Monday, February 29, 2016

QUIET PLEASE....

The Grey Seal can curiously claim to be Britain`s largest land mammal as it spends much of its time hauled up on isolated coves around the Cornish coast.  One of the best places to see them is at Mutton Cove, close to Godrevy and if you follow some basic rules you have a good chance of seeing the seal colony there.  The seals like a peaceful life, so it`s best to keep as quiet as possible - and keep dogs quiet too - and not perform any sudden movements, as the seals are very sensitive to any kind of disturbance which will make them quickly scurry away into the sea.

So, keeping quiet and keeping as still as I could, I managed to capture this image of the seal colony enjoying the beach at Mutton Cove........

(Please click on photo for larger image)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"THE SONG OF THE SEA"

One of our best walks ever was from Lands End eastwards to Nanjizal, or Mill Bay as it`s also known.   Now Lands End itself can be busy with people but if you keep walking away from there it`s not long before the isolation of the Cornish coast means you can have the place to yourself.   And what better place to be than at Nanjizal with its secret beach and the natural arch of The Zawn Pyg, also known as The Song of the Sea.   For it is here that, as the tide rushes in through the archway the sea seems to sing to you as it crashes against the rocky wall of granite.    It`s a determined ambition of mine to get there again....before it`s all too late.......


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

LIGHT IN THE FOREST....

Well, hardly a forest, more just a wood but it`s where I take Barney for a scamper each week - he likes being let off the lead and he knows every inch of the wood, so I just follow him around really.  Anyway, I took my camera and was fascinated by the late winter sun bringing some light to this quiet woodland glade............


Saturday, February 20, 2016

THE DISTANT HORIZON....

I took this photo whilst standing on the cliff top between Porthcurnick beach and Portscatho.   Just out to sea is yet another Gull Rock - so many rocks off the Cornish coast have the same name - and the first headland you see, the one with the coastguard lookout, is Pednvadn.  Next is Nare Head and beyond that is the Dodman, at 374 feet the highest point on the south Cornwall coast.   And just visible on the distant horizon, if you click on the photo to make it bigger, is the outline of Rame Head, almost at the eastern boundary of Cornwall.

Over the years we have walked most of this whole section of coast path, climbed Nare Head and The Dodman  and marvelled at the beauty, the solitude and the peace of mind that, whatever the weather, inevitably comes with each visit.   No wonder we`re already booked for another visit.......

(Please click on photo for larger image)

Friday, February 19, 2016

ALL CHANGE....

A bright sunny day today after a sharp frost and these ducks on a nearby lake seem to be enjoying the sunshine, especially as the ice has gone.  Trouble is it`s all change tomorrow and over the weekend as cloud and rain is due to sweep in from the west and the gloom of winter will return.......

(Please click on photo for larger image)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

FALLING TIDE....

Oh for those days of summer.  I looked out this morning to a sharp frost, ice on everything, people scraping car windscreens; and my mind wandered back to those lazy, hazy days spent on a quiet beach, just standing there and watching the falling tide drift away .......




Sunday, February 14, 2016

BETWEEN THE TWO...

The twin hamlets of East and West Portholland are quiet, peaceful, out of the way and largely ignored by `tourists,` although their peace and isolation might be affected since they were used as locations in the Poldark television series - both the new one featuring scythe-wielding, chest-baring, bodice ripping Aidan Turner and the original which starred Robin Ellis as perhaps a more understated Ross Poldark.

Anyway, Portholland is somewhere I love to visit and last time we were there I took this photo of the coast path section which, as well as a perilous road, links the two villages. The scenery is always changing, seemingly with the tides, the weather and the light and, for me at least, this photo brings back memories of my visits there and, I hope, captures the essence of this more remote part of Cornwall`s south coast.......


Friday, February 12, 2016

LITTLE AND LARGE....

Some years ago now, I was on the Hythe Ferry on the way home from watching a game at St. Mary`s Stadium and just as the ferry left Southampton Town Quay, one of the gigantic cruise liners - I can`t remember which one - inched its way out of the Ocean Terminal and was on course to slice through the ferry.   Of course, it didn`t happen because the ferry skipper knew his place and backed off to let the cruise liner go on its way.  It was pitch dark and I remember looking up from the ferry at the enormity of the cruise ship, all lights shining, and looking just like a mobile block of flats.

This photo I took from Calshot reminded me of that incident, with the yacht having a close encounter with the container ship.......



(Please click on photo for larger image)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FOOTPRINTS....

I`m almost reluctant to post this picture I took at Porthcurno on Cornwall`s south coast, for it was hereabouts that a gentleman from the RSPCA  became lost whilst apparently attempting to rescue seabirds who had been stranded in the recent Storm Imogen.   The search for the missing gentleman was called off late yesterday "until further information becomes available" and it is a stark reminder that however beautiful the coastline may be in good weather, it is something quite different when the storms arrive.........


Monday, February 08, 2016

A ROCKY PERCH...

I`ve never been very good with birds but this one caught my eye perched on its ledge high up on the cliffs between Soar Mill Cove and Salcombe on the Devon stretch of the south west coast path.  Could be a Cormorant, could be a Shag - someone might know - but whatever it is I thought it made for an interesting picture.......


Saturday, February 06, 2016

NORMAL SERVICE.....

Having exorcised the memories of my long ago military career, I will, as promised, return to perhaps the more agreeable pursuit of posting photos I have taken of places that I have visited and enjoyed.   So, here`s one from last Autumn.  I`m strolling along the steeply wooded banks of the West Lyn in north Devon when I hear a tinkling of water.  I look up and see this rather enchanting rivulet cascading down the hillside.   Sometimes it`s the small things that provide the unexpected.......




Thursday, February 04, 2016

56 YEARS AND COUNTING...

4th February is always a date I remember vividly....and especially so as this year the 4th falls on Thursday.   For it was 56 years ago this very day that, as a callow innocent, I made the long journey to Catterick in North Yorkshire to begin my 731 days of National Service for Queen and Country.  It was all enforced, of course; no excuses, no arguments, you just got on with it - I wonder how such conscription would be greeted by the young men of today, especially as callow innocence seems to be in short supply these days.

These pictures (for a change not my own) remind me what it was like - the endless training, the bullying, the compliance with good order and military discipline, the Queens Regulations and the exposure to that great contradiction in terms known as military intelligence.   I can still remember my Army Number - like a phone number it`s ingrained in my memory;  and I still wince as I recall being shouted at as to what my "orrible spewy name"` might be.   You see, even after all these 56 years, the memories are still raw, tinged only with a lifelong aversion to any form of compulsion, yet comforted by the lasting friendship of others who endured the same experience.

I hope you might forgive this little self-indulgence  on today of all days. Normal service will be resumed shortly........





Wednesday, February 03, 2016

AND ANOTHER ONE....

Had a wander around the local orchards yesterday afternoon and was disappointed to see that yet another orchard has disappeared under the plough.  For some years now I have managed to do the odd bit of scrumping in what used to be a very productive Conference pear orchard.   But it looks like yet another of the Kent orchards has gone the way of so many others. Just look at it now.........


Monday, February 01, 2016

A DARKER SIDE...

Away from the tourist hotspots, the holiday havens and the bright sunny coast, there is another side to Cornwall.  Places such as Bodmin Moor, the mining villages and the inner townships of places like St. Austell and Redruth tell another story and whilst they may show a darker, more forbidding side to life, even here it`s possible to capture a different kind of magic which can be just as compelling.   Here`s a photo I took showing the churchyard at St. Minver in all its mystery and eeriness which might show what I mean.......