January always feels like the dullest month of the year. After the excesses and visitors over Christmas there has to be a lull. Fortunately here in the south-west we haven’t seen any of the really cold weather that has plagued the rest of the country and have had temperatures around 10°C most of the time.

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It has been quiet; most of my photos are from the garden – the clouds, the sunsets, the birds. We have a particularly aggressive pied wagtail who chases all the other birds away from the food on the ground and the water. All except the starlings.

Willy Wagtail and friends
Willy Wagtail and friends

The setting sun to the south-west often creates the most dramatic colours.

And in the garden there is still plenty of colour.

Thousands of starlings have arrived and their flight over the fields is mesmerising. Spring is coming. Bulbs are poking their heads above ground and daffodils are already blooming in the hedgerows and the fields where they are grown commercially and leaf buds are forming on the trees and rose bushes.

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Winter walk

Trencrom hill is now being grazed by Galloway cows – my granddaughters got a bit of a shock when they met them on the hill over Christmas, believing they were the ‘naughty boys‘ from the farm next door. In fact these cattle are very docile and probably got more of a scare from the screaming children!

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The views are still the same. Late afternoon shadows. Distant cloud banks to the north and south indicate that it is not sunny in the whole of Cornwall. And as the sun disappears behind the spreading cloud cover the temperature dips.

We took a walk on a blustery, but sunny afternoon alongside the Copperhouse Pool in Hayle to stretch the legs and see what is in flower this month (the George V memorial walk is full of tropical and sub-tropical plants) and saw hundreds of wading birds such as curlews with their long curved beaks, sanderlings, ruddy turnstones, Canada geese, Egyptian geese, redshanks and several gulls.

Copperhouse pool
Copperhouse pool

The Hayle estuary is particularly busy at this time of the year with thousands of migrants and other visitors. I didn’t manage to spot an oystercatcher though. And if I seriously want to take up bird photography I really do need to invest in a bigger zoom lens.

canada-goose

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2017 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the rules (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.

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33 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: January

  1. It exudes peace and tranquillity. I guess you finally found what you were looking for Jude? 🙂 🙂 I don’t think I ever will. Almost missed this beautiful post. You weren’t in my Spam though 🙂 🙂

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    1. It’s not Cape Town and it will never be Australia, but it will do for me for now. We may need to move closer to a village or town at some stage, but this peace and quiet suits me. I get enjoyment out of simple pleasures – watching the clouds, the birds, discovering wild flowers in the hedgerow. And with all the turmoil in the rest of the world I’m very happy to be here. Hopefully the spam issue will be sorted soon, a Happiness engineer (?????) is helping me.

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  2. Looks like it has been a good move for you, Jude. Those kinder climes in the south-west, and some truly amazing skies to photograph too. I will be glad to see the back of the dull skies soon.
    Off to my friend Billy’s funeral in ten minutes, so perhaps grey sky today is appropriate.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

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    1. Always seems more fitting when it rains on a funeral. I hope it was a good celebration of his life and a cracking send off. I’m sure you will be sharing some good memories today.

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  3. oh you are so so lucky to have Cornwall as your home, such a stunning part of the country with its skies, seas and people. The sideways rain is one of the few negatives but by the looks of it you haven’t had much this month 🙂

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      1. ooh don’t like fog . . . can’t recall it from when I lived in Plymouth but I was only little and perhaps I just assumed it was low cloud as we lived at the bottom of a valley!

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  4. Cornwall = Happiness
    Lovely lovely photos Jude … I’m mesmerised by the birds .. not had many opportunities like that recently myself .. rooks in field is the nearest I’ve got but they sense my intentions …and are off lol

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