Spring came in winter

Featured image: Cultivating an earthly paradise at Trengwainton Garden.

Cornwall Cogitation 9/187 Friday 1 March 2019   A year ago, the Beast from the East stopped the UK in its tracks. This year, unseasonably warm temperatures prevailed all through February.

In Cornwall, it’s been like a spring feast sandwiched between slumbering giant winter. I’ve used sunscreen almost daily. On Thursday, though, I wore rain pants for a walk with the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society–only the rain had passed in the night, leaving a stiff breeze and sunny spells in its wake.

Crossing this blowout on the sand dunes at Hayle proved the most difficult stretch of our three-and-a-half-mile walk with the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society. The rest of the walk was a piece of cake, with a stop for lunch overlooking the sea.

Meteorological Spring started March 1; British Summer Time starts March 31. May March prove interesting.

Sunday recap. “Look through the eyes of truth,” said visiting preacher Brin Berriman at St Anta of Jesus’ words to the disciples in calming the storm at sea (Luke 8:22-25). Jesus invited them, as us, not to let the chaos without invade their/our souls. Jesus’ action gives us a glimpse of how God sees reality, through eyes of the divine.

Trengwainton Gardens

“A passion for plants,” describes the varied offerings at the National Trust Trengwainton Gardens near Penzance. Magnolias, camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons make up a big part of the 25 acres. Other parts include a tree fern glade, kitchen garden, terrace, orchard, meadow and stream garden.

Who doesn’t love a walled garden . . . this one a kitchen garden divided into five sections, built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark.

The perspective across the meadow hides a landscape feature known as a Ha-ha.
Here’s the Ha-ha, serving as both a landscape feature and drainage canal.


Walk from Penryn to Flushing, ferry to Falmouth, train home

Moth on the ground where our walk entered through the churchyard at Penryn.

Field ready to plant potatoes.
Potato-planting ensemble near Flushing.
Potatoes under plastic in a field across the River Fal from Falmouth. We’re crossing on a ferry from Flushing.


A walk into St Ives

Top of the town, past the school.
Winter robin, only the second we’ve seen.
When it rains, part of this path become a mini-lake. At other times it’s just muddy.
Upper left: St Nicholas Chapel on the Island, connected to the Down-A-Long and Up-A-Long areas of St Ives. I did not think to hop-a-long with the horse.


Mind the message


I dropped 50p in the rock artist’s pail on this rocky part of the St. Ives harbour.

The pink in the evening light has made the St Ives area a mecca for artists since the 19th century.
“Flowers preach to us if we will hear.” Christina G Rossetti
St Elwyn Church, Hayle, a stop on our Thursday walk. The Collect from last Sunday: ‘Almighty God, give us reverence for all creation and respect for every person, that we may mirror your likeness in Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Friday afternoon brought mizzle and drizzle on our walk home from the grocery store. We’re none the worse for wet. Lunch at Tregenna Castle added its own charm. Cornwall is as much a state of mind as it is a precise geographical location, each offering rare essence to real life.

I end with the first stanza of a hymn we sang last Sunday: “Lord of all hopefulness, / Lord of all joy, / whose trust, ever childlike, / no cares could destroy, / be there at our waking, / your bliss in our hearts, Lord, / at the break of the day.” (Jan Struther, 1901-1953; Oxford University Press)


9 thoughts on “Spring came in winter

  1. What sights to behold and thoughts to absorb you send each week! How grateful I am to be a recipient! Morning schedules for choir practice, sign-ups for April Activities, and a class in “Zero Waste”, part of our enrichment program here at Dock Woods Retirement Community were canceled because of four-inch wet accumulating snow. Thanks for sharing your spring with u!.


  2. Hi John

    Glad you are enjoying mild temps this year!


    My iPad says that a smile always increases your Face Value!



    1. Indeed, the touch of spring prevailed in February, with some reaffirmation of winter hovering about. Will take it in stride.


    1. You know the terrain, Phyllis. We’ve done fewer walks with the group, but will find a way to do more. Thanks for checking in.


  3. Thanks John for your fantastic writing and those amazing pics of flowers and wonderful creation. We are enjoying your weekly updates so much! We wish spring was coming early here as well but the winter weather is extremely reluctant to say good-bye.


    1. Photos keep me hopping. As I said elsewhere, I’m glad not to be behind the wheel. Good to be without a car here. Instead of petrol, I buy boots. Best!


    1. Thanks, Jim. Good to hear from you. Photo opportunities pop up all over the place. Glad I’m not behind the wheel. Best!


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