Friday, 3 March 2017

Just a tiny bit of the Coastal Footpath walked

We continued our run of walks in new places with one from the coastal village of Seaton (Seaton Cornwall, that is, not Seaton, Devon). The weather was kind despite an ambiguous weather forecast.
Our route started and ended in Seaton. Because of a map reading error (not mine!) what we ended up doing was not quite what was planned but it certainly didn't suffer for that. At 4.5 miles, it was a little shorter than anticipated but a long, steady climb more than made up for the shorter distance. Briefly, we walked up the Seaton Valley in the woods for a mile or so, then climbed out of the woods, dropped down to the next village along the coast (Downderry) and then walked back along the beach to our starting point.
The River Seaton is around 18 miles long and arises on Bodmin Moor - near the Cheesewring Hotel in Minions. For its first few miles it runs through the mining area of the Gonomena Valley and picks up mineral contaminants, mainly copper. The copper concentration is high enough to depress the invertebrate population which, in turn, leads to very few fish in the river.
An allegory for our times?
An early flowering Malus of some sort, helped along by its sheltered position in the Seaton Valley. The one in our garden is way behind and its flower buds are barely discernible.
A bee getting a snack from a snowdrop, which are getting past their best now.
Lunch in dappled woodland amongst the skeletons of trees.
A Black Oil Beetle. About 2 cms long and our commonest Oil Beetle, but not that common in other parts of the UK. The kinked antennae help with the identification. It has a fascinating life cycle for those who care to look it up.
Some would say that I'm sitting in exactly the right place (the clue is in the plaque).
I wonder how many people not 'of a certain age' will reccognise this as an old mangle. I can remember my grandmother using one but I can't remember when it disappeared as she moved onto using more modern (at least what was modern in the 1950s).
The beach at Downderry and typical for this part of the coast. Flat rocks, interspersed with dark sandy shingle. No good for building sand castles but plenty of space. And a good place to exercise dogs, of which there were many (too many) running around.
Our group taking lunch in the sun on the seawall at Downderry.
Looking west to Seaton, with Looe just visible to the left. I think the next time we'll be down here, we'll be walking the coastal footpath from Seaton to Looe. 
And on the beach, there was this solitary tyre.

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