17 December 2012


Sorry this picture is spilling over the side of the allotted space but it just wasn't big enough in 'extra large' mode. We are all in the mood for Christmas now. Origami Boy has been having a difficult time recently so we're throwing a little Christmas party for him and his three best friends on Friday. Everything needs to look festive. I'm a huge fan of the colour changing LED and bought what I thought were five rather naff angels until I put them up and started the lights going. I love them! The effect in the dark is fantastic as you can see below, alongside my father's Lion and Unicorn pieces from 1952. He and his first wife, Susan, ran the Richard Parkinson Pottery in the 50's and early 60's. More about that some other time......

A few of you mentioned 'sky-blue pink' after the last post and so I had a look online for its derivation. The only thing I could find was on a site called 'World Wide Words' which says:

The expression has been variously used — by exasperated adults to children when pestered about names for colours, as a “mind your own business” off-putting reply to an unwanted question, a sarcastic description of some over-the-top or inappropriate colour, as a hand-waving term meaning “whatever colour you want”, or a dismissive comment to the effect that colour doesn’t matter.

However, it first appeared in the states at the end of the nineteenth century, for example:

Brilliant colors in masculine garb are beginning to appear in Paris. ... The innovation will be a boon to some of our young men, who will find ample exercise for their faculties in determining whether pea green or sky blue pink would better suit their various complexions.

The Haverhill Daily Bulletin, Massachusetts, 14 July 1881.

I haven't shared any bird table pictures recently so here are some from the last week:

Great Tit

Great Tit with the Sparrows

Great Tit....again


Great and Blue Tits

That gorgeous Woodpecker again

and again.....

and here relaxing on a branch and, at one point, closing its eyes for a snooze!

I saw this amazing fungus a few weeks ago on a beech twig in Trigger's field. It disappeared over night but then reappeared about a week later on exactly the same twig. I've had no luck identifying it so submitted this picture to the i-spot web site in the hope that someone will be able to. If you know what it is please get in touch!

I know I go on about Fernworthy Forest being an eyesore, but the other day, with storm clouds building and whispy mists swirling, it did look quite dramatic, so I've deigned to give it space

Hmmm - the clouds are definitely more interesting than the forest. 

The herd have really come back together over the last week or so, minus Lizzy and numbers 1 and 2 of course. Difficult to photograph them all together but here a couple of groups and some individuals:

Number 3, Thelwell candidate

Plush velvet. I think this is number 8's sister, born last year

Number 8

Numbers 4 and 8 

This post was actually meant to be published two days ago but we lost the internet on  Saturday and have only just got it back for long enough to finish writing and uploading. When Snip and I were out, we met this dopey hound, miles away from his pack and very lost. They're really not very bright.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to Cindy at who sent me a lovely unexpected Christmas present of two maple leaf shapes made of crystalised maple syrup after I mentioned how my great uncle used to send them to me from Toronto when I was a child. They arrived this afternoon and a nibble transported me back forty years. What a lovely surprise!

And so, with only a week to go, I will leave you with a fluffy Snippet. Hope all your Christmas preparations are going well/finished/started. I will no doubt speak to you before the day. Until then..............


  1. Fab photos. I know what you mean about plush velvet. My Highland pony had such a thick winter coat, you could bury your hands in it and they'd dissapear.

  2. The tree is lovely; have fun on the Party Day. You have really had great luck with getting a woodpeckers photo every since mentioning about it before. That fungi looks like something that should be under water on some exotic reef.

  3. What a lovely tree. I hope that Origami Boy and his friends have a lovely party. Many many years ago, when I was about 112 or 13, we used to go riding at a stables in Lyndhurst - we would hold up traffic as we rode down the High Street! - and one of the ponies there was called Plush, and just like your little chap in the photo. I seem to remember he was sold to Sweden.

    Good bird photos too. A good zoom lens is something I yearn for.

  4. I do love that woodpecker. And the ponies, of course.
    The birds really like the porridge - do you make it for them everyday?

    Still well behind the pace here, I'm sure it will come right on the night.

  5. love the photos of the birds.

    Gill in Canada

  6. Beautiful photos as always.
    I so worry about the birds and ponies. Oh I know they live there and are use to the weather but it looks so cold. Are there places for the birds to nest in and do the ponies huddle together ?

    Love your tree so lovely.
    I will post my tree it only has lights and origami birds. I keep Christmas very simple lately and I rather like it.

    cheers, parsnip

  7. Kath - I got very close to a pony from a different herd yesterday who let me do just was like wearing the warmest gloves in the world.

    Cindy - I've never seen anything like that fungus. I really want to touch it but it probably wouldn't be a good idea.

    BB - I think they'd probably be alright in Sweden but perhaps not number 10!

    Rusty D - I do make the porridge every day in my empty cereal bowl after breakfast so as to avoid more washing up. Christmas always does seem to come together, even if it's in the early hours of Christmas Day!

    Gill - A reminder of home perhaps?

    Parsnip - They really do seem to be okay out there but I know what you mean about worrying. I'm tempted to go out with bales of hay for the ponies but they all survive without me.

  8. Hi Em,

    It's not a fungus just frost.We get them in the beech woods all the time.Tried to look up why it does that but can't yet find out.Next time touch it and it will melt! D usually brings a stick home to watch it melt.It is usually on a certain type of twig, something clever to do with water vapour being pushed out or something. xxxx

  9. Em, have been ill so not on my blog until today. LOVE the sketch you sent, received it on Saturday and it definitely helped to brighten my day! I will scan it and post on my blog as soon as I can get caught back up! Thank you again!

  10. Your beautiful photos draw me in--the detail of the bird's feathers is so clear.
    There is a gentleman who posts photos of what he calls 'frost flowers' on our local on-line magazine--they are similar to your fluffy white 'thing.'
    I wanted to sneak behind the tree to look at the books on the shelves.

  11. Rachel - and there was me nor touching it for fear of poisoning! What's odd is that it was there when there was no frost anywhere else so I can't wait to get my hands on it - thank you!

    Gail - I was wondering if you were okay or whether you'd gone away. So sorry to hear you've been feeling so bad. I'll catch up with you later.

    MM - One shelf is all the nature books and the other a funny mix of anything small that would fit in the slot that was actually designed for the now obsolete video recorder! From The Old Curiosity Shop and Keats at one end, to Geology and Pond Life the other.

  12. The fungus is extraordinary, utterly bizarre, somewhat avian (or alien!).

    Your tree, however, is pure delight! Those straw stars (mine are from Germany) are always my favourite decorations ...

    Enjoy the party!

  13. ... or, having read the other comments, I think it may be rime (frozen frost).

  14. I think it has to be. Morning's Minion said Frost Flowers and, looking that up, it seems they're very specific and very rare, so I guess I should be pleased we have a twig or two that produces them. Rime frost looks more crystalline and less like, well, fungus!

    Happy Christmas and the straw ones came from Ikea by the way....

  15. hi. thank you so much for finding my blog, it has allowed me to find yours. what beautiful artwork and photos. i look forward to getting to know you.

    merry christmas

  16. Lovely to have you Bev. Thanks for joining and I'm looking forward to your next installment!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's great to read them and I will always try to reply.