Friday, May 31, 2013

dear Spot
I don't know what the weather has been like in Cornwall but here in Alaska it has been simply perfect, as you can see, and even the orca has taken to sun-bathing. See you soon.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


dear Spot
the one thing a big fierce bird hates is a little fierce bird, bald eagle meets crow.

ossum journeys 2

dear Spot
train across the Kenai peninsular.

the trees in the bottom picture were killed in the great earthquake of 1964. You in particular will appreciate the joke the guard told, that they are called silent dogwood because ...... they have no bark (ha, ha!).

ossum journeys

dear Spot

we have just completed a train journey across the wilds of Alaska. On the way we saw moose, bears, a porcupine up a pine tree (very appropriate), and best of all, a golden eagle. None of these is very common in Cornwall!

Glad to hear Meg is still visiting.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

some sunny day

we are off on our annual adventures on Saturday so Spot will lose his secretary for a couple of weeks. We will be sad to leave the apple trees in full blossom and the forgetmenots looking very bright, and the equine students practising for Duchy College open day

more Cornish walls and hedges

The walls can become covered in moss and lichens, another effect of our our cold damp climate

old walls

we are surrounded by old cornish hedges and walls (they are much the same sort of structure). Hedge trees grow on top and in these walls and reach enormous sizes given the precarious nature of their base.


the bluebells are just reaching their best, some one or two weeks later than usual

Sunday, May 12, 2013

duck watch

anxious duck keepers out early this morning to check on the new arrivals, picture taken by Jo at Farrier's Lodge. Those ducks don't know how lucky they are.

spring continues

bluebells in the woods at Kerney Bridge, and the lovely double mayflower found locally

Saturday, May 11, 2013

new on the block

one of the two baby mistle thrushes that have now left the nest and are being fed by the parents on the ground. The feathers are subtly different from the adult plumage in that the head and back feathers are tipped with white creating a patterned effect (which I have exaggerated in picture below).

the ramsons are out

Carletta took us for a walk on Thursday at Old Solomons Farm where the ramsons are out. Ramsons appear to be flourishing everywhere locally in this wetter cooler weather.

and now we are four

 where are we, I can't bear to look

Elizabeth this is Jemima, Francis, this is Cloe, Cloe Elizabeth, Francis, Jemima, no this is Cloe, that is Jemima. Wait a minute, this is .....

come on in, like ducks to water

well, this is the life

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Saturday, May 04, 2013

hole in the wall gang

When our neighbours were strimming their boundary hedge wall this robins' nest was accidentally uncovered.

 The robins seem relatively unflustered by the nest being exposed, and the youngsters were only interested in being fed.

The nest site is now discretely hidden so with any luck the brood should survive the constant predations by magpies, rooks and jackdaws. Yesterday I saw the sinister shape of a sparrowhawk wheeling about but it was immediately harried and chased off by an angry and very assertive mistle thrush nesting in the vicinity.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

herald moth

This is a herald moth which I found on our garage ceiling. I am not quite sure why it is called a herald moth. It might be because it reappears in April, heralding Spring, but I think more likely it is because of the smart 'tabard' it is wearing. You can also see in the top photo that it has rather dainty black and white ringed legs.

taking a break

This brimstone settled for long enough to be photographed. Despite the brilliant yellow appearance of the male when on the wing they look quite greenish when the wings are up.

Taking a breather (it wasn't that hot but motherhood is hard work)