Friday, 29 May 2015

Rodgersia; May Flowers & Failures; Posers!

First of all my thanks for the responses to my question about the Triffids; Elaine suggested they were Castor Oil Plant, but I already have one of those in the back garden, one which started life as a small house plant but grew and grew until it was evicted to the garden.  It now lives happily outside and is a strong healthy plant. It's leaves are very similar in shape to the Triffids, but whereas they are shiny, the Triffid has hairy leaves.  Then Kathy identified it as a Rodgersia - it seems to be a Rodgersia Bronze Peacock, which will gradually turn green, before producing stems of pink flowers. 

In fact it is already changing from bronze to green - 

The previous owner of my garden had several varieties of geraniums; such tiny flowers but very pretty -

Remember those poorly strawberries?  They are looking good in the greenhouse -

As are my Cherry Tomatoes - I tried in several places to find them but it seems that everyone else wanted them.  Then in one of the smaller nurseries in this area, I found these three healthy plants, two different varieties too.  Really looking forward to tasting these.

But look what the rain and high winds have done to the last few tulips - 

But they were very long-lived, unlike this poor little delphinium, which never even made it out of its pot before the slugs found it and ate it!  Grrrr!

And finally, the obligatory appearance of Zac the Border Collie, this time with his walking mates, Goldie the Labrador and Rua the Red Setter.  Photo taken mid-walk on Kit Hill yesterday by Barry Hobbs, the feller who thinks he's in charge of the dogs. Lol, lol!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A quiet couple of days.

I haven't been out walking since Thursday; it has actually been sunny and HOT!  Too hot for Zac to go walking until the cooler evenings, so I have just pottered in the garden instead.
Remember those Triffids that appeared suddenly?  Well, they are definitely growing taller in just 2 days.  If anyone can identify them, I'd love to hear from you.

This Japanese Willow (Flamingo tree) is supposed to be a fast grower, but I think my particular tree hasn't read the descriptions.  It hasn't really grown much in the 4 years I've had it; I do trim it twice a year to encourage the pink colouration of the leaves, but it is soon going to be eclipsed by the vigorous Peony which is growing fast beneath it.  At this rate, the Peony flowers are going to look as though they are growing on the Willow!

These tulips are still going strong, long after all the others have died off

The Azalea in the front garden had been very hard pruned, so much so that all that remained was a chestnut brown base of branches with no leaves,  But shoots sprang up from it, then buds appeared, tightly closed and no hint of colour.  But look! It's a gorgeous bright orange - I'm so chuffed. 

I love the pattern of raindrops on this leaf.

and to end, not a Zebra crossing . . . 
Typically, they stand on the roadside, waiting for a car to come along, then decide to saunter across!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Zac excelled himself today, having walked with one of my friends from Downderry to Seaton along the beach where we (the humans!) had a nice lunch at the Beach Cafe and the 3 dogs had a rest and a drink.  Then afterwards, Zac and I went out along Rame Head to enjoy the beautiful views and to enjoy a walk around the promontory.

The start of Sharrow Point coastal path:

The beach a long way below -

The lifeguards' hut, perched precariously on the cliffs -
On the right of this photo, St Michael's Chapel standing high on the headland of Rame Head.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Triffids, Cows and Blue Skies.

There be Triffids about!  Two weeks ago I took a photo in this area and there was absolutely no sign of these brown, palmate leaves; they suddenly sprang up - and I suspect that, just like Topsy, they will grow and grow and grow. 

This one has a flower in it.

A vivid pink Azalea amidst the Euphorbia. I heard a comment on the 
Chelsea Flower Show programme today that orange Geums look good
against Euphorbia too.  I may get some next year. 

 A series of reds in more muted tones:

So, having found the Triffid, I went out in search of some lovely scenery on this sunny, DRY day! Headed towards Looe and turned off to photograph the branch line that runs between Liskeard and Looe, alongside the Looe River.  But the tide was out and there were no beautiful river viewa, only mud flats, so I stopped astride the railway track and looked up and down the line.

