Kynance Farm and Lower Predannack Downs

Wednesday 3rd May, 2015

Hello all

Well, what a sun shiny and exciting day it’s been.

In fact, I was so excited by an email that I opened when I got back from todays walk and started to upload the photographs – that I totally forgot myself and deleted all the photos from the camera before I’d actually imported them to the computer!!!!  Oh no! I hear you scream – that’s not what I said, I can tell you!  I was having palpitations!  I didn’t know whether I should stop worrying about it and be excited (about my email) or cry – from a mixture of excitement and frustration!  I ran in to Mr RR who was having a quiet sit down and shouted OMG guess what I’ve done?  And then….before he’d even gathered his wits to ask what was going on …..I had a brainwave.

You see, I have this really annoying thing on my computer which automatically puts everything in my dropbox (a bit like ‘the cloud’) and then keeps telling me that I’ve used all my space!  I swear at it regularly.  But today……yes!  It had imported all the photos!  So I spent an hour transferring them all to iPhoto so that you can see them. Here’s a sunshiny one to be going on with

Kynance Cliff in the sunshine
Kynance Cliff in the sunshine

Sorry – lots of exclamation marks there – its been that sort of afternoon.  And what was this exciting email you ask?  Well – you see……oh…sorry, not telling (yet).

Enjoy reading though….and looking at the photos!

Ricketyricketyrambler xxxxx


Kynance Cove circular via Predannack Downs (5.5 miles)

It was such a lovely day and there’s nowhere like Kynance Cove in the sunshine, so we decided to do that lovely walk from Predannack to Kynance, but backwards.  You’ll remember we’ve been here twice before – once in the fog and once on a clear day – you can read about those walks here and here.  This time we parked at the National Trust car park in Kynance and walked down to the cafe for lunch first.

The path from the car park down to the cafe
The path from the car park down to the cafe

We had pasties – maybe not such a good idea when you’ve got hills to climb!  And they are very steep hills around here. What I really wanted to do was lie in the sun like those people in the first picture…..but no, we have to struggle up the cliff face and then, just when you think you’re at the top…..you’re not!

They are very high cliffs!
They are very high cliffs!
Mr RR patiently waiting near the top!
Mr RR patiently waiting near the top!

Anyway, having scaled the Everest that is Kynance Cliff, we then have a very pleasant ramble along the South West Coast Path, surrounded by beautiful scenery and accompanied by birdsong.

We spot the first of many stonechats:

Stonechat
Stonechat

And we hear that pair of Ravens approaching – such a loud barking noise they make – and then see them flying over the cliff. After a few minutes they land together on the ledge:

Ravens
Ravens

There are some pretty pink flowers, quite tiny, just coming into bloom.  Mr RR correctly identifies them – they’re orchids.

Heath Spotted Orchid
Heath Spotted Orchid

Isn’t that so pretty?  Bees love it too!

There’s a project, being run by the Natural History Museum – The Orchid Observer’s Project – which is aiming to collate data on the distribution and flowering of these plants, specifically to see if they are being affected by climate change.  If you see an orchid while you’re out rambling, get a picture and log into the website to upload it.  Or just go and see the website anyway – its very interesting – http://www.orchidobservers.org .

The heathland here is being grazed by cattle. They’re very docile though, chewing away or lying about in the sunshine.  I keep my head down and just keep walking.

In order to maintain the amazing diversity of plants on the Lizard National Nature Reserve, seasonal grazing is carried out by licensed farmers, sometimes using Shetland or Exmoor ponies, but here they use cattle to trample and munch, which preserves the range of habitats and allows the flora and fauna to thrive.

After a little while we have to descend a steep valley into Gew-graze, where a little stream flows down to the sea.  And then, of course, we have to climb up the other side.  It’s slow going, but luckily Mr RR spots a pretty beetle sunbathing on a rock, which provides the ideal photo stop (and time to catch my breath!)

Green Tiger Beetle
Green Tiger Beetle

No idea why this beetle is so named.  It has spots, not stripes – but is nonetheless, very beautiful, seeming almost metallic blue from above with a few scattered cream spots.  This beetle spends most of its time basking in the sunshine on the ground.  It feeds on a range of other insects, grasping at them with its large jaws.

Once at the top, its a little distance to Predannack Cliff where we turn inland and then head back across Lower Predannack Downs towards Kynance.  This is real heathland, lots of wildflowers including foxgloves, red campion, a few last bluebells, rock roses and some wild honeysuckle just coming into flower.

Wild Honeysuckle
Wild Honeysuckle

As we near the end of the walk, we have to cross a little stream.  Looking down we can see that it’s full of tadpoles and, to our surprise there’s a shoal of tiny fish as well, clustered together right at the edge where the water is still:

Minnow
Minnow

Minnow – a small slim fish with tiny scales. They only grow up to about 10cm and are apparently very common in clean flowing upland rivers or small streams.  They like to gather in shoals near the surface of the water in the summer – which is just what these are doing – and they feed on tiny crustaceans, insect larvae and algae.

We walk on, making sure we head for the upper path across Kynance, so that we don’t have to climb down to the cove and back up again and very soon we’re back at the car park, exhausted but happy!

(total miles walked this year – 392.5)


Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR:

http://www.andrewmajorart.co.uk

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

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