Flashback Friday #40

On the 1st October 2015 I was raving about my new macro lens which I took on a walk to a nearby broadleaved woodland down by the River Teme in Ludlow. One of my favourite places to walk when I lived in the town.


little things in life

A fellow blogger and friend has been posting some images of spring in Australia including close-ups of moss starting to sprout. It prompted me to take my new macro lens down to the river where I knew moss grows abound and where I had seen some tiny fungi growing just the other day. Unfortunately it was quite dark by the river (it is flanked by a high cliff and trees on the one side) and moss isn’t as attractive in its latter stages, but I did find the fungi and a few interesting little things to photo. They are not the sharpest of images, but as I have mentioned over on the flower blog where you will find more macro images, I am happy to record my journey with the new camera with the hope that as time goes on I will improve!

We will start with this quite small leaf covered with tiny hairs on which there were beads of moisture – from the early morning fog I imagine.

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Next a look at some fungi – note that the puff ball ones are actually very, very small, probably the size of the nail on my little finger.

Then some moss – again with the droplets – ferns and a couple of flowers. I had not realised until now how much the spores on a fern look like tiny eggs.

And finally one insect (there was a spider too but the quality of that shot is far too embarrassing to post here) a bright red-brown fly. If you click on him to enlarge the image you will see the hairs on his back.

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This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Flashback Friday #39

This is a fairly recent post from 2019 about the place where I live in response to a Lens-Artists’ challenge about the word ‘Magical’ posted on my Cornish blog – Cornwall in Colours


My Magical Place

Summer already seems long ago; the year has swiftly embraced autumn. The light is subtly different now. The sun is lower in the sky and shadows are longer and hard-edged. There is warmth in a sheltered spot, but an underlying chill lies in the air like a harbinger of winter.

The country lanes are no less interesting with the hips and haws and berries, wild flowers turning to seed; the bracken copper brown. On a clear day Trencrom hill still affords the most wonderful views to the Celtic Sea in the west and Mount’s Bay in the south.

Last week’s “micro harvest moon” (so named because it is the smallest it has been for a while on account of being at its furthest point in its orbit around the earth) appeared tiny and bright in our cloudless sky. So bright it kept waking me up during the night as it rose around sunset and set at sunrise. By early morning it had changed from being silvery white to golden yellow before sinking behind Trink hill. At the same time I saw the most wonderful saffron sky at dawn on my early morning trip to the bathroom and once again chastised myself for not yet having gone up onto ‘my’ hill to see the sun rise. In contrast the evening skies have been glowing red and orange and purple or more subtle peach and lilac. My favourite time of the year for sky watching is here.  From my magical place. Home.


This post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Flashback Friday #22

Garden Portrait: St Michael’s Mount

I have traversed to St Michael’s Mount several times over the years and even climbed up to the castle itself a couple of times, but I have never been to the garden as it is only open for a short time from the end of April until September. But this year I was there on the first open day of the season at low tide so that I could walk over the causeway connecting the island to the mainland at Marazion.

View back to the mainland and Marazion

It is the most remarkable garden exposed to gales and salty winds, but the Gulf Stream keeps the frosts away and the granite rock acts as a giant radiator – absorbing heat by day and releasing it at night creating a micro climate in which all sorts of  plants flourish from Mexico, Canary Islands, New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa.

The Laundry Lawn

The gardens are on the rocky slopes and are not easily accessible with the steep and narrow paths, steps and terraces and require constant maintenance and conservation to keep them in good condition. As you enter the garden on the east side  you follow an avenue of Cordyline australis with views over Mount’s Bay towards the Lizard. The Laundry Lawn is a place for relaxing, playing and picnicking. The steep bank to your right (see header photo) is part of the defences during the English Civil War and on your left is a Pill Box from the second world war. And as you reach this point, you see ahead of you the dramatic East Terrace, rearing up above your head to the east wing of the castle.

Now comes the difficult part. To reach the upper slopes you have to scramble up the steep paths where aloes and agaves rear out of the bedrock and exotic succulents cling to every crevice imaginable. Some paths have steep drops, some have handrails, others do not. Aloes flourish and on the top you reach The Tortoise Lawn where you find a Victorian well. Another pathway takes you into the Walled Gardens. Not only do you need good footwear, but also a head for heights as below you is the dizzying drop to the sea and above you rises the sheer sides of the castle.

Lower Terrace

A profusion of colour greets you as you move into the West Terraces. South African Osteospermum spread over the granite walls. I am taken aback as I only know these as late spring and summer flowers and it is still only April. Geraniums, pelargoniums, Leucondendrum argenteum and Aeonium rise up amongst Agave and Aloes.

Walls, Railings and Mount’s Bay

The planting on such steep slopes is overwhelming. I am lost for words as I look around me, not knowing which pathway to take. I have never seen a garden like this and I am stunned to think what I have been missing all these years.

And all the while you are aware of the great expanse of the bay, the endless sky and the incredible clear light and all the hard work that must go into creating and maintaining such a wondrous garden. It is magical.

View towards Newlyn, Mousehole and the Minack Theatre

A separate post will appear with close-ups of some of the succulents in this garden. It was just too difficult to decide which of my many photos to leave out!

And this is a birthday post for the OH who unfortunately was unable to access much of this garden due to the nature of the terrain and his vertigo. But he was very happy to test a bench for me and look out over the bay towards the Lizard peninsula whilst I meandered. (Between you and me I think he was grateful to have a rest )

Contemplating and bench testing in the former gun emplacement area

We first visited this unusual garden in late April 2015 when we just happened to still be in Cornwall on holiday when the garden opened up for the season. Usually we were either too early or too late. We have been back since, but this is my first impression. Originally written on my flower blog for my OH’s birthday at the end of May, this post is a contribution to Fandango’s Flashback Friday. Have you got a post you wrote in the past on this particular day? The world might be glad to see it – either for the first time – or again if they’re long-time loyal readers.

Life in Colour

Bonus Pinks

I couldn’t finish this month’s colour challenge without one of my favourite April flower – the tulip.

This is a late flowering tulip called ‘Greenland‘ – an orchid rose-pink with green stripes.

(Coincidentally, this month is ending with a pink super moon which occurred on the one night that we had cloud cover! I did see it floating in and out of the clouds looking nice and big and not in the least bit pink! Apparently named after a native herb known as creeping phlox is coming into its pink bloom. (Native American))

This is the last week for the colour pink so get yours in before Sunday.