Thursday 24 October 2019

Cornwall Day 4: 9th October 2019

Back east today to the Lost Gardens of Heligan with the prospect of ‘changeable’ weather. We arrived not long after opening and basically had the place to ourselves bar a widely dispersed German coach party.  It was all quite pleasant and the gardens offered up the usual array of photographic opportunities.  

The Walled Gardens were still full of late colour with Dahlias and Marigolds and the huge Lady Boothby climbing Fushias and there were still, Pears, Figs,Quinces and Medlars on the espalier trees along the sheltered walls




Several different Figs

Not sure on this tree and its fruit - could find no tag

Lady Boothby
House Sparrow

Part of the rememberance installation for fallen Heligan Staff

An incoming squall saw lunch taken in the grotto near the cafe before I headed into the Lost Valley and wended my way all the way to the bottom for the first time.  The Gunnera had all been pruned back and the giant umbrella leaves placed as a protective cap over the top of the new growth underneath to shelter it from the worse of the cold and damp on on-coming winter but it was still a joy to walk amongst the exotic trees and shrubs from around the world. A severe downpour had the trees lashing around and I sheltered very successfully under a Tree Fern while a micro rainbow briefly formed in the valley as the rain ceased and the sun came back.  The rains added a lustre to the huge Rhododendron leaves and darkened the almost red trunks on some of them.  You could smell the earth.

Cut Gunnera stem

...and protective 'fur'!

Flowering Bromeliad

Not sure on this one but a huge tree with Rubber Tree like leaves

A generously loved Coin Log

Nuthatches, Firecrests, Goldcrests and Coal Tits were all vocal and Robins and Blackbirds fossicked in the undergrowth.

Down in the bottom where the valley runs back to native and wild there were still some Meadowsweet, Hogweed, Yellow Pimpernel and Red Campion in flower and I amused myself with some opportune fly watching and notched up a few species of Hoverfly with Episyrphus balteatus, Syrphus ribesii, Eupeodes corollae, Platycheirus  albimanus, Meliscaeva auricollis, Eristalis tenax and pertinax and Rhingia campestris. There were countless Cluster Flies, Green and Bluebottles and Flesh Flies and I found a nice Tachinid and several other as yet to be indentified species.

Pollenia sp - Cluster Flies

Cluster Flies paying attention to signage and two friends

Pollenia sp - Cluster Fly

Pollenia sp - Cluster Fly

Lucilia sp

Lucilia sp
Lucilia sp

Muscid sp

Not sure at all!

Sarc. sp - a Flesh Fly

Tachinid sp

Syrphus ribesii

Syrphus ribesii

Eristalis tenax

Eristalis tenax

Eupeodes corollae

Episyrphus balteatus

Episyrphus balteatus

Rhingia campestris

Speckled Woods and Red Admirals danced around and Migrant Hawkers, a single Southern Hawker and a few Common Darters were still actively on the wing.

Common Darter

Speckled Wood

Red Admiral

Great Black Slug

Back up at the top the Harvest Barn was a mouth watering display of fruit and veg from the gardens and the livestock seemed to be getting on just fine as usual!

The Hydrangeas were still in full flower and there was a superb display from white through various shades of blue to pink and burgundy. 

With more rain imminent I headed for the 50% off garden plant shop and wisely only left with a pot in each hand before the drive in truly atrocious rain back to Penzance with a brief stop for a picture of St Michael's Mount in a brief respite...

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