The Looe River emptying into the sea alongside the Banjo Pier: I had to snatch a photo as it isn't the best place to stop on the narrow hill leading up to Hannafore.

Now on the coastal path between Looe and Polperro (though we didn't walk all that way) this is the view across to Looe Island, also known as St. George's Island ; the tide was so very low at that time that it might well have been one of those days when it is possible to walk across to the Island. 

Zac and I are staying on dry land today, though. 

Traffic Jam!!!  The ladies were ambling back to the adjoining field and a refreshing drink in the stream. We offered to wait until they were through the gateway, but they stopped . . and chewed . . and looked round at us . . . so as it was  stalemate, I decided we would go first and show them the way.  Devon Reds are a very  docile breed, even when they have youngsters at foot, as these had, so they agreed the new strategy and allowed us to pass. 

From there, we walked on through more fields until Zac reached 'his' stream where he made his way down into the water and lay full stretch under the little waterfall . . . . and that's when my camera battery died! Oh the number of times on the way back that I saw fantastic photo opportunities - so frustrating.

Never mind, I shall be meeting up with friends and their dogs tomorrow and my camera will be fully charged.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Reading? or Walking? Oh, OK then . . .

Oooohhh look what was delivered today, just in time to stop my withdrawal symptoms after finishing the 4th Poldark novel, "Warleggan", this morning.

There are 3 more in transit, but I think I have enough to be going on with in the meantime.

The funny thing is that when I finished reading "Warleggan", I felt as though Winston Graham had ended the Poldark series there, as he had neatly tied up most of the loose ends - it was almost a case of everyone 'living happily ever after'.
There were a few little niggles, though . . .
So how surprised was I when I picked up the 5th one "The Black Moon" to find an Author's Note in which he says that he had indeed only written 4 Poldark books and it was many years later, when his writing style had changed and he had written many more books on different subjects, that he started to wonder himself what might have happened to the Poldark and Warleggan families after that final novel.  And so he started to write "The Black Moon" to continue the Poldark saga.  He explains that it was difficult to re-learn the style of writing he had used all those years ago. But, by George, he did it! They are seamless.

Now enticing though they were, especially after reading a couple of chapters, I had to make a choice; on the one hand a pile of books calling to me and on the other a big, fed-up dog wanting to get out and go walking and exploring.
Yes, the dog won; I couldn't resist those eyes (or the constant whimpering!)

We followed the track of the old wagon route which brought the granite down from the Cheesewring quarries high on the Moor, some of which was used in building Tower Bridge in London.

There are fantastic panoramic views as you climb steadily higher - although it wasn't as clear as on a sunny day.

Finally, this was as close as we got to the famous Cheesewring rock formation, which gives its name to the quarry, also the the Cheesewring Inn in the village of Minions where we started our walk.  The path continued, but we didn't . . . because part of the path had fallen into some old mine workings and had been covered temporarily by a large sheet of zinc that Zac refused to even step on.  I had to agree with him; it really didn't seem that safe, so we turned back, but found a different route down.

This was also a well-trodden path, human feet as well as cattle, ponies and sheep and dotted with huge chunks of granite which were handy as a seat for me and shade for Zac.

It was good to get out - we had to dodge a few sharp showers - but now I can read with a clear conscience.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Changeable weather.

As you can see, we have a pool of fish now; they will follow your cursor and if you tap the cursor, you can feed the fish. :D
This caught my eye while I was trying to add a Google Follower button and my silly sense of humour won.  Thank you so much to ElizabethD of Cornish Cream for providing the link to a very good website where I found out how to add that Follower button.

Seaton beach in sunshine . . . . 

Kelp, washed up by the tide.

Then the sun went in and the wind picked up . . . . 

Brrrr, it doesn't look so inviting now, does it?

I was hoping for a colourful sunset, but although the wind died away and the sea became calm, it remained cold and grey.  I drove home through torrential rain and had to sit in the car waiting for a chance to get myself and dog out of the car and in home.
Roll on Summer!