Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Summer Holidays

It's Cornwall; it's Summer; the holiday season is here and the county is teeming with tourists.  It makes life a bit difficult to get around as the main roads are very busy and crowded and our narrow lanes are easily clogged by motorists who are unable to cope with the constant reversing that we residents take for granted.  But that is part and parcel of living in such a beautiful county and popular holiday destination and we cope as best we can.

My own family were here last week and I was looking forward to taking many photos to put on my blog as we went out and about.  But what a miserable week it has been - rain, rain and more rain for the most part, fog and mizzle for the rest with the briefest appearance of sunshine towards the evening.  By living here, I accept that bad weather goes with living on the Moor, but I always feel sad when people come down here for a well-earned holiday and they miss out on sunshine and the beauty of the county.

My son donned his walking boots one day and hiked across Bodmin Moor for many miles, following the paths he knew from the time when he lived here, eventually arriving at lunchtime at one of the popular foodie inns, where my daughter-in-law, myself and our friend met him and enjoyed a leisurely meal before walking my dog and heading home again.

My grandsons enjoyed 2 Activity days - one where they were tree-surfing and one where the activities were water-based - wind-surfing, paddle-boarding, canoeing, etc. and luckily those two days were the best ones of the week. Sadly though, none of them saw the sea at all . . . a week in Cornwall without sight of the sea.

We all did a lot of reading!  My son did work in my garden and made it a lot tidier.  They left at 4.30am on Saturday morning in order to avoid the extra traffic forecast because of the rail strike, meaning many more cars on the roads in and out of the West Country - and they made excellent time, thank goodness.

It was so lovely to see them and spend time together; I just wish we could have made memories with some days out together.  However, they did enjoy relaxing and meeting with my youngest son and his family, plus time with old friends, so it wasn't a wasted week by any means.

Sod's Law dictated that on the day they left, the sun came out and we had a fine, warm and sunny day - and the butterflies came out in force, attracted by the Buddleia bushes.

I'll leave it to others to identify the variety - apart from the Red Admiral, I have no idea what else was there.  Is one a Peacock butterfly?

This one appreciated the warmth  of my bedroom windowsill.

No butterflies on the Mini Cyclamen but they look so pretty in my
Mediterranean pots that I thought they deserved a place on my blog!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

An August snapshot.

It was quite a spectacular sky a few nights ago.

Traffic jam on the coastal road; sheep with a lovely view - I wonder if they appreciate it - and one poor ewe with a terrible haircut.  Do you think she stormed out of the hairdressers?

A bit further along the lane, inquisitive cows and although most kept their distance, one allowed me to scratch behind her ears and rub her neck and face - she seemed to really enjoy the fuss and conversation!  When I left, there was a chorus of "moooos" . .

Like the sheep, they also have a beautiful sea view and there, nestling in the hillside is the coastal village of Portwrinkle with Rame Head and Whitsand Bay beyond.

A pretty cottage in Millbrook.

And from window boxes in Millbrook to what remains of my colourful garden after the relentless wind and rain we've been having.

Chilli Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes in the greenhouse need several days of warmth and sunshine in order to ripen (so do I)!

 A white Buddleia - which doesn't seem to attract the bees and butterflies like the purple ones.

Zac lying in his favourite shady spot in the garden.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Cows Stuck in a Tree!!!!

After reading that news heading, I just had to report it within my ramblings.

A cow and a bullock have both had lucky escapes after both getting their heads stuck in the same tree days apart.
The animals were found wedged at Trelissick House in Cornwall.
During the first incident last Friday, staff on the estate spent half an hour trying to find a way to free the bullock before deciding to chisel away some branches to release its ear.
In the second incident, which happened on Tuesday, a cow did exactly the same thing and was again freed by staff.
National Trust worker Craig Hardman said he thought it was a joke when he was told about the first incident.
But when he arrived at the field and saw the bullock's head stuck in the sycamore tree he said he realised it was actually quite serious.
"We don't know why the cows did it," he said. "We've looked at the hole and there is nothing of any interest in there.
"We just think there were some insects in there that attracted them. Maybe they just wanted some alone time.
"We don't know how long they had been stuck in there when they were spotted.
"We've had two different cows get their heads stuck in the same hole four days apart. To my knowledge it has never happened before.
"It is a bit of a weird one."
The National Trust has now fenced off the tree to stop the cattle from doing it again.
They belong to a local farmer and graze on the estate near Truro.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Away from the madding crowds

Thousands of people have come down to Cornwall for their summer holidays, making for very busy roads and crowded beaches, so I chose quiet scenery for my day out last Friday, starting with a lovely woodland/river walk on the Lanhydrock Estate.

Of course, Zac thoroughly enjoyed the river.

Watch out for the tree roots which are ready to trip the unwary.

What a lovely thought - but Zac ignored it and chose his own bathing spot.

After this walk - LUNCH, but we were so hungry we had cleared our plates before I remembered to take any photos.  Suffice it to say it was Great!
Then I drove up onto Bodmin Moor with its almost empty lanes, a few ponies and cattle and stunning scenery, eventually arriving at the Colliford Reservoir, where I set up my chair on the grassy verges of the lake and read my book while Zac enjoyed the freedom to explore and dip in and out of the water.

Apologies for the surfeit of 'Zac' photos but he enjoyed the day as much as I did - especially all that water.  I took home a very wet, very tired but very happy dog.

Oh, I joined a local art group this week and although I was rather nervous, I had a go - and painted this - it is far from being good, but it's surprising how much better a painting looks when it;s been cropped and framed.  Such a pity that I managed to get my reflection in the glass!!!!  Doh!