Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Typically Tropical

Replete with Cornish Pasty, we ventured into the Tropical domes at the Eden Project, trying to distance ourselves from the unruly groups of children who were not being supervised by their teachers.
Things were much more lush in these warmer domes.
Of course, a 'selfie' was necessary...!
As you would expect in a rainforest environment, water was the main theme, with streams running through the plants and many waterfalls, which gave a nice background sound.
Here, as in the temperate zone, flowers were a little scarce, but what few there were, made a brave show.
More rushing water, this time from a much larger waterfall.
The humid conditions allowed for some wonderful epiphytic 'Spanish Moss' Tillandsia, to grow from the branches of overhanging trees.
The Pineapples were not quite ready for picking, or we might have been tempted to help ourselves!
One of the highlights of these tropical domes, were the Roul-roul, or Crested Partridges which ran around our feet. Malcolm took these pictures, firstly of the female bird...
and the male.
Their constant twittering, little calls were as delightful as the birds themselves as they worked hard keeping down the population of bugs which might be detrimental to the health of the plants.
Leaving the domes behind, we visited the art installation called 'Infinity Blue'. This is a huge sculpture 8.5 metres tall, representing a tiny cyanobacteria which appears to 'breathe' a scented vapour which it puffs out periodically, in smoke rings. A strange concept, but weirdly mesmerising!
Time to leave and head out via the vastly over-priced gift shop. Needless to say, we didn't purchase anything from there, but the prices certainly gave us a laugh on the way out!

Monday, 20 January 2020


Rather than head home from Newquay all in one trip, we decided to split the journey and spend the last night in Saltash, near Plymouth. So, on the way there and as the weather had taken a turn for the worse once more, we dropped in to the Eden Project.
Driving conditions were if anything, worse than they had been during the storm, but at least it was dry once we got in the 'domes'. We started in the more temperate, Mediterranean section and were greeted with a nice display of Bougainvillea.
Being the middle of winter - even in the domes - there wasn't much in flower, but these Fuchsias were doing their best.
It's almost twelve years since we were last here and things have grown a bit in that time. Not least, these palms.
The Arum Lilies were glorious...
and some of the citrus fruits were strange to say the least. This one is known as Buddha's Hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis) for obvious reasons.
Some colour was to be had...
and some weird and wonderful flowers too.
It made a change from the decidedly grey weather outside.
Time for a bite of lunch and then into the warmer, tropical 'domes'. But that's for tomorrow!

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Clear Spell

Once the storm clouds had passed, we were treated to some beautiful, blue skies and sunshine to enjoy the coastal scenery.
The wind had died down a little, but was still strong enough to whip up some pretty hefty waves as we walked around the Pentire Peninsula and looked across Fistral Bay, towards the Towan Headland.
A few brave surfers were bobbing about in the breakers, but mainly, it was all about the views.
Where sea meets rocks, you always get a bit more drama...
and a bit more spray in the face!
In the opposite direction from the town, we had a long walk towards Porth and the Trevelgue Headland, crossing Porth Beach Bridge on the way.
From the Iron-age settlement of Trevelgue Head and looking back towards the mainland, a panorama takes in the sands of Porth Beach on the right and Whipsiderry Beach on the left.
Below, sheltering from the wind on the cliff face, a pair of Fulmars seemed to be more than happy with each other's company.
Whipsiderry Beach makes another fine panorama picture too, before heading back to town - time for a Cornish Cream Tea, I think!!!
More tomorrow..

Saturday, 18 January 2020

New Year, Newquay

It's a bit of a late start to the new year, but Malcolm and I have been down to Cornwall for a few days, staying in Newquay.
The forecast was horrendous and we contemplated trying to either move our booking or cancelling altogether. But in the end, we decided to take the bull by the horns and 'go for it'.
Driving down there, in the middle of storm Brendan, was interesting and we arrived in gale-force winds and heavy rain. But the foul weather didn't last too long and we managed to get out and about as usual, starting with the parks of Trenance Gardens, where the Camellias were already in full flower.
A little early, even for these beauties.
Under the railway viaduct...
and into the more formal gardens...
things were looking quite spring-like, despite the weather.
On a small island in the middle of the stream which runs through the gardens, a Little Egret was enjoying some respite and shelter from the high winds out on the estuary.
The local Pigeons pf course, were not bothered - by anything!
We had the whole gardens, almost to ourselves.
Leaving them behind, we made our way along the Gannel river, back to town the scenic route.
Lots more to come.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Looking Back - part 4

We will finish this troll through the year, with a few pictures from the last three months and October started with an all-too-brief visit from Malcolm's Swiss cousin Christine and Hansüli. We had only a short time to enjoy their company, but we introduced them to fish and chips - with mushy peas of course...
showed them round some of our usual walks...
and the sights of Derby too, including - by chance - the Knife Angel...
and The Moon!
Autumn had taken hold of the countryside by this time and in a rare moment of sunshine, we got to take in the glorious colours of the season.
There were some rather scary encounters on the way, such as when we came across this 4-spot Orb Weaver...
but most of our wildlife encounters, were of a more picturesque nature.
It was fungi time of course and the Fly Agarics were rather good this year...
Even the wildlife in our back garden, was adorable.
November's weather remained wet and pretty miserable and the old canal was filled once more, to overflowing...
and it was well worth spending a few moments watching and listening to the rushing waters of the brook too as it tumbled and gushed through the trees.
At Straw's Bridge, the swans were always hungry (no change there)...
and we had a rather more exotic visitor, in the shape of this beautiful Egyptian Goose.
They don't refer to it as 'Swan Lake' for nothing!
Sunshine was rare, but much appreciated when it came.
Finally, into December and our return from a few days in The Algarve.
We had some fine weather - although not quite as good as the forecast had promised...!
Some beautiful scenery...
 and a couple of new 'ticks' for my life-list, including this fabulous little Bluethroat.
Lots of other birds to see too, including Spoonbills...
and the diminutive Fan-tailed Warblers, or Zitting Cisticola (love that name.!)
Malcolm was every bit as photogenic, but not nearly as wild, despite turning 57 while we were there.
Back home and things were looking a bit more like Christmas...
So, that's about it for another year, which just leaves me to wish a very happy New Year to all who deserve it - and see you on the other side.