Storm’s blowin’ in

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Filling the sky in the south and east … can feel it coming — a heavy blast of hot humid air blowing before it. Appar­ently it’s not going to be too bad, just very wet but we’re a little exposed up here and they always makes us anxious. I suppose we could all do with the water but … and but — dribs and drabs would be so dull, damp and English
Leccy off in the studio this evening I think.

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Beauty and the Beast.
The dipsacus all over the farm are all doing their beauti­fully raggedy rising tide flowering at the moment.
But beware those thorns — they’re lethal.

The Year of the Fog

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This year will defin­itely go down as … winter, spring and summer — feels like half the year has been shrouded, occulted, drained and drowned in fog.
Here condensing in jewels, as is its wont, on an alche­milla mollis in the yard.

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Is that a colour combo to die for or what? Furtive little nasturtium weaving its way through the herbs.

Horrible Humans

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Humans are uniquely crap — unique in the natural world — we alone deplete our habitats to the point of our own destruction … errr … or not.

gull rocks
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This week’s high point was Penhale Point looking at the uniquely-named Gull Rocks … errr … or not. I have noticed a certain lack of imagin­ation or perhaps just a plain liter­alness in Cornish nomen­clature.

antenna 1
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One of the many beautiful engin­eering install­a­tions in and around the army camp.

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Purposeful, beautiful and Brutalist. Bond villain lair cum power station. I could live there.

antenna 2
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Looking back, North East, to Trevose Head.

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The wild thyme was covered in hundreds of gorgeous cinnabar moths … which are not as easy to catch on camera as you might think.
Their stunning yellow and black hooped cater­pillars infest ragwort — I remember them from childhood summers in Wales — and infest is the word — to such an extent that few survive to adulthood as they rapidly exhaust their food supply and resort to canni­balism. Charming.
How quaintly human of them.
So we’re not unique after all? I’m shocked. We’re as natural as cancer.

Hello Stranger

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A beautiful summer evening peram­bu­lation with a glass in hand … and what do we stumble over? A solitary orchid in the green in front of the house.

So I tried and I tried … online, downloading pdf’s … to identify it. I THINK it’s a common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii). My best guess.

Well of course it’s going to be common … but it is not common in Cornwall and it is beautiful, unexpected, new, and a sweet delight.

Trebarwith Strand

The forecast was wonderful and yet … once on the road … oh the wind and the rain. Aye aye aye.

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So, after lunch, we just kept going, chasing the fleeting gleams of sun and blue sky.

gull rock
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The lovely day eluded for an age and miles and miles … but we were exploring by now … there’s something almost maniacally addictive about un-mapped cruising, choosing the smallest road, the steepest hill, the darkest vale … the un-signed fork in the road. And so we “discovered” Trebarwith Strand and Gull Rock. Another hidden gem … honestly. Well, it was new to us … and early in the season — wonder­fully quiet.

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The great thing about Cornwall is that you can never really get lost. You can get quite anxious, feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere and then you see the sea. Facing North; turn left — south; turn right … sorted. There’s only a couple of places you really wouldn’t want to run out of fuel. I would never say where. But … they WILL eat you. Seriously.

We declined even to dip our toes in the water and, as the tide was high and rising, we scaled and clambered around the shattered rocks and cliffs.

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And then, when the sun did finally come out … OMG … the light was beautiful.

sun and sea
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Spring Lamb

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Under a clear blue sky, amidst lush green grass, on a gentle slope above the Helford … in the midst of life I suppose.

And yet … what was so shocking? The kitchen surface next to the cooker can look so similar after a lovely dinner party. Weird world.

Why do farmers just let them lie? On one of those National Trusty, Waitrose-organic, ruminant-centered farms too … like I said.

And so … from the Top

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So tempting. Last night … long after sunset. Spinning … dizzying … promising a cleansing dip into the whirlpool.

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First day back on shift — man cold has wiped me out for nine days — sheesh.
And a short walk is as much exercise as I can handle.
Wandering along forgotten paths … spring already lush even without rain.

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Sorry, couldn’t resist …


Up country and down the Roseland peninsula to the other, the posh soft, St Just for lunch in the sub-tropical church yard and then a tranquil, soothing wander round to Messack Point and back.

Origami unfolding.

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Dragons tiptoeing into the stream.

dragon paddle
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Penny pies in a shambling Cornish hedge.

hedge pies
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What you lookin’ at? Come on then … think yerr ‘ard enough? A sort of Waitrose Rack of Lamb farm full of beauti­fully cared-for sheep, all with shaved arses like a maternity ward.

mother and child
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And finally to Messack Point itself looking across the Carrick Roads to Falmouth harbour.

fal trees
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With its own spontaneous, emergent art install­ation.

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And then back through the woods along the Fal.

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And a spectac­u­larly crippled oak, broken-backed but still immensely powerful … posit­ively majestic.

broke back oak
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The weather was sublime and I totally failed to catch the little pod of dolphins we saw, porpoising upstream on camera … bugger … ho hum.

The Desolation of Capital

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Spent the afternoon clambering around the post-apoca­lyptic scifi, giants’ legoland desol­ation of the St Just Mining District (a World Heritage Site).

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Must have been hell on earth as men delved far out under the sea, digging for tin, copper or whatever was profitable this week, and men women and children processed the stuff up on the cliffs above, smashing rocks and scraping arsenic with their bare hands … at the edge of the world … spending their lives making money for scum.

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And thank­fully there have been no attempts to prettify or sanitise anything.

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It is hard and raw and grim and still wild and beautiful …

until it all disap­peared into the gloaming and the fog.