Mr RR and I are back in Cornwall. I have to say that, despite the excellent company and the charming streets of the city of Oxford, it is a joy to be walking in the countryside again!
We’ve had a night of rain so we stepped out all geared up for storms today, but we were lucky and returned home dry if just a little muddy!
Thanks for reading
Target – 1000 miles in one year. Weekly goal – 20 miles
Total achieved so far – 162.4 miles (target 160)
Achieved this week – 12.1 miles
Porthleven Circular via Penrose Estate and Loe Bar
Well, here we are, back in Porthleven and keen to get out for a walk despite the overnight rain. So with boots and gaiters on and waterproof trousers packed, we headed down through the village and alongside the inner harbour towards the coast path. The swans were safely dabbling among the moored boats and the outer harbour boards were in place for protection as the tides are high and the sea already rough. It’s not as cold as it has been over the last few days but its very cloudy and threatening rain with a blustery wind churning up the waves.
We walk along the coast towards Loe Bar, then turn left up the steep hill to the new Penrose Path. Out to sea a huge container ship is at anchor but otherwise there’s nothing to see except a guillemot swimming like a duck in the water and diving every now and then for food. This bird lives most of the year on the open sea, coming to land only to breed on the cliffs. It feeds on fish – cod or whiting, sand eels or sprats – and this one is dipping and diving frequently, so either he’s hungry or he’s found a good feeding site and is having a feast!
We plod on through the mud which is exceedingly slippy on this path, noting a buzzard sitting calmly in the middle of a field, perhaps waiting for a rabbit to put in an appearance. Past the fields, some newly planted and some with last year’s crop still evident, and along the top ridge from where we can look down on to the lake.
Once we round the corner past the farm, we’re headed through the woods. The fir trees are black in the dim light, their trunks saturated and eerie looking. The dog in the photo below is not mine by the way – he just, very cleverly, inserted himself into my picture, but he was a nice dog so I let him stay! (No RR jr. – it’s not Alfie!!)
Further down the hill, the ground is covered by rust coloured bracken, quite beautiful against the dark trunks and just peeping through, the new shoots of bluebells, reminding me that in just a few weeks these woods will be carpeted in blue. A sight worth seeing if you get the chance.
Now we’re out of the woods and on the tarmacced path alongside the lake. The walls are lined with pennywort with their shiny green leaves – also known as navelwort, nothing to do with ships as I thought (!!), but because the leaves look like your navel apparently!!
I’m pleased to note that the herons are back right on cue – you will remember that the females arrive in February to start nagging the males to get on with the nest building. We see three of them, across the lake in the usual spot. Also a family of great crested grebe – two adults and a juvenile. On checking the book about collective nouns for birds I see that I should have said ‘a posse of herons’ – not sure I like that, sounds a bit wild west to me, but a ‘waterdance of grebes’ is just lovely isn’t it?
As we round the corner back onto the coast path the wind whips up and we hurry along towards Porthleven, eager to avoid the rainstorms. However, we get back to the village without any sign of them and indeed the sun is trying to shine, breaking up the clouds to reveal a watery blue sky. A quick stop in passing to collect pasties for lunch and we’re home!
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Andrew Major: