Monday, January 21, 2013

January Sun and Snow

Looking at the weather map over the past couple of weeks, Cornwall has truly seemed to be in a different country (as many Cornish would agree!) with the mild weather we have been having.

The rest of the country seems to have suffered snow and finally today we had a sprinkling. The dogs had a chance for a play, but as quickly as it arrived it was gone. By the afternoon we had blue skies and green grass again and the best snowman this Winter has still been one made of sand.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wonderful Wildlife

While wandering around our fields yesterday, Simon and I were talking about the diversity of plants and wildlife that we have on the land right outside our door in St Just.

Yellow gorse, beautiful pink foxgloves and bluebells pop up in the hedges along with a few unwelcome roots of ragwort that I am gradually getting to grips with. A couple of years ago I collected all the grass seed heads and found over 15 different types in just an acre.

View of our cleared granite wall, fields and rolling hills beyond
The ivy on our wall has been cleared at a great effort, some roots are hanging on in there, but I am hoping that the more we clear, the better chance there is for some more interesting seeds to find their way to the light.

Wildlife on the ground includes foxes, badgers, voles, rabbits and weasels. When it has been snowing the prints on the new snow are fascinating.

We have a resident hedgehog in the garden which finally our lurcher, Stan, is finding a little less fascinating when he meets it in the garden late at night. We found the hedgehog snoring under the pampas grass last February ... so sweet. Since he has arrived there are surely less slugs in the garden so we hope he stays for a while.

In the summer I have seen sunbathing adders up at Botallack, but not in our own fields as the ground and conditions are not so good for them.

In the air, amongst other things we have buzzards, kestrels, bats and the biggest owl I have ever seen sitting on the gable of the cottage one night last year.

And finally at the coast, seals can often be seen bobbing away in the water, and particularly pop up to Godrevy or the Seal Sancuary at Gweek for a real treat. June usually brings pods of basking sharks to Sennen and Land's End which is spectacular seen from up on the cliffs on a clear sunny day.

West Cornwall is a such wonderful place.

St Just with the Atlantic behind.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Don't believe the weatherman!

Interesting to hear today that the Cornishman is reporting that Penzance has had the warmest August since 2006. Who would have believed it?

Certainly the day we visited Land's End in July it was lovely.

With mixed weather for the whole of the summer holidays, I find my memory is fogged (if you will excuse the pun) with mizzly, muggy and rainy days, when in fact the visitor book is filled with messages telling me the weather was actually pretty good. If the bad weather swept in, they just hit the galleries, museums, coffee shops and attractions.

Visitors have arrived saying they watched the forecasts with trepidation before they left home. 'Don't believe the forecast', I say, and each week they return home with tans and smiles and that indicates whatever doom and gloom the weatherman has predicted it has been a successful, if unpredictable summer.

Now that the kids are back at school, and soon the dogs will be allowed back on all the beaches all day, thoughts turn to warm seas and autumn sun. These next couple of months are always the quickest to get booked in our own holiday let, and as I look out my window at blue skies and bright sunshine (yes, I know it was foggy yesterday) I can see why.

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