Llama Encounter

Close up portrait of two llamas, one white and one brown and white

A long search ended last Sunday when I went over to Longdowns to collect our latest resident – Mankey the Cornish Longwool lamb. His name is derived from Calamankey Farm where he was born and where I had quite an adventure. I arrived on time and met the farmer who invited me to accompany him to select my lamb from a group of orphans he was feeding on the bottle.

As we turned the corner his very large stud llama appeared from nowhere and charged straight at me with his ears back hissing and spitting. Let me tell you llamas are large at close quarters and I was hiding behind the farmer and the llama and I were going round in circles – him trying to bite me the whole time and me trying to hide! The farmer finally lost patience when the llama jumped on his shoulders in an attempt to get me and he managed to push him aside and shut him behind a gate, much to my relief. In hindsight it was funny but not at the time. I quickly loaded up my lamb (nickname Mankey) and had wheel-spin as I rushed out of his drive heading for home with my lamb and a sigh of relief.

I decided I needed a rest that afternoon to calm down so went in search of bluebells. The woods are glorious at this time of year and are carpeted with bluebells which make a lovely contrast to the lime green of the young leaves bursting into life. My favourite spots are Tehidy Woods near Camborne and Lanhydrock Woods near Bodmin but this year I found somewhere new. I wondered down to Cowlands Creek, just south of Truro and took a little footpath form the head of the creek and followed it downstream to Coombe.

It leads through a stand of old Kea plum trees, part of an ancient orchard and quite a delicious plum – like a damson but sweeter. The walk was stunning – a swathe of heavenly blue in the dappled sunshine, sprinkled with the pale pink campion and the white of wild garlic. At Coombe we took the footpath to Halwyn Quay – an old foot ferry crossing to Tolverne and there we found a little piece of heaven – Halwyn Tea Gardens. Sue and her husband have created a beautiful garden running down to the River Fal with stunning views of the river and the cream tea and cake were delicious. It always amazes me that I can wander off and find somewhere new after living here and exploring this beautiful county for the past 35 years but I do and that is part of the joy of living in Cornwall for me.

Just a few lines about the Bosinver news. Trerose is almost finished (photos next time) and the first guests arrive on Friday. The chickens have been very productive and we have 3 hens with chicks in the coops and several sitting on eggs. Angel and Ladd the shires have been starring in a film at Heligan pulling logs through the woods to demonstrate charcoal burning, so watch out for that on TV. The weather has been lovely and Padstow May Day and Helston Flora both had sunshine for a change. Everyone is saying how quiet it is down here but they are all having a lovely time with easy parking and no queues. We have had some people fleeing from volcanic ash who had such a good holiday in Cornwall have decided not to go abroad!

Speak again soon.

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