Saturday, 20 May 2017

Sea Pinks


Most of our past visits to Cornwall have been at Easter or in July and so I have rarely seen the beautiful sea pinks in flower here.


They seem to thrive clinging in tight clumps to the edge of the cliffs, and of course in the iconic Cornish hedges/walls..


When we walked on the cliff path this morning there seemed to be several varieties growing.


Some have larger, paler, flowers like these at the back of the beach yesterday..


They make a lovely foreground to a view across the bay..


Friday, 19 May 2017

That's not a bluebell!


On our way to Cornwall today we turned off the A30 to visit Castle Drogo - or rather for a cup of tea and a picnic in their car park as it was too showery for a proper visit.


The drive was lined with beautiful patches of Bluebells under the trees, but when I stopped to hop out and take a photo, the first flower I saw was this..


A very beautiful deep purple wild orchid.  There were a few of them scattered through the bluebells..




Oh yes and we made it to Cornwall - here is a beach shot..a little late in the day, the light was fading fast..


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Raindrops on Roses..


In today's sunshine the heavy and persistent rain of yesterday was evident - trapped within the petals of roses and other beautiful blooms in Claire's lovely garden.









And here is the lady gardener herself, hiding behind the lovely Jessie..


Wednesday, 17 May 2017



David took these photos on the grass below the house on Monday.


Then there was some debate - rabbit or hare?...


After looking it up we concluded that these are both American Cottontail rabbits - the one with the larger, hare-type ears is probably the male.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Long Flight, Short Night


When we left Dulles the sky was bright at the end of a warm and sunny day.


As the sun went down, beautiful colour and light on the wing.


Just a few short hours later, first light of dawn with the moon in the sky (and reflected on the wing).

Monday, 15 May 2017

Cicadas 2017


This morning we noticed some dried cicada skins around the bottom of a tree, as well as on the trunk of the tree itself..


As we started to look closer we noticed lots of little pairs of bright orange eyes shining in the sun.


These cicadas were not yet ready to fly.  They are colourless and soft when they shed their skin and gradually dry out and harden up.


These are adult periodic cicadas who have been living underground for 13-17 years.


Cicadas lay eggs in the bark of trees which hatch into small ant like creatures which dig tunnels into the earth around the roots of trees.  

The nymphs attach to the roots and live on tree sap until they are ready to emerge.  Once the earth warms to around 64F and preferably after rainfall they dig their way to the surface, shed their skin and start climbing into the trees.


We looked online to see that these are probably 13 year old cicadas from Brood X (broods are numbered sequentially on a ten year cycle according to the year they enter the ground). They should not be emerging until 2021 but apparently some of a brood will come to the surface early if the conditions are good.  Unfortunately few of these early hatchers survive.


Sunday, 14 May 2017



This little creature - sleeping quietly in its tank at the Atlanta Botanical Garden - looked almost alien.  Three or four inches long he was well disguised against the leaf.

He was, apparently,  a Fringed Leaf frog - a nocturnal frog, well camouflaged to protect them from being eaten by preadators while they sleep on leaves during the day.