THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

12 December 2014

SHEPHERD'S WARNING


Two posts in one week? Shocking. I just had to show you this amazing morning sky from the other day. As I walked up the hill to Kestor I couldn't understand why it was so dark; REALLY dark for that time of the morning. As I reached the crest of the hill, I was staggered to see this utterly beautiful, fiery sky. I've never seen anything like it. 




As I walked back down towards home, I looked back and it had mellowed and was lighting up the clouds with pink rather than red. The sheep are all off the moor at the moment but, if they had been there, the warning should have been heeded - it tipped down later that day. 


Another morning's beautiful lighting effect:


Jack frost:


Male Stonechat trying to hide from me:


Tertia having been woken by Jack .They find him very tiresome but also seem to have great fun chasing him:


Diamond with a friend:


I love the way the curve of these beech trees echoes the ones in the distance:


Right - back to work. I have two commissions to do and the never ending painting next door. It's SO cold there that my hands and feet go numb. Before I go, I just want to welcome a new follower from Belgium, Roos - another blogger. Well worth a look at http://natuurcultuurenalleswatboeit.blogspot.be/ ; her images blew me away. So, until next time, here are those boys, Jack with the upper stick hand as usual.


9 December 2014

NOVEMBER BITS AND PIECES


I'm starting to sound like a broken record with the not having enough blogging time. Sorry. It's been a ridiculous fortnight with endless visits, both pleasurable and not. We're preparing for the meeting with everyone involved with OB on Thursday, including the SENCO from Okehampton School where he will go next year. Fingers and everything else crossed that it goes as we would like. My mum gets more and more frail and is taking up more and more of my time. It's so sad to see someone who is basically healthy physically, be destroyed by anxiety. I'm trying to fit in painting my neighbour's house before she reappears on the 23rd which I'm very concerned is going to be unfinished so that she'll walk in to what looks like halfway through a bad daytime TV makeover show. My diabetic appointment is on the 16th but having heard the national news reports specifically about Devon health authorities cutting back on services, I'm expecting a battle. I'm being very negative so I apologise. I'm worried about mum and I find that kind of stress taints everything. Let's look at some nice pictures from November instead. 

When I take the dogs out in the morning it's about 7.30am and I've noticed the very swift change in the light over the past few days. This was from last week when it was a bit lighter but there was an eerie mist. I was able to shoot straight into the sun. 







There are still a lot of birds around after such mild weather. Often by now, the moor is devoid of anything other than members of the crow family. Here's a female Stonechat:


A Reed Bunting - very exciting and thanks Roy for the ID. I just thought it was another Meadow Pipit:


A couple of people have said they think some of my crow pictures are actually Rooks and I'm sure they're right given their sociability. However, I think this IS actually a crow. It was on its own and doesn't have that baldy beak thing going on:


A very tame Robin who waits for me when I'm making up Trigger's food. I throw him/her little bits; I read somewhere that the female's hairline at the front is v-shaped whilst the male's is more u-shaped. This picture clearly shows neither:


The last of the Golden Plovers. The flock has moved on, perhaps as they were being picked off on a regular basis. I have found many piles of Plover feathers over the last month.


The cows are back:


This pony had become separated from the herd and was neighing frantically as it cantered through the grass. I could see its friends over the ridge but he couldn't. The 'friends' were oddly silent!


Jack playing with Dot........


Here she is again on another day. That coat must be such a bonus now it's got cold:


More atmospheric mist:


Winter sun shadows at the stone rows:


More beautiful sunshine:


Autumn colours:



Dew on grasses:


One of the pleasurable visits last week was to chez Rusty Duck (http://www.rustyduck.net/ ) and on the way, I spotted this wonderful stripy field. We drank lots of coffee and ate lovely soup and bread. A great, relaxing morning away from my stresses. Thank you. 


Snippet's still got it.......


...........But he still can't keep up with Jack:


The battle for the stick:



Poor Snippet.


Away the little speedball goes again:



Yesterday I had a text out of the blue from Anna Bonnage (http://www.annabonnage.com/ ) who used to help me when I was addressing Trigger's 'issues'. One of her other clients is looking for a companion for her horse after her other one died suddenly from Sycamore poisoning, something I'd never heard of. Anyway, I spoke to her and she's going to come and see Trigger on Saturday. The idea of his not being here makes me feel very, very sad, but if it would be better for him, I have to do it. She may not like him; he's not easy. I'll keep you posted. 

I know I'm being a useless blogger at the moment and I really appreciate your support. Thanks so much for all your comments on the last post. So until next time, which I hope won't  be after such a long gap, here are those dogs doing what they do best. Have a great rest of the week. 



25 November 2014

JACK BE NIMBLE


I wish I had his energy. The above is him, mid-pounce like a polar bear breaking through ice to get to a seal. Will he ever slow down I wonder? 
 



At last; a decent picture of Snippet:


Back to his bum:



Jack does stop sometimes but always alert:



But not for long:


Snip CAN do it once he's warmed up a bit:


At the end of last week it was incredibly misty:


Nothing will deter the nimble one:





I tried fiddling with the exposure of these misty ones but they looked ridiculous and this really is what it was like:


I think the marsh looks at it's most beautiful and mysterious this way:


A few other things from this week.....

Crow:


Last Thursday I had a very welcome visit from Seagull Susie who writes the great blog Beautiful Brixham (http://brixhamlife.blogspot.co.uk/ ). We went for a walk with the dogs and spotted these strange yellow things on some grass blades. I have absolutely no idea what they are....fungi? Eggs? Can someone please enlighten me?



We saw this beautiful little fungus too. Only one I've ever seen like it:


A young Stonechat experiencing its first winter:


More crows:


Our first proper frost AT LAST yesterday morning! We can finally harvest our Jerusalem Artichokes. Isn't the sky beautiful? This was about 7.30am:




Frosty Witches' Butter on the Gorse:


A dead Foxglove with a frosting:


This looks almost unreal I think:


Frosty grass:


Frosty gate on the way to school:


Cotoneaster in my mum's garden in Chagford:


Fleabane which my mum has always called Mexican Daisy; not looking very Mexican here:


This week OB has decided to get the bus into school as well as home which has been surprisingly disruptive given it should make life easier. Being lateness averse in a massive way, we always leave much earlier than we need to which also means I can get to my mum's by 9.00 to sort her out or take her to Waitrose on a Wednesday. Now, with the bus arriving at about twenty to eight, I'm champing at the bit waiting to discretely follow them in the car. The reason we're doing it is so that he gets used to being more responsible about getting his stuff ready and not relying on us so much reminding him about homework etc. The Aspergers mind is not renowned for its ability with what I now know to be called 'executive functioning'. I can't tell you how often he walks out of the door in the morning clutching a piece of Origami but leaving his coat and bag on the sofa. According to the book recommended by GOSH, 'Late, Lost and Unprepared', we have to try and create a 'prosthetic' environment where, subtly, we make it easier for him to remember things. For example, we have dedicated places for things he has to remember, close to where he is most likely to spot them if you see what I mean. I can't say my executive functioning is great but I've learnt to make copious lists and look at the calendar many times a day!

Things are not moving fast regarding the insulin pump. I had a letter with a booking code but when I rang the number, they seemed thrown by my choice of Exeter Hospital over Torbay (no competition I'm afraid) and said they'd have to pass my details on and get them to write to me. More waiting.....

Right, time to make sure OB is reading a 'proper' book rather than a Wimpy Kid one to which he is addicted but rationed as I'm concerned he'll lose the ability to cope with text without pictures. So, until next time, here are those dogs on their way up to Kestor on that frosty morning. Sorry about the overuse of the term 'frosty' by the way.........there it is again.