Sunday, 28 February 2010

a very small visitor

a wren, posing for a quick portrait before getting on with whatever it is doing ...eating insects or nesting?

Saturday, 27 February 2010


primroses have been adding a splash of yellow for some time. And today, in the milder weather, the first celandines have appeared

Friday, 26 February 2010

at the end of the road

by some happy chance there was gold at the end of the lane this evening.

Thursday, 25 February 2010


more catkins (nothing else wild is out yet except snowdrops, of which we have blogged enough for this year)

green tips

the greening effect of the metals in the spoil tip is very obvious at this time of year.

inner piece

freshly laid in a puddle full of it, I wonder.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

more about addicroft

well, here is a testament to the power of the web. By looking up Addicroft and coming across this site (link) about memories of Cornwall, I discovered that Addicroft Mill was the home of Thelwell, the amazing cartoonist (this is a link to his site which is well worth a visit if you need cheering up) of fat ponies and oversized riders, amongst much else. His autobiography, which I have not read, is entitled "A millstone round my neck" about this very place. I confess to borrowing this picture from his web site, but I hope it will introduce more people to his humour.

four finches and a moon

Spring remains in abeyance and as a result there isn't much to photograph just yet. Nevertheless these male chaffinches are polishing up their plumage for the mating season and hanging out together looking for trouble, just like the kids on the block. We have just finished watching the story of Luna, the orca together (dogs and humans that is). We all share the view that there are deep connections between us that transcend the barrier created by spoken language. It has made me think about the meaning of sentimental(ity). I tend to use it I think to disparage feeling. It is derived from the latin word sentire, to feel. Maybe if it is used to mean feeling or sensitivity to the mental state of others without words it is in fact a very useful concept.

post script (25/Feb/10) .... after orca eats woman story from Sea World, Florida today, I wouldn't have let my 7 year olds stroke Luna no matter how sentimental I felt.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


Addicroft is a little hamlet in the Lynher valley between Kerney bridge at Golberdon, and Rilla Mill, just above Plushabridge. This is one of the quietest and prettiest places in the valley. There is nothing to say what this old ruin was, and it is not marked on the OS map. Maybe it is the site of the old mill even though it is well above the river.

almost there

the catkins (lambs' tails) are well out now although everything else is waiting for something ... like a bit of warmth.

Monday, 15 February 2010

of snowdrops and molehills

it is not only above the ground that we can see some signs of life flowing back into the cold blue veins of Winter's dead hand upon the landscape. Below the ground some small folk are becoming very active. This molehill is enormous and suggests that the builder was unimpressed by any metaphorical reference to a certain lack of ambition by moles and was single handedly setting out to change the world. In the top picture note the hairy dugong in the Inny.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

on the road to Horsebridge

two views of lanes, one to the major metropolis of Pempwell (top), the other (bottom pic) to the ancient bridge over the Tamar (Horsebridge, or Horsa's bridge) across which lies the equally ancient hostelry, the Royal Inn, in Devon, England (Dartmoor is visible on the horizon). Just to the right of the lower picture you can see another of our little finger posts.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

the crocus is out

whatever the weather, the crocuses are out. Crocus is also slang for a quack doctor.

frozen spawn

there was a sudden profusion of frog spawn about 10 days ago in every puddle and ditch. Today they are all frozen solid. I hope this does no harm. I doubt it; if they were that sensitive they would never survive the average English Spring.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Saturday, 6 February 2010


this picture captures better than most the hectic flow in our little babbling brooks. My friend Brian , who occasionally makes an appearance in the comment columns as the Rationalist, and who is, I have just learnt, the celebrated author of the seminal work on de-umbilification, drew my attention to a passage in the Book of Silence by Sara Maitland which I want to quote in its entirety because it describes what we seek on our walks and occasionally find.

" And there, quite suddenly and unexpectedly, I slipped a gear, or something like that. There was not me and the landscape, but a kind of oneness: a connection as though my skin had been blown off. More than that - as though the molecules and atoms I am made of had reunited themselves with the molecules and atoms that the rest of the world is made of. I felt absolutely connected to everything. It was very brief, but it was a total moment."

For me these moments seem timeless, and above all I feel present and deeply interconnected, the boundaries have dissolved, but it is wordless, pre-verbal; and Spot shares this with me. It is not thought free, in fact it feels deeply thoughtful but wordless, unconstructed, unlabelled. I think it must be how we thought before we used names to crystallise out the world around us, and perhaps is similar to the inner mental space of other creatures like Spot.

life in a snowdrop

we have been out experimenting with a long neglected Sigma 105 macro lens. It is very different. The snowdrop is one of the complex multi flowered heads that grow wild locally, the drop is for fun although it gives me the germ of an idea.