Saturday, 27th June 2015
You know that song:
“You’ll remember me when the west wind blows upon the fields of barley
You’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold”
Although it has to be said that it wasn’t all romantic landscapes and lyrical thoughts!
Considering I chose this walk from Walkingworld.com because it was classed as an ‘easy’ 5-6 miles, it was a – mostly uphill – struggle! It was hot and I was feeling lethargic and a bit of a rickety rambler before we even got started; before long I was feeling tired and exceedingly rickety as we clambered up hills and scrambled over awkward stiles. Luckily much of the walking was in shady woodland and there was a gentle breeze blowing off of the Helford River so I gallantly struggled on – especially as Mr RR had promised lunch at Trebah Gardens at the end. He’s a hero!
Very Rickety Rambler xxx
Rosemullion Head circular via Maenporth (6 miles)
Why is it that when you’re tired all the hills seem to be going up – it’s impossible really when you think about it isn’t it? You must have to go down sometimes in order to go up again but the downs seem to mysteriously disappear from your rememberings somehow…..that’s how it is today.
We start by walking through Mawnan Smith to the footpath leading (down apparently) to the Helford River at Port Saxon. The path runs alongside Carwinion Gardens and we have walked it previously here; when we get to the river today we turn left and follow the coast path in the direction of Falmouth.
This is barley, beautifully ripened and waving in the breeze. We pondered for a while, about the difference between wheat and barley, feeling that we should know which is which. In case you’re pondering too I’ll tell you, as I’ve spent some time googling barley and wheat and found an interesting website called ukagriculture.com, full of useful information. Barley and wheat actually look very similar but barley has long ‘hairs’ or spikes called ‘awns’ on each grain and moves in ‘waves’ when the breeze blows through the crop in early summer – just like today!
I didn’t realise until I looked at the pictures later that he was carrying his lunch!
Down around the corner and we take in views of the river before starting uphill along the coast path, passing a second world war pill box on the way – I pop in for a look – nothing to see except the views from the windows:
Up the hill and we have views across the bay towards Falmouth, its obviously a good sailing day today as there are dozens of boats on the water including these large sailing vessels – it’s apparently the JClass Regatta out of Falmouth today so I guess that’s what these are:
A long and winding uphill (and downhill obviously) path now, around Rosemullion Head to Maenporth. On the way, amongst the foxgloves and campion, there are thistles:
and this little purple plant:
This is ‘Selfheal’ or Prunella vulgaris, a native British herb found amongst short grass. It has creeping stems so that the ground might seem carpeted with them at times. Its a little early for that here though, they don’t normally flower until July.
It is said that this plant was used by the ancient Greek Physician Dioscorides, to cure sore throat and tonsils – its botanical name ‘Prunella’ originates from the German for sore throat. In England it used to be known as hook-heal, sickly-wort or carpenter’s herb.
The ‘Docrine of Signatures’ is an old belief that every plant bore an outward sign of its uses – leading to the widespread belief that this plant was a healer of wounds. The upper lip of the flower is hook-shaped and billhooks and sickles were common causes of wounds in medieval farming communities. Selfheal could also be made into a syrup for internal injuries.
On we go, up hill and over stile, along open pathways with views of the river and the sun beating down on us and through blissfully shaded ancient woodland. At several points I get behind and Mr RR strides on through the meadows and woods ahead of me:
At one such time, I take the opportunity to photograph a willing butterfly who lands just beside me:
We see lots of Meadow Browns – but this one is a Ringlet Butterfly, quite common and easily identifiable once you know what to look for – see those yellow ringed black eyespots with white highlights on his underwings?
Finally we arrive in Maenporth. The beach is crowded but we just take a few steps down the road and then head uphill along a footpath, leaving the coast path behind. We traipse across farmland, past fields of cows that I’m too tired to worry about and forever uphill until we’re back amongst those gorgeous fields of gold. We have to walk right through the middle now and at times the barley is up to shoulder height. I wonder what would happen if I just laid down amongst the waving heads – Mr RR would never be able to see me – I’d be completely hidden – like in those films where the person being chased runs off road and into fields of crops which come right over his head and he lies down, breathing heavily, until its safe to emerge.
I’m too exhausted to try it though, if I lay down I may not get up again for a long long time – and the lovely Trebah cafe beckons!
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR: