Saturday, 7 September 2013

Late summer at Ding Dong

Today I think autumn has arrived!  It suddenly feels much colder and time to put away the high summer clothes. But only a week ago it was still summer so we went up to Ding Dong mine, about a mile from here.

Ding Dong is an old tin mine that stands on one of the highest points on the Penwith moors and is visible from a great distance.  The surrounding area is covered in bracken and heather although the summer flowering heather is just about over.   There is also brilliant orange mombretia (crocosmia to gardeners) which grows wild everywhere here.  It used to be a constant battle to keep it under control in our holiday cottage garden so now I refuse to plant any of it in any colour.

At the far (northern) side of the moors is Carn Galver.  Well worth climbing up for the views it provides of the north coast and the narrow coastal plain.  You can just see the peak in this photo.

The field system here is reputed to be oldest in Britain and to date back to the Iron Age.  Very small fields were created by clearing the stones and piling them up to form walls.

In the middle distance in the photo above is the village of Zennor which is famous because D.H.Lawrence and Katherine Mansefield both rented cottages there during the First World War.  People thought that the lights they showed (no electricity of course) were signals to the Germans because D.H.Lawrence's wife was German!

The field system appears emore clearly in this shot of one of the farms.

Back at Ding Done the umbelliferae (parsley family) are now drying out, leaving interesting combinations of colours.  These photos said ' weaving' to me as I could imagine lines of colour blending and intersecting.

Many of the artists in this area are inspired by the lines of the vegetation.  As I did not have any drawing things with me, I took photos that I now need to manipulate in Elements or print out and draw from.

Ding Dong is also a great area for wildlife, especially birds.  At certain times of the year flights of migrating birds swoop overhead as they leave the UK for warmer climes.  On this occasion we saw a lot of different butterflies as it has been a good year for them: tortoiseshells in different forms, some blues and even a bright yellow one.  But photographing them is another matter!  And my husband saw a weasel which came out of the undergrrowth onto the path, took one look at him and disappeared again.

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