Saturday, 21 December 2013

Of bras, mud and hippopotami

A pre-Xmas ramble with our regular walking group and a route that started at Minions on Bodmin Moor. We dropped down through the Gonamena Valley, across fields to the Bronze Age Trethevy Quoit, up to Darite  and Crow's Nest and thence back to our starting point. About 7 miles in some less than friendly weather, which made our sojourn at the Cheesewring Pub (the highest in Cornwall apparently) for mulled wine and mince pies all the more welcome. A few photographs for the record.
Leafless branches on the trees at this time of year act as an interesting framework for the epiphytic beard lichens. I don't know what particular type of Usnea this one is but it's very common in these parts. And a good thing too as they are very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulphur dioxide. Under bad conditions they may grow no larger than a few millimeters, if they grow at all. Where the air is unpolluted, as it is down here, they can grow up to 15 - 20 cm. Long may it be that way.
Dating from the mid-1800s, these are just a few of the remains of the Gonamena mine on the side of Caradon Hill, a prolific area for copper and tin, plus a little tungsten. A couple of other stacks can be seen on the background. Strange to think that some of my IWC's forebears must have been working here when the mines were in full swing.
The hedgerows are interesting at this time of year. This was a very rare Red Bra we spotted. We can fantasise about the events leading up to, and after, it was discarded and, given our recent weather (a storm in a C-cup?), we must assume that they were very determined. Let's hope it was worth it.
More hedgerow goodies: this time a very expensive pair of motorcycle gloves. If the owner recognises them, why not contact me and I can tell you where they are.
Something more interesting by the side of one lane: part of a medieval chapel. Definitely not in its original position, it must have been picked up somewhere and placed in the wall by a farmer. Coming across the unexpected makes walking the lanes so interesting and, thinking about the bra, intriguing!
And then there was the mud.......................
........................and more mud...............
.....and yet more mud. Aficionados of mud will be particularly admiring of this last example. As sticky as Superglue and wonderfully squelchy. A joy to slurp through. 

As our merry muddy band are all of a 'certain' age I'm positive that, at some stage on this walk, we all had the 'mud' song going through our minds. You know, the Flanders and Swann tune with the well known chorus:
Mud, mud, glorious mud,
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.
So, follow me, follow,
Down to the hollow,
And there let us wallow in glorious mud.
Of course, its correct title is The Hippopotamus Song (but you knew that already, didn't you?) and here are the eponymous duo singing it in concert. Wonderfully literate lyrics and superb voices. Enjoy. Even better, remember it the next time you encounter mud, mud, glorious mud...........

No comments: