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

28 May 2013

BANK HOLIDAY BAT



After clearing out the stable where I've kept Trigger's hay over the winter, very kindly lent by the neighbours who own the paddock where he was up here, I started walking back with a barrow load of dusty hay sweepings. Something caught my eye on the ground; an almost imperceptible movement. I looked down and wasn't sure what I was looking at. It looked like a large hairy beetle from above but, when I bent down, this is who I saw. A tiny Pipistrelle, obviously either exhausted or dying. It was very lucky it hadn't either been stepped on or killed by the many cats and dogs who might have stumbled upon it. Unlicensed though we are, rather than leave it to die there, we managed to coax it onto a piece of kitchen paper and persuade it to cling on to some twigs out of reach of any obvious predators. It wasn't happy and showed us its teeth - not a pretty sight and not a photographed one either I'm afraid. Sorry about the lack of focus on its face in the picture below; we didn't want to hang around. 



Here it is hanging on to a twig by one of its thumbs and a few hours later, it was hanging properly by its two feet. By morning it had gone, perhaps recovered. I hope so. Such a privilege to see one like that and something unlikely to happen again.  


Yesterday was the day of the annual Chagford Two Hills Race. I mentioned it last year but had few followers then so you may not remember. Run over just under three and a half miles, competitors run (or stagger in most cases) up and down first Meldon Hill in the pictures below then the adjacent Natterdon Hill, finishing back at the cricket ground to cheering crowds. Crowd is a relative term obviously given where we live but it's a great event and lots of Origami Boy's school mates run it as well as game adults and some really talented runners. A local man won it this year, who moved in next door to us about nine months ago. Not for me thank you....no stamina!




I love this last one with the ponies looking on. A few seconds later, they galloped off. The weather hasn't been too bad, with some really good spells of sunshine early on in the weekend. Not a great deal of walking, just a nice sociable time with friends and doing productive stuff in the garden, preparing for runner beans and salad crops. After last year's total disaster in that department, we're really hoping for some kind of success, even if it's only a bit of Rocket. Can you believe even that failed last year? A few other pictures from the garden this weekend:


Perfect Daisies in the sunshine


Shining Cranesbill


Wild Garlic


Blue Tit


One off our resident pair of Magpies

And finally, I'll leave you with the first Tormentil flower. By now the moor is usually covered in them but I've only seen this isolated one. Not a great photo but they are extremely small up here.  Tormentil is used to cure colic, diarrhoea and even cystitis. Because the roots contain tannin, chewing them is thought to harden the gums and keep the mouth clear of other complaints. I can't say I've tried any of that myself so....until next time, here it is - the lone Tormentil.



36 comments:

  1. I hope the bat survived. I'm sure you did the right thing. I found one on the hall carpet last year, and carefully took it to the base of a tree. I didn't realise I had to be licensed to do that. It quickly started to climb up the trunk and, hopefully by nightfall, was able to join up with its mates.

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    1. I checked the undergrowth yesterday and there's no sign of it so I think it might be okay. I seem to have sorted out replying without having to write a huge list of names at last like you do....much better!

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  2. Oh bless him, I adore bats!

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    1. I wonder if it was a him.....we had visions of the bat police appearing if we tried anything like turning him over.

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  3. A bat and a magpie in one post! It doesn't get much better than this!
    Jane x

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  4. You were lucky to see a pipistrelle at such close quarters. Hopefully it is now happily flying around again. We once found one recently killed by a neighbour`s cat. Such a delicate, beautiful little creature.

    I`m not surprised the Dartmoor ponies galloped off. They must have seen all those humans running away up the hill and thought that a tiger couldn`t be far behind!

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    1. The cat thing was the big worry with the neighbour's garden full of their very beautiful Bengal ones....ten or twelve of them I think!

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  5. Love the photo of the horses watching the crazy people run up the hill.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Crazy indeed though I wish I had the ability, or even the inclination to do it too.

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  6. Poor bat, it must have been exhausted. I hope it survived.
    Love the photo of the ponies watching the runners! So funny.
    Gorgeous photo of the Magpie!

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    1. The Magpies are getting closer and closer and, beautiful though they are, they do hog the food!

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  7. Love the daisies.
    I wonder went through those ponies minds watching the people!! : )

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    1. The daisies is my favourite. The light was just right and I'm afraid to say, I mowed them off ten minutes later!

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  8. Those daisies are absolutely beautiful! And oh those crazy people running up the hill. The horses had more sense.

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  9. What a lovely photo of the bat, I'm glad it let you help it. And as for the humans, the ponies must have thought them crazy! Cheering them on would be more my style than joining them, and I might well be cheering from inside the cafe!!
    Lovely photos, thanks again.

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    1. Had there been a cafe Virginia, I would have been in it with a large hot chocolate.

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  10. Poor old bat, trusting it will survive. Glad the weather is improving on Dartmoor, perhaps you should think of cover for your vegetables for protection. Great photos of the bat by the way, he looked so soft and furry and no teeth showing ;)

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    1. We have built a kind of wood and polythene cold frame so the salad will be in there after we move the seedlings out, but the runner beans and french beans need a three foot copper wall buried up to two feet down I think!

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  11. Terrific photos. Poor little bat - I'm glad you were able to help it. I love the flowers, too and was interested in your information about the Tormentil.

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    1. Tormentil is such an unassuming little flower but, if all that's true about it, I'm surprised it isn't being harvested!

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  12. Great photos of the bat - do hope it survived.

    Some wonderful photos - love the one of the daisies :)

    The run looks hard work!! The horses have the right idea :)

    Only just seeing tormentil flowering in the lanes round here. We have a few in hidden nooks in the garden but haven't noticed it flowering yet.

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    1. Interesting it's not flowering much with you either. I'm looking forward to it going mad if we have a sunny spell again, perhaps with the bedstraw too. They all look so lovely together although it feels like a distant memory at the moment.

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  13. Hi Em, I do hope the bat survived. They used to be such a common sight flying around the eaves of our house as darkness was falling but not for some years now. Lovely flower and bird photos to brighten up a miserable, wet day here. I loved all your 'messy eaters' on the previous post too :-)

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  14. Sorry you've had a dull day - it's actually been okay here but beginning to look ominous this evening. We have pipistrelles in our loft but this one came from the next door farm I think.

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  15. We have bats in our barn and we see them every night when we take our dog out for her last walk, but I have never seen one as close as that - amazing.

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    1. Neither had I Pat. It was magical. Like you, I'm used to seeing them flit past in the twilight.

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  16. Oh I so love bats thank goodness that story had a happy ending Em. Also demonstrates it's right to apply common sense to "interfering." I loved the photo of the ponies watching the runners. You could almost hear them thinking "what are those nutters up to?" My husband would love that race, it's right up his street. CT x

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    1. Absolutely - if we'd left it, it wouldn't have had a chance.

      Why not pop down next year for the race? All entries welcome! You need to train on VERY steep hills though; I can barely walk up that one. x

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    2. I'll suggest it- he's always looking for gnarly off-road races. When we went to the lakes a few years back I made the mistake of agreeing to walk up one of the steeper hills. I got half way and my legs refused to continue, so we ran back down it (great fun and v exhilarating) but the next day my legs were so seized up it was three days before I could climb the stairs at home :-0

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    3. It's the going downhill that plays havoc with my knees! I'll remind you about the race again a couple of months before next year....if I remember.

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  17. How lovely to have seen the tiny bat. We do hope it rested, