It was back – we woke to rain which continued all morning. The farmer adjacent to Wortham Manor had invited us to go and see his new calves so this decidedly damp morning seemed like a good time to do so. At least, it seemed to some, those with a less strong aversion to rain, to be a good time to do so. With this latest rain following close on the heals of our previous 36 hours-worth of rain, the track down to the Wortham Manor has become a muddy mess so walking boots were necessary. Despite having a strongly developed attraction to animals of all sorts (dogs excepted), I also have a particularly well-developed aversion to rain and mud so I soon tired of standing out in both muttering, “ah, sweet” at admittedly painfully cute calves.
The weather brightened by 2:00PM so everyone was eager to escape their weather-enforced prison. While Steve took Rosemary & Linda to visit a “riveting” so-called chair museum [Ed: well, someone must find chairs fascinating], Carol and I decided upon a visit to the Tamar Otter Sanctuary just a few miles away along some typically narrow Devon lanes. Mike elected to come with us. Despite there being three cars in the car park, there was a disappointing sign declaring that the otter sanctuary was “closed until April 1st”. Drat!
Somewhat dampened by the lack of otters as opposed to the presence of rain, we paused on our return journey at an interesting looking bridge over the river Tamar. Beside the river and accessible only from it was a gate into a field. Beside the bridge was a track leading into the river. It seems that, to gain access to the field, it is necessary to ford your way through the river; a curious arrangement requiring decent 4x4s such as Land Rovers, I would think. Whilst studying the traffic flow of the river Tamar, a couple of buzzards treated us to a reasonably close display of their flying skills. Buzzards are doing very well in England and, though relatively commonplace now, are a delight to see.
Mike’s spirits were further dampened by phone call announcing a problem which had developed over their house sale – their house in England, that is. They have been trying to sell it for a year in order to live full-time in France. Today they were supposed to exchange contracts. As a diversion and consolation prize for unavailable otters, we zoomed off to Roadford Lake, a reservoir, where there was a nature reserve at the northern end. We arrived and found a very well positioned observation hide. We amused ourselves for half an hour or so watching an interesting array of water fowl but none of them were venturing close enough for my new-and-eager-to-be-used long lens. As we were leaving Mike, who is quite knowledgeable about fungi even when depressed about house sales, spotted this Scarlet Elf Cup fungus (Sarcoscypha coccinea).
‘T was a pity about the otters. I’m sure the new lens would have liked them.