Monday, 7 October 2013

A very pleasurable day.......

..............Comprising of a morning pottering about, early afternoon productive shopping session in Tavistock, excellent lunch at Robertson's and a walk along the river at Calstock to Okel Tor Mine.
The iconic railway viaduct at Calstock
Nothing special. Just a drainage culvert under the railway. But, think about it, there was a time when even something so mundane and out of the way was completed with a great deal of skill. Just look at the worked stone arch. Nowadays a piece of corrugated plastic pipe would be installed. O tempora o mores.
Lots of Fly Agaric in the woods. Reasonably psychoactive and poisonous and with, for some, an acceptable separation between the two effects. I've never been tempted to try. But, without resorting to Google, I know that its Latin name is  Amanita muscaria and it's a basidiomycete fungus. Hooray for 'A' Level Botany!
On the skyline to the left is the stack at the old  Gawton Arsenic Mine. This was at the top of a set of flues through which the sublimated mineral was gathered. The flues run up the hill from just above the river and are about 200 yards long. Up close they are very impressive (if you like that sort of thing, of course. And I do). To the right is the spoil heap from the processing of the arsenious ores. Even after 150 years, very little grows there. And, yes, the stack does lean and that's thought to be due to uneven weathering of the cement in the brick joints.
If I could build a wall like this, I'd be pleased.
Those who know Calstock, and how out of the way it is, may be as surprised as I was to see this sign. Apparently a long-established Plymouth firm of ice-cream makers has relocated its office and training functions to a prime river-side location. 

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