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

20 May 2015

TEMPORARY RADIO SILENCE


Hello everybody. Last Friday, on my birthday, my mum took a turn for the worse and has been in hospital ever since. I think a lot of it is related to the fact that we go on holiday for a week to the Wye Valley in a couple of days, and she is terrified of my absence. However, I must go, for all sorts of reasons. I won't be blogging for a bit as I'm juggling so much stuff I sometimes think my head will explode and I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of a cliff. I won't fall. I know many of you have been through bad times like this and will understand. I miss reading all those of you who blog too but, realistically, I have no time to do so at the moment. I WILL BE BACK. So, until next time, my love to all and I can't wait to catch up really soon.  I have SO many photos......Em XX


8 May 2015

APRIL BITS AND PIECES


I've had no internet for four days now; it's been very challenging, especially as I'm in the midst of a mother crisis. On Tuesday, she was in a panic and said she couldn't cope any more. Since then, I've been in a whirlwind of arranging carers and looking for a respite place to bridge the time before her hip is replaced. Now, with a delightful commode and people coming in to help her (and me), the respite is no longer needed and she feels capable of staying in her lovely bungalow. I'm relieved as I can't manage it all on my own, especially as it's lawn mowing and gardening season as well as all her paperwork and, well, everything else too. Aging can be a terrible thing. 

OB takes his SATS next week and is very nervous about them poor love. There's so much pressure on kids these days. I never had homework OR tests at primary school. Did you? He'll have a room on his own in case of tics distracting the others, and a dedicated teaching assistant with him. We're so lucky to have such a supportive school.

I will be 51 next Friday. Rather an anti-climax after last year's fabulous day I fear. Slightly concerned that, the usually incessantly pestering M, hasn't asked me what I'd like as a present. My childhood birthdays were always pretty awful and, as an adult, I make a show of not caring whether I get nice things or even, perhaps, a party, while my pathetic inner child is screaming "Where's my ****ing present!". Perhaps I need to talk about this.....it's been a hard week. I'll try not to back the car into a wall the day before if you remember that eye wateringly badly timed incident last year. 

Trigger is going on holiday for about four weeks from Tuesday, to some friends whose ponies I've been helping get halter trained over the last couple of months. It will be a walk of a couple of hours but worth it as he'll have grass and company and his little paddock might recover a bit. I'll try and take pictures on the journey for next time. 

Time for a selection of pictures from April. they would have been nearer the end of that month had it not been for crises and internet issues. I didn't think it would be back till the middle of next week so I'm amazed to be posting at all. First a couple of sheep. Eyes and ears....


That bit of grass looks like white wool coming out of her mouth:


Fresh green of new Beech leaves. I do love that curve of more in the distance coming out too:


Fresh Hawthorn leaves and an old berry:


Remember the Dun pony I thought didn't look like the rest of them out there? Well here she is a couple of days before I managed to catch her and return her to her owner, who was delighted to have her back. Her name is Tilly:


New foals......this one has a mark like a tick and, since OB calls his tic supressing exercised 'tic tac's', that's what we've christened her (that means she's probably male knowing me): Tic Tac:






Another one....no name yet as I haven't got a decent picture of it's markings:



One of the gelding protectorate rolling a bit too close to a drop:


This year's herd on the move:


Skylark refusing to look at the camera:


Beautiful Buzzard:


Meadow Pipit singing and doing its Skylark impression:


Closer to the ground:


A lone Pheasant out on the moor looking a bit lost:


Kestrel about to drop on its prey:


Metal bird (Lynx I think) over Chagford:


Crossed vapour trails over Kestor:


This hasn't come out quite how it looked....I was trying to show the impact of a field of oil seed rape in an otherwise green landscape. Someone is stealing the show:


I love the colours of the trees in this one:


A few extra pictures from that day in Westwood Ho!....

The pebble ridge:


Jack and Finnian, who has a distinct height advantage!


The surfers prepare:


Scuba Jack?


Don't know what possessed me to take this. It was a beautiful day at a remote part of the river where I knew there was no chance of anyone disturbing me, my back was killing me, so I lay down on a rock and took this:


Then I heard some quacking......


All on his own in the middle of nowhere:


Mr Woodpecker giving me a hard stare:


The Bumble-footed Chaffinch is still going strong. 


I have a million things to catch up on so I'd better get on. I have no idea what you're all up to but will try and catch up over the weekend. Some more followers which is fantastic. Welcome and thank you. So, until next time, here is Snippet just after his haircut and Jack out cold, or warm, on my new wood-chip area. Have a lovely weekend!



21 April 2015

SUNSHINE


What an amazing few weeks of weather we've had here. I nearly stood on this male Adder last week and luckily, the dogs ran straight past it. Jack is definitely insured now, but I could do without the snakebite trauma again thank you very much. Beautiful though isn't he?


During the Easter holidays, OB and I went to climb the rocks at Hound Tor. I forgot my camera so M lent me one of the cameras from work; an old Sony SLR. No zoom to speak of but lovely to use something different.


 OB nearly gave me a heart attack perched on top of those rocks:






I think he's solving the Rubick's cube here: 



On his way down thank goodness....


On Easter Monday, OB's friend from Bideford invited him to his surfing birthday party on Westward Ho! beach. The giant pebble ridge is very impressive:


The weather was perfect for beginners....apparently. We took the dogs who had a brilliant time with their old friend Finnian:








OB had never surfed before and was a bit tentative to start with:



OB's friend's sister.....the light was amazing and her hair looked so beautiful in the sun:


OB feeling a bit more confident....


I've always been extremely reluctant to show OB's face on the blog, but just this once it's absolutely necessary. Standing up first time!


Friend's sister stick throwing for the dogs:


Although dawn is too early for me to see when I take the dogs out in the morning, the low sun has still been stunning:


I've mentioned before that, until I got this camera, I was under the impression that all the meadow Pipits were Skylarks. In fact, they are more rare a sight than you'd think, but last week I actually managed to capture one:


Soon gone.....


There has been SOME cloud....


This beautiful gelding is out with the mares in foal as protection and he is VERY protective. Once he realised we weren't there to hurt his ladies he calmed down though: 



The dogs are enjoying the sunshine too but are both panting as you can see:


Even when the surrounding areas are shrouded in morning mist, the moor remains drenched in sunshine:


That foal is growing fast. Still the only one in this area but there are definitely more to come:



Snippet has had the benefit of my clipping and snipping prowess: 


Another pony feeling drowsy.....


........and asleep:


Obligatory Meadow Pipits, some even singing:





Surely this summery weather can't continue? I think it's meant to break at the weekend but, while it does last, we are in heaven and it makes all the stresses and strains of life more bearable. I hope you're enjoying it too, if you live in this country. If you live in Canada, I hope the snow has melted! So until next time, here are the dogs (Snippet pre-haircut) in the morning sun. Have a lovely week.