Monday, December 30, 2013

flood plains

 When the Tamar floods it creates a new channel through the woods below Carthamartha. The debris contains many of the plastic tubes used to protect the mixed deciduous saplings that have been planted out up stream (top picture). The floor is scoured clean, revealing the first signs of this years crop of purple toothwort (looking very dental!)


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

run run Ron

Today's guest dog Ron (Warnham R, see link), retired racer, doing spirit of running with his friends.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

just missed

It was extremely wet and windy yesterday!

still shell shocked, and hanging on for dear life, or like grim death. (It is interesting that these two similes have the same meaning).

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

very old indeed

Our village post  office (in Stoke Climsland) is 175 years old next year. We will be celebrating!

Monday, December 09, 2013

birds of prey flock together

Up to 14 buzzards have been seen sitting together in these bare fields. Buzzards are usually fairly solitary birds, but they seem to be congregating in these fields, possibly to feed on the worms, or to warm up in the morning in the winter sun.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Christmas tidings from Duchy College

a giant corn dolly prepared by Duchy college ready for the ritual sacrifice of a student (still to be selected) at the winter solstice.

Bal maidens

images from A Hole in the Ground, an exhibition (in aid of NSPCC) in our parish hall of arts and crafts inspired by mining in the Tamar valley and a reflection of the harsh life of young men and women who worked in the mines locally.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Come and have a look

Another exhibition of photographs from Spot's blog is now on show at the Old School Community Centre, Stoke Climsland. Entry free (! of course !)

p.s. Tea towels with this attractive image will soon be available, get your orders in now!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

winter scenes

Wonderful and strange light this afternoon, followed by a crescent moon and Venus brilliant in the evening sky.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

on the first day of winter

Alfie, today's guest dog. I have no idea what he was doing in the top picture, possibly looking for water-fowl or otters, but we had a 2 hour swim and run marathon along the Inny which exhausted the lurchers but not Alfie.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hard though it is to remember, these meadows were full of butterflies only a few months ago (see link). Below is an example of witches' broom, a gall of birch caused by a fungal infection


Light pouring into the woods today, and, away from the sun's warmth, a frost flower in bloom.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


all avian life trying to warm up in the morning sun after a long cold moon lit night

Sunday, November 17, 2013

autumn 13

images from our walk in Greenscombe woods today

deep sleep

A tortoiseshell caught hibernating on a log from the wood shed. It is extremely well camouflaged in this situation by the seemingly drab pattern of the underside of its wings.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, November 03, 2013

windy days

We have experienced a succession of wet and windy days recently. It is hard to capture the wind in a photograph but the pampas grass gives some idea of the strength of the wind. And the scene below is of the Tamar valley in its autumnal clothes. There hasn't been much to photograph recently!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

on the forest floor

Back to more local matters. It looks like it is going to be a good year for mushrooms, and they are beginning to appear in abundance wherever the leaf mould has started to form.

There are so many species of similar looking fungi it is very hard for an amateur to tell them apart. The middle  photo is of a species of russula, probably the aptly named sickener, or russula emetica, for that is what it does. The bottom photo is of slippery jack, a very slimy fungus (reputed to be edible as long as the slimy cap is removed!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

King Canite

we have spent a very pleasant week in Kalkan, Turkey, hence the lack of pictures of heavy rain. All the dogs run wild but seem well cared for, one way and another. They run round looking for people to whom they can attach themselves (rather like sophisticated street chuggers) so we were obvious soft touches. It is interesting that dogs seem to need us to go for a walk. This one seemed Canute like in his willingness to demonstrate that the sea was not to be deterred.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

very last of the summer wine

It was a brilliant if cool sunny day today, and there were several tortoiseshell and red admiral butterflies fluttering about, feeding before their long winter hibernation. There was also a crowd of small coppers (top picture), the last of several generations this year. Later generations are supposed to be larger but these were very small if bright butterflies. And there are still a lot of bumblebees around making honey while the sun shines.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

woolly bears?

a very large caterpillar found crossing the road up to Kit Hill. It looks a bit like the caterpillar of the tiger moth known colloquially as woolly bears, but it is very large for a tiger moth caterpillar and a slightly different colour. I haven't been able to identify it. Many caterpillars are leaving their food plants now to look for somewhere to hibernate.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

welcome visitor

A nuthatch, in its characteristic upside down feeding position, making a rare visit to the peanuts. It is a feisty little bird and tends to drive off other birds when it is feeding.

Monday, September 30, 2013

little and large

the smallest of the small (? mycena or marasmius sps) growing in a forest of moss, and a large parasol mushroom emerging in a hedgerow.

now what?

Spot following in his mother's footsteps (link)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

a tissue of life

this little white drab daisy like flower is sneezewort. It is odd how something quite common like this can pass one by. Apparently the smell of it can make a man (and presumably a woman) sneeze. It was widely used to treat toothache, and blocked noses. Its leaves have a biting  hot taste and have been used in salads. Found in Ged's fields at Bridestowe yesterday during a very pleasant walk, and lunch at the excellent White Hart Inn (see link) who have an enormous Great Dane puppy which put the fear of dogs into Spot.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

we'll ring you

Not all of our red telephone boxes have been removed, and some have been pressed into new life. Not sure that there will be a riot in Latchley any time soon.

Tamar views

Reflections in the river, at Latchley, below Old Solomon's farm.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

a different universe

The location of this image is given away by the fine silk strands holding the bubbles.