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

18 November 2014

A SEA OF MIST


One early morning over the weekend, the dogs and I climbed up to Kestor and were greeted with a view over Devon which resembled peninsulas and islands in a white sea. Chagford is somewhere under the first big white expanse. It was just beautiful. There was a strange haziness in the air too:


Sorry but I have to press some more views of the mist sea upon you.....





Looking back at Kestor as we walked home. I love the way the sun is catching the haze:


Something I've never seen before - lack of awareness rather then it being an unknown phenomenon - a shadow of Kestor on our little hamlet:


That sunshine was a rare thing this week without there being rain with it. Most days have been dull and wet. These poor cows' backs were covered in dew one morning:



The dogs and I were completely drenched by what caused this beautiful rainbow at the end of last week:






The murder if crows is still around. I'm trying to get some good flying shots but this is the best I have managed so far:


Snippet really is camera shy at the moment.....


A lot of fungi are collapsing;



Whilst some are going strong. This Witch's Butter comes and goes all winter: 


These little ones come up every year and look like Chanterelles but I'm not sure enough to put them in the frying pan:


Hawthorn berries are fading to this beautiful dark, crimson red:


Another member of the murder sits on the Long Stone:


OB noticed this tree whose leaves have been ripped off on one side by an very strong and unusual South Easterly wind:


I haven't included the obligatory Meadow Pipit for a while but here it is today. I feel better now for it being here. I've been missing them.


I love this picture of Jack. I wonder what was so interesting in the distance.


Today I had my annual diabetic review AND a mammogram all before 1.00pm. Not much fun but important, especially as I've asked to be referred to Exeter for an Insulin pump. I know in the States, most type 1 diabetics use them but we've been extremely slow on the uptake in this country. When it was first suggested to me some ten years ago, I was very reluctant as it was clunky and offered no real advantage to me as it had no way of monitoring my blood sugar levels. I have always had a problem with my levels plummeting overnight and then rising steeply before waking and no one has ever been able to solve it. As a result, I am constantly tired and the hidden consequences are ones I try not to think about. Despite the problem, my overall control has always been good and I have no complications, but recently, there have been slight changes in my retina and I've been struggling with control; Insulin pumps are now completely different and can offer integrated glucose monitoring as well as being much lighter to wear so I decided, now is the time to to go for it....Devon's NHS budget allowing. They are expensive. I'll keep you posted.......

All the cards have been sold in theory, but I will probably be ordering more as I now have none for myself, so let me know if you would like some. See the previous post (http://dartmoorramblings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/cards-are-ready-but-id-be-fired-by-lord.html) for details.

So until next time, here are the dogs in one of rare sunny moments, Snippet still managing to avoid full disclosure. Have a great week everyone.



11 November 2014

CARDS ARE READY BUT I'D BE FIRED BY LORD SUGAR


What the hell is wrong with my maths? Okay - I'm not a genius like OB but I have a very good 'O' level and started maths 'A' level.....had to give it up in the face of incomprehensible algebra, but I gave it a go! Yet again, I've managed to get the pricing wrong on the cards, forgetting comission, the cost of postage from the printers and VAT, and will make a loss if I sell them through Etsy or eBay and break even if I sell them to you for 50p more than I said privately with you paying via Paypal (the friendly way that doesn't cost you). Hopeless and I completely understand if you don't want them at £6.50. M refuses to watch 'The Apprentice' but I can't help still getting a guilty pleasure from watching the unbelievable mix of arrogance and stupidity the 'candidates' display. However, the Sugar Lord would have me in the taxi over this one. 

If you do still want the cards (8, not the 4 depicted obviously), please contact me by email at emparko@gmail.com and we can do it that way. I'll never be a millionaire, or even a hundredaire quite frankly. I love those red envelopes.


Just a few photos to cover my embarrassment over financial irregularities. Can't resist those Golden Plovers, here showing off their legs:



A shame they're not sharper here but I still like it with the rocks behind:


Snoozing in the sun, now a distant memory as the rain tips down incessantly:


Terraced shadows:


Sadly uprooted but nice to see the beautiful salmon colour of its underside:


Lone Stone:


Meldon Hill beyond a fir plantation from the moor:


This is a bit bleak but I love it anyway:


One of those Lichens that look like some kind of medical nightmare. I still haven't managed to identify them but they're absolutely fascinating:


The lane is a river at the moment but at least it all runs away pretty quickly. M was driving over the Somerset Levels today and said the fields are already under water. Very worrying. 

OB told me that his acting head teacher didn't manage to observe the two minute silence today (he was timing it on his watch obviously), talking after a minute and a half. Shocking. I was painting next door and stood looking at the rain running down the window for two minutes. I always cry. 

Right, time to go and hang my business head in shame and prepare for tomorrow when OB is going to Exeter University for a day learning about writing and drawing graphic novels arranged for those on the gifted and talented register. I have to print out a parking permit which only allows me 10 minutes. I wish I could go too. So, until next time, here are those dogs stalking things. have a lovely rest of the week all of you and welcome to a couple of new followers, Humberto and Marie....it's been a while!



4 November 2014

OCTOBER BITS AND PIECES


This week I have decided not to stress about only posting once a week. It really is all I can manage and, though I miss more regular contact with all my bloggy friends, I just can't do it with everything else going on. I hope the future holds less stress and more time for blogging but for the moment, I hope you will all understand. 

The last week has seen a shocking change in the weather. I realise I haven't felt cold since March and this morning, when I marched out at 7.00am with no gloves and only two thin layers under my fairly insubstantial coat, I was actually shivering. I'm not ready for this at all and had to go scrabbling about in the cupboard to find a hat and gloves for later. Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes and I'm kind of hoping OB has forgotten.....no mention of it yet. If we stand on top of Kestor on a clear night, we can see  fireworks for tens of miles. 

It's definitely a bits and pieces post. As I went through what I had to show for a week, it was sadly lacking.....so......

Fungi have been in evidence for weeks but I haven't taken many very good pictures. I quite like these though. Nice Beech nut on the top of this one....



The wet weather has meant the lichens are flourishing after a our long dry summer. No Devil's matchsticks yet but they should appear soon.



I've been walking past this smallish rock very close to Kestor for over fourteen years now and, since we moved up here six and a half years ago, on an almost daily basis, and I have never noticed how like a Dartmoor pony the black section looks:


Diamond:


Smudge:


Halloween pumpkins in Chagford last Friday:


Perky sheep:


There is an enormous amount  of flocking going on at the moment. Hundreds of Wood Pigeons fly out of Gidleigh Wood onto the moor every morning and, more recently, they've been joined by crows, allowing me to indulge in some fabulous collective nouns. Other than the most obvious murder of crows, they can also be a cauldron, congress, cowardice or storytelling with a loft, kit or dropping of pigeons. 





In the morning, the sun from the East casts a shadow of the moor onto the trees in the valley:



Today the deciduous grasses looked bleached in the sun:


The last two days I've managed to spot the Golden Plover flock, or should I say the congregation, stand, band or leash of Plovers:








Jack cast a nice shadow this morning:


Every time I climb the hill and see this view of our house, I can't believe how lucky we are:


As I started to run, well....jog home this lunchtime having seen black clouds approaching from afar, I disturbed a large bird in the long grass with beautiful pale markings and a wingspan of about a metre or three and a bit feet. As it turned in flight I realised it had the flat face of an owl (just the one, not a parliament or stare of them). Talking to our neighbour and looking at pictures, I'm now sure it was a Short Eared Owl. I've rarely seen any owl, let alone one so close up. Because I was coming at it fast.......ish, I was only a few yards from it when it took off. Very exciting. 

Right, time to get stuff ready for the morning and finish writing a draft letter to GOSH about various bits and pieces, in the absolute belief that they will reply and we will get an answer. Brilliant. So, until next time, here is a rather strange picture of toothy Snippet and flying eared Jack. Have a great week everyone.