWest. Martin Clark is another member of this group, who lives in Stoke Climsland and paints many local scenes. Aren't we lucky.