26 December 2014


Commissions finished, cooking done, presents wrapped, cards delivered and sent and all those other stressful things dealt with. Time to enjoy Christmas day. Early morning walk with the dogs. First some new brown jelly Witch's Butter or Tree ear fungus on a fallen tree: 

Subtle and beautiful skies:

Then after a very light lunch in preparation for later Christmas dinner, another go. A beautiful day. 

And then something ominous on the horizon which completely passed us by. I spoke to a friend four miles away as the crow flies and she said they were completely drenched. You could see the waves of sleety rain but not a drop touched us.

Lucky, main present was a pair of very expensive Berghaus waterproof trousers which didn't get a test run. They did this morning though and they're fantastic. No more sodden legs!

Happy slightly belated Christmas and thank you so much for all your support this year. xxx

12 December 2014


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 ; her images blew me away. So, until next time, here are those boys, Jack with the upper stick hand as usual.

9 December 2014


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 ( ) 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 ( ) 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.