Thursday, June 28, 2012

butterfly heaven

white admiral (top) and purple emperor (bottom) on same day within 10 minutes of each other. I love France!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

off we go

They are off to France and Spain for a couple of weeks so we are off the leash with Auntie Ruth!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

small pearl bordered fritillary

we went in search of the marsh fritillary today at Wimalford farm which lies in the long narrow valley of the Fowey river that runs down from Bodmin moor south of Jamaica Inn. The area is very marshy and covered in low scrub, cotton grass and heath spotted orchids. It was dull and overcast and we didn't find any marsh fritillaries but we managed to spot two small pearl bordered fritillaries, one of which was torpid enough to allow some close up photos.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

after the show

elegy on a steam engine

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The plume of steam winds slowly o'er the lea,
As the engine homeward plods its weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

two herds and a tractor

It was Duchy College open days this week end. I am not sure what the equine students were doing but they enjoyed it, including Daisy and the boy in a tutu.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

giving way

a traffic jam on a sunny evening (large dog behind pony is Sox, not visible is shetland pony on leading rein, and Jess, spaniel of Goosewell, below, who was all dressed up in hot pursuit of Harriet, who also is feeling quite hot)

Monday, June 18, 2012


wall pennywort (also called navelwort, aka umbilicus rupestris) growing on hedge boundary wall with some foxgloves, Duchy College in the background, and the first tortoiseshells of this year's new batch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

heath fritillary

at long last, a photo of a butterfly (a very tattered heath fritillary) on a butterfly orchid, it is a meadow icon. I am not sure why butterfly orchids are so named but I have never seen a butterfly on one before. There are a lot in the meadows this year. The butterflies were very docile after 48 hours of wind and rain which allowed some unusually close close ups. I have always liked the effect created by sunlight shining through the wings.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Red robert

Herb robert on the edge of the bridge at Beals Mill. It shows the rich red for which the plant was named (see previous page on blog). The lichens are probably as ancient as the bridge which looks medieval.

across the fields of ragged robin

it continues to rain, and the Inny meadows are wet and dreary although there was some bedraggled ragged robin.

tamar valley news

I only show again this unusual picture of our beloved river Tamar looking unusually blue to provide an opportunity to advertise a BBC programme on the valley which manages to capture some of the essence of the beautiful place we live in (minus the mispronunciation of the place names) and which lies at the heart of this blog. The village of Gunnislake mentioned in the programme lies across the ridge at the top, and Cotehele is the building below the woods to the left of the picture. I am not sure if visitors from outside UK will be able to access the film but if you can it is well worth watching.

link to BBC programme

Monday, June 11, 2012

frog aid

a frog in the hand is worth .... ? For some reason we have had an invasion of frogs indoors, so we gently escort them out.

meadow magic

The sun brought out the butterflies today, they must be getting desperate! The range and balance of wild flowers in Greenscombe (I am never quite sure whether this is spelt with one 'o' or two) meadows are always slightly different year to year. This year there are lots of ox eye daisies, and dozens of butterfly orchids (great and small). There are dozens of heath fritillaries, so it seems that they are now well established in this tiny spot.

The characteristic feature of the heath fritillary is a black spot in section S2 of the underneath of the fore-wing. This is not visible in the bottom photograph (typical!) but at least it shows a good view of the patterns underneath the wings.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Royal Cornwall Show 2012 3

we always like to check out the opposition (no lurchers allowed, pedigree chums only)

and one of the highlights are all the old steam and traction engines, alongside massive new tractors, a snip at £150,000.

Royal Cornwall Show 2012 2

Prime beef big boy exhausted after taking first prize, and sheep walking. Even by our grim standards the weather has been foul, and the sheep marquee was wrecked by the wind. Not that that stopped anyone from having a great day out.

Royal Cornwall Show 2012 1

prize winning pigs taking a quick nap, and some pig fanciers in a nearby stall (taken with permission!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


our grounds are so full of birds now they even want to coming shopping with us to make sure we get the right kind of quality birdseed. This is a very juvenile pied wagtail hitching a ride.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

two juveniles

house sparrow and bullfinch juveniles putting up with more wet weather.

Monday, June 04, 2012

the call to jubilate

the beacon on Kit Hill casting a fiery light into the heavens

tent moving day

And Diamond Jubilee Day as well. Our community spirit to the fore, the tent was moved to its new site on the school playing field. You can tell that the roads around here are fairly quiet, but a space was left just in case. Not even the rain could dampen our spirits entirely, thus providing a truly British spectacle. The best moment? The choir singing Jerusalem in the rain (see link)!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

a reigny day

we are celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this weekend. Unfortunately it looks as if it is going to rain on her parade adding pointed meaning to the words of our National Anthem, it does seem to have been quite a wet 60 years. Another major event in the calendar also falls on this weekend, Luckett duck race.

the bees and the buttercups

Spot told me that there was a letter in the Times this week about the absence of bees in fields of buttercups. I am not sure whether bees bother to visit buttercups but as this photograph shows there is no obvious shortage of other smaller pollinators. I think vehicles probably destroy more insects than anything else.

some of my favourite things 2

and two heath fritillary butterflies, the first I have seen this year

some of my favourite things

marsh orchid, lesser butterfly orchid and heath spotted orchid, all out in Greenscombe meadows today.


A juvenile goldfinch. The lack of a red cap is very striking. For the very first time a grass snake was spotted in our paddock, just in time for RSPB wild bird and animal count.