Saturday, 24 October 2015

Autumn at Ashfarm Campsite

2015 has been a great year for mushrooms, not so much for the field mushrooms we gather from the campsite and pony paddocks, to eat with fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast, but the funghi from roadside foraging!

We found Giant Puffballs - whose geographic position will now remain a family secret – which were delicious, but other varieties also popped up in places we had never found before. Although we didn’t eat all of them!

 Dom’s new Legbar hens started laying, to his excitement, 

 blue eggs!

And the egg entrepreneur has found it necessary to redesign his delivery vehicle,

to accommodate the increase in egg supply and distribution.

Although we have had some wet days we have equally been blessed with lots of october sunshine and accordingly had fun days with ponies and friends.

I have had some lovely autumnal rides - you can follow us on twitter #throughtheearsofahorse

- along leafy lanes, beside autumnal hedges

along field tracks, with glimpses of St Michael's Mount

and past weather veins with Restless Temples in the distance!

Autumn in Cornwall also means empty beaches. It is a time for solitary rides on the beach at Marazion

and family walks in the sunshine

delighting at beach art – I thought the pretty pools were naturally occurring until someone sensibly explained they must be orchestrated –

but thanks to the artist, because I found them a joy to behold. 

Walks aren’t all about stomping off down a deserted beach though,

sometimes you just have to sit and contemplate!

And you can find the strangest things on the beach, like this old pilbox that has quite simply slipped down onto the beach because of cliff erosion in the storms. Reminded me of a scene from Planet of the Apes!

But out of season there is still plenty to do. Our biggest project this year, is to get rid of our corner of unsitely ‘hillocks’ of spoil which we inherited from Soutwest Water when we acquired the land. Our ‘area of maintenance’ for those who have camped with us.

It has been quite a mission.

Requiring the whole family!

 And not every day was kind weatherwise.

But, the area is now clear and landscaped and we now have the rest of the winter to manually rake and fertilise and throw some grass seed on it, remove the concrete and tarmac rubble and hope that by next summer it will be grassed over and looking pretty.

We did have a bit of a disaster in the old reservoir garden

The dogs had great fun frollicking in the flooded corner. However, periodic flooding has been an ongoing problem since we started developing the old reservoir into a garden. This time though, we had the digger and decided to investigate.

Excavation revealed, a 'washout' pipe belonging to Soutwest Water

that periodically, whether due to malfunction of electrical monitoring equipment, or usage and setting of water levels, outflows.

Our problem now, is to persuade SWW to resolve the issue and put in an extra piece of pipe to stop the flooding in the garden. Unfortunately they are a big organisation, with multidivisional departments and for one of those departments to take ownership of my problem and make a decision to extend the pipe and prevent further damage to the garden, may very well be more difficult than it needs to be.

To finish on a high, rather than a low 'water' note, here is a shot of the watery harbour in Penzance with the boats all looking pretty in our October sunshine. And long may the sunshine last.

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