Friday, 22 May 2009

Goodbye to Exeter

On Thursday I said goodbye to Daughter-who-takes-Photos (Friend-who-loves-Otters being in Washington giving a presentation) and left Exeter with Brother-who-Blogs. We headed North, aiming to arrive at his home on the Isle of Lewis on Saturday - that's a fairy leisurely journey, but hey, what's the rush. (And it's not me who has to do the driving - one advantage / disadvantage of seeing double and having legs that don't obey commands).

I have had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Exeter and I realised how lucky I am because not everyone has such fun and laughter or gets so waited upon when visiting relatives. Thank you, both (and thanks to William the cat, of course).

I still have plenty of photos to edit from my Exeter trip and some will be blogged there whilst others will make good subjects for postings on Rambles. It’s quite amusing when GB and I are out walking because there is a friendly rivalry to spot the occasional bloggable item that the other either misses or has a different perspective on. So often we have the same thought at the same moment. As s result we both see something and say ‘That would make a good blog’ at the same time. Not that it matters whether we both blog about something but it adds to the fun of being together if we can see something less usual.

One such thing was this shell in the shell house at Bicton Park.
What is special about this shell - apart from its attractive appearance? Its scientific name. It was first named by Linnaeus, the father of modern natural history classification, in his ‘Systemae Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae Vol 1, part 2’ and he called it simply Conus generalis. Translated from the Latin that simply means 'ordinary cone'. Scientific names for shells can be wonderfully complicated like Calpurnus verrucosus (a form of Cowrie shell - literally a warty something ), Natica vitellus (a little calf that swims) or Halitosis asinine (an abalone shell - which, I think, literally means ‘you are looking at an ass’). So I enjoyed finding the one that Linnaeus thought of as an ordinary cone shape.

Another less obvious item was this gate at the entrance to the farming museum at Bicton. The museum is a delightful place with old machinery and farming tools.

Ian’s Grandad would be in his element in the museum; he loves anything to do with farming history and especially tractors. This 1917 Fordson is probably the oldest this side of the Atlantic and the museum‘s curator was suitably proud of it.

And outside, a palm had been cut down to ground level to start it growing again and the pattern it made was very unusual.

While inside the palm house the photo opportunities were equally great.

So many photos to sort and by the time this is posted we shall have had a day’s travelling to add to the collection.


  1. Great photos, as usual. I like the one of the gate, especially.

  2. OH, I just know that you two are having an amazing time!
    Loved the post...
    especially---Halitosis asinine...
    I think I've been around a lot of those lately. :^)
    I'm going to remember that for when I want to swear, but shouldn't. It could come in really handy.

  3. Just look at the wonder of the colours of that shell... its whole make up. Wonderful!
    Lovely photo's again...
    love Granny

  4. Yes. A different perspective in the palmhouse indeed. I didn't even see the gate!!

    My blog on the shells is yet to come.

  5. Great photos, very well spotted. Love the gate!


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