Saturday, April 30, 2011

wedding weekend

two images from our village life during this very special weekend. All of the food (and much more out of sight) was prepared and  provided by local people for free (and eaten) as part of a day long celebration of the great wedding, followed by dancing late into the night (we even have our very own band of ageing but extremely good bad boy rock band, the Mets). The church fete took place the next day and a flower festival was held in the church. Local couples provided images of their wedding day and some 20 women allowed their wedding dresses to be displayed. All in all a beautiful and satisfying time for all.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

I know

it happens every year, but it is a spectacular sight deep in the woods, a blaze of luminous blue in the dappled morning light. Unfortunately it doesn't last long.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

cowslip corner

cowslips growing in abundance at Kingsmill farm (a very good place to stay if you are interested in the flora and fauna of the Tamar valley, see link)

 and it has been a very very good year for dandelions

just built

the heart suggests this barn at Treven farm (home of Jill and Den Long) was built or rebuilt as part of a marriage settlement (not Jill and Den's I should add). Below is a picture of the stone at the end of the pig barn. It clearly has an ecclesiastical origin but when and where from?

foxing the opposition

I'm red, the cows are red, no one will notice me creeping up on the chicken run

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ramson lane

walking down the woodland path surrounded by ramsons, which in their own way are just as pretty as bluebells. Martins and swallows are around if not quite back. Several started rebuilding the old nests at the front of Orchard House but then left and have not returned (yet). What is going on?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Ramsons (wild garlic) in flower by the Lynher near Golberdon being inspected by his lordship.


this very old collie can be seen every day sitting at this spot where he spends his retirement guarding the gate to Ashburton farm near Kelly Bray

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

violet oil beetle

Bug Watch  have asked for sightings of oil beetles (link), and today on a walk along the Inny valley and up through Carthamatha we found this one (male, probably violet species) wandering across the footpath. As the link explains these beetles have the most amazing life cycles. Unfortunately when we tried to submit our sighting the site link broke down.


the lower picture is a better picture of the same species outside our house a few years ago (and qv ). I think they must be quite common around here

Monday, April 18, 2011

home guard

Spot on duty

not as pretty as it seems

this is the variegated form of yellow archangel. Although pretty, it is almost certainly a garden escapee, and in that there are no gardens nearby it is probably the result of people dumping their garden waste at the entrance to Rowden lane (a bridle path in the parish) rather than taking it to a tip. This is also why there are some spanish bluebells on the other side of the lane. They are slowly working their way along the lane and will inevitably displace or hybridise with the extensive beds of native bluebells further down the bridle path. It may seem harmless but this casual thoughtless behaviour is destroying our native flora.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


this is the flore  pleno variety of cuckoo flower (aka mayflower, lady's smock etc) which is common in local meadows by the Inny. The dew drops looked very pretty in the bright sun this morning.

orange tips

The air in the meadows by the Inny was full of orange tip butterflies today. They are jittery butterflies at the best of times but do settle to feed on mayflower and dandelion. The male's orange wings makes it very conspicuous although it ought to be called a brown tip. The female is much more demure and the underwing is cleverly camouflaged to fit in with meadow grasses.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Friday, April 08, 2011

mayflower on a misty morning

the local flora is surging with new found life. Mayflowers are appearing everywhere. The weather is fine but in the river valleys the mornings are cold and misty.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

meadow fritillaries

Fritillaries growing at Cotehele. For one moment I thought they were wild but one of the gardeners told me that they were planted (ours never flowered!). My flower book describes them as being "gregarious in damp meadows" which seems to fit them well. Below are some very large and bold marsh marigolds growing near Cotehele Mill.


 Up very early this morning to take some pictures at Cotehele. It was a misty morning and the light was very difficult being both bright and dull! This photo shows Calstock viaduct in the background running across the Tamar, with the magnolia in the gardens at Cotehele just coming into full bloom.

the bridge at Cotehele with crab apple blossom

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

learning to fly fish

The Tamar Valley Tourist Association (Tavata) met at the Arundel Arms (link) for a talk by Mr Fox Edwards, followed by some tuition on the gentle art of fly fishing and a cream tea by Tinhay lake (full of recalcitrant brown trout). Quintessential England. Spot doesn't usually do advertising but the Arundel Arms really is something special.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Spring frost

blackthorn  buds covering the hedges like a layer of frost, and it is out in the sunnier spots

it is reminiscent of the haw frosts in December last year (qv)