I GOT a lift to Callington Newbridge car park so I could walk a circuit down beside the river and back along the road.
Although the car park was nearly full, the only people that I saw on the path were those that were exercising their dogs, which is a great pity as this path could provide a wonderful nature learning walk for youngsters and even adults.
There were lots of red Honeysuckle berries on stems that were wrapped around tree trunks. These attractive berries that decorate trees are poisonous and will cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs – so dog walkers beware.
Chanterelle mushrooms on the other hand, are a much-sought-after edible mushroom and I spotted several groups of these yellow fungi.
It appears that they are sold in French markets, so during late summer and autumn there must be several pickers out tramping around the countryside in search of these edible treats.
Some lovely small Cow Wheat flowers were on a grassy bank where they do well on the damp soil beside the water. There are a couple of old wives tales about Cow Wheat; one is that women that eat its black seeds are more likely to have male babies, and cows that eat leaves and flowers are said to produce the best butter.
Down where the river is widest and where there is a small island, there were at least 100 pond Skaters rowing their way around the water. These brown, six-legged insects are searching the water surface for any dead insects that may be floating by.
They do not get wet due to their light weight and a covering of very fine hairs.
Walking back along the narrow road I found a clump of heather growing on the bank with a lovely Painted Lady butterfly hovering around. She flew on ahead of me and found a large stone to pose on – obviously, she wanted her photograph taken.
Then I came across a Common Green Grasshopper that had found a piece of discarded masonry to take a rest on. These are usually the first grasshoppers that we see on country walks at this time of the year and they have a distinctive call that is a clicking sound which begins low, then increases in volume for several seconds.
As I moved in for a close-up, it decided to jump and this insect was about an inch long but it cleared at least six feet before landing.
Now, that long jump was roughly about 70 lengths of its body, so there’s another reason to believe that man is not the superior being on this Earth.