A Curfew of Curlews!

Monday, 11th May 2015

Good Afternoon

Sometimes it’s good to repeat a walk – hopefully you’ll remember the route so you don’t have your nose stuck in a book or be scouring a map most of the time.  The weather will be different, flowers will have bloomed, birds flown in – it’s altogether more relaxing.

Today we went back to Flushing and walked along the river.  It was warm and sunny and delightfully peaceful.

Enjoy reading

Ricketyrambler x


Flushing circular via Mylor Churchtown (5 miles)

Across the water, in Falmouth Docks lies RFA Lyme Bay – the RFA standing for Royal Fleet Auxilliary.  This is a combat vessel, according to the Royal Navy website, capable of delivering a fighting force anywhere in the world and carrying vehicles, stores and ammunition to support amphibious assault.  Lying just behind her, we can see RFA Argus – a casualty ship equipped with a 100 bed  medical complex recently returned from supporting the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Lyme Bay

Our route follows the Carrick Roads river estuary round to Mylor Creek before turning inland to cross fields back into Flushing.  We last walked this way on 1st April this year – you can read about it here.  Today it’s a beautiful Spring day, the water is calm and there are clear views across the river to Falmouth and St Mawes.

Crossing the meadow in front of the Trefussis Estate we notice the thistles especially – you remember that earlier in May I was struck by the pattern that the newly emerging thistles made:

Common Thistle Rosette
Common Thistle Rosette

Well, now they’ve all grown up and are in flower.  Great spikes are sticking up all over the field – not especially attractive until you get close and look at the bright pink flower:DSCF1012 DSCF1013 DSCF1015

I think these thistles, with tightly packed groups of buds are Marsh Thistles – very spiny!

Just ahead of us, down on the shore we spot a couple of black backed gulls and an egret alongside a group of about twenty curlews – a Curfew of Curlews!DSCF1104

As we watch, they take off into the air calling their distinctive ‘cour-eeee’ from which they get their name.  Although they’re close, they’re well camouflaged against the rocky shore and too quick for me to get a picture.  But just along the way, the egret poses nicely in a rock pool although the distance is too much for my camera and a disappointing shot results:

Egret
Egret

Halfway around this walk, we can stop for a cup of tea and a delicious scone at the Mylor Cafe – so delicious that I ate it before remembering to take a picture!  Never mind – we sat outside in the sun and watched the boats in the harbour and the swallows and house martins swooping and diving through the air.

Harbour at Mylor Churchtown
Harbour at Mylor Churchtown

Moving on, we take a while to wander in the lovely churchyard of St Mylor Church, reading the ancient memorial stones and marvelling at all the different types of lichen to be found here.DSCF1039

Memorial Stone - wreck of theSV Queen sunk off Trefussis Head in 1814 carrying fighters and their women and children home from the war in Spain.
Memorial Stone –  the SV Queen capsized off Trefussis Point in 1814 carrying wounded soldiers and their women and children home from the war in Spain. 369 lives were lost.  136 of the dead were buried here in a mass grave.

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Churchyards are a very important environment for lichens and some species rarely occur elsewhere.  In Britain over 630 species occur on or near churches, mainly on stone.

Lichen
Lichen

DSCF1047

Also in this pretty churchyard is a memorial to those men and boys who trained on the HMS Ganges and died, either at the time or later. Between 1866 and 1899, 53 boys died whilst training for a career in the Royal Navy on this ship. Training ships were brought into service when impressment ended and it became imperative to provide good pay and conditions of service in order to encourage boys to join up.

The HMS Ganges was moored at Mylor and remained there for 33 years, training 14,000 boys.  Some died from infectious diseases – measles, scarletina or influenza for example – but some were drowned or died in accidents.

Memorial to the boys and men of HMS Ganges
Memorial to the boys and men of HMS Ganges

We leave the churchyard by the lychgate and head across the road to continue along the riverside.DSCF1073

It’s peaceful and very beautiful along this river, with pathways lined with wild flowers and views across the water.  Along the way we meet a family out for a swim.  They’re a bit camera shy but eventually consent to have a picture or two taken:DSCF1083

DSCF1084

We eventually leave the river behind and head inland along a fast road and across the fields to Flushing.  On the way we the early purple orchid amongst the wild garlic and cow parsley:

Early purple orchid
Early purple orchid

And also this pretty little flower:

DSCF1097
Cranesbill – G. versicolour

I can’t seem to identify it from my books.  It looks very like the wood sorrel but the leaf is all wrong.  Let me know if you can help – just post a comment!

Finally – I know we weren’t on the Helford today – but below is my latest favourite of Mr RRs – it’s just lovely, so I thought I’d put it in anyway!

(Total walking this year 344.6 miles)


Around the Helford - Mixed Media on Canvas
Around the Helford – Mixed Media on Canvas

Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR:

http://www.andrewmajorart.co.uk

http://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/Andrew-Major


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