Thursday 30th July 2015
Ironically, given that the thistle is the heraldic emblem of Scotland, it’s this plant that entertains us on our first walk back in Cornwall. Thistles are an important food source for a variety of birds and just now, many are coming to the end of their season and producing those lovely cotton wool covered seed heads.
It is Air Day at RNAS Culdrose in Helston today so, anticipating lots of traffic on the roads, we stay close to home and walk along the coast road and up over the hill to Penrose. The weather is perfect, the sea calm and deep blue and a local ramble is just what I need.
Porthleven circular via Penrose (6 miles)
As we walk through the National Trust gates on, what we have come to call the top path, we see that new signage has been erected. We are entering Highburrow, an interesting name for such an open and exposed place as ‘burrow’ means a snug tunnel dug by a small animal and used for a dwelling. I wonder how it came to get this name. Whatever, high it is and consequently on a clear day, like today, the views are stunning.
Thistles line the path on the seaward side and flocks of goldfinches and willow warblers flap nervously away as we pass. The collective noun for Goldfinches is ‘a Charm’…..a Charm of Goldfinches feed on the thistle seeds, and a Confusion of Warblers also flutter about nearby. No photos of the warblers sadly, but the Goldfinches are pretty enough to make up for it. This one’s a juvenile learning to take the seed with it’s relatively long bill:
Looking back at the view and the blue skies we comment that it’s a perfect day for Air Day – so rare, they often have appalling weather to deal with – and we can already hear the helicopter circling as it will do for most of the day, presumably to ensure the airspace is kept clear. These cows are unphased, they’re used to air traffic.
Walking on past fields of wheat we can see that it won’t be long before there are blackberries to pick on our rambles:
I may have told you this before, but there are more than 2000 varieties of blackberry and we can see a mix of varieties just in this one area – some have bright pink flowers and some, like this one have white flowers:
Along the path butterflies flutter everywhere, difficult to identify as they don’t stay still for long, and when they do, they often rest with their wings closed – but here are a couple:
We walk past a herd of cows, patiently waiting by a gate – presumably the grass is greener on the other side:
Then we head down over the hill and through the wood, diverting for a cup of tea (and no cake) at the Stables Cafe, where we sit under a tree taking in the view towards the Loe Pool:
before heading back past the lake and along the coast road into Porthleven.
Total miles walked this year – 506
Associated artwork for Ricketyrambler by Mr RR: