Friday, 3 July 2015

Skywatch sunrise

This week's sunrise for Friday Skywatch.
We've had some lovely weather.
Two young deer came into the orchard. There has been an apple drop and the fruit must have tempted them in.
 I photographed them from the bedroom window, keeping my distance so that I wouldn't frighten them away.
They stayed for a while and had a good feed before leaving.
We walked across the fields on our way to the woods. The sun shining on the rows of sweetcorn leaves reminds me of a David Hockney painting.
Everything is growing well,
 in a few weeks these crops will reach up to our waists.
Nature is slowly reclaiming the new paths that were made through the woods in spring to take out timber.
It's a lovely time of year.

Cape Cornwall

We know this area well and it has a fascinating history.
The white house on the slope was once the home of 'Elephant Bill' a St Just man made famous by his actions in the Burma Campaign when he assisted the evacuation of women and children by means of elephants across hostile terrain.
Virginia Woolf stayed at the lower house when it was in use by the artist Duncan Grant. She knew this part of the country very well because she had enjoyed many childhood holidays in a house above Porthminster beach in St Ives that was rented each summer by her father. The Godrevy Lighthouse and those childhood holidays were the inspiration for her book, 'To the Lighthouse'. Everything about Cornwall was transposed to Scotland in the novel.  After publication people wrote in and complained that her research had been poor because the flora and fauna that she described did not exist in Scotland!
Large greenhouses used to occupy the lower slope above the harbour. Camellias were grown there and sent by train to Covent Garden in London. Since our last visit a beautiful new greenhouse has been constructed on part of the land. Private property - I had to peep nosily over the wall. I would have loved to have walked through the space!  The new greenhouse is painted grey, a very sensitive response to it's setting and intrudes on the area not one bit, but continues the history of what went before.
We came home with a drawing of Cape Cornwall that our friend had made years ago when he and Himself were running an annual landscape course for the Bristol Art School.
It captures a lot of memories.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Skywatch in Cornwall

We have just returned from Cornwall where we have been visiting a friend who is ill. We usually visit him out of season, in the spring and autumn, when the roads are quieter and places to stay are cheaper, but he was bed-bound and fed-up and in need of cheerful company so we phoned and booked into a B&B and popped down for a couple of days.
The landscape of south Cornwall is marked by the ruins of the tin mining industry, dramatic remnants that punctuate the sky.
I've posted images of this area several times before and we were here just a few weeks ago but on this trip the fields and hedgerows were awash with wild flowers.

Crevasses in the old stone walls provide the perfect place for small plants to flourish. If you click and enlarge this photo you will see the different varieties, including a very small blue plant like a miniature cornflower.

And both wild and cultivated flowers were blooming all about the town of St Ives.

The weather was kind and everyone was in holiday mode, soaking up the sunshine,
playing pitch and put on the green
and shopping!
St Ives has everything that you hope for in an English seaside holiday - I love it! 
The narrow streets of this former fishing village are delightful to wander through
with it's many small homes and even smaller garden spaces lovingly tended.

We walked to the coastguard look-out station, perched dramatically above the rocks (with a sky for Skywatch Friday)

and around the headland
to Porthmeor Surf Beach
and Porthmeor Beach Cafe, the best tapas bar in town. (Where I ate my tapas with such greed that I forgot to photograph them.) It's a favourite place to sit and watch the sun go down, the food is absolutely delicious and the staff very friendly - what could be better!
I remembered to photograph dessert.
On our second day we had lunch at another favourite spot, and another beach cafe, this time Portminster Beach cafe where I ate Cornish clam chowder. Doesn't it look attractive?
And it tasted just as good as it looked!

Monday, 22 June 2015


June really is the month of plenty,
 with a little bit of sun and rain and warmth everything is thriving.
Paul's Himalayan Musk is flowering it's socks off
and the spuds are up and tasting great!
The buddleja alternifolia has completely hidden the seat beneath it.
The perfume is delicious
but it's hiding the white foxgloves,
creeping into the honeysuckle
and throttling the climbing Iceberg rose.
It will get a very severe haircut the minute the flowers have faded!

This stone step is full of broken snail shells, 
evidence that the thrushes have been hard at work.

The abutilon is another shrub that has grown rather out of control and needs to be pruned back after flowering. I'll take a few cuttings when I do so because it's prone to up sticks and die without giving me any notice.

Pinks are an absolute favourite, neat and well behaved, perfumed and, most happily for my garden, not considered a desirable meal by the slugs and snails.

the pond is alive with baby newts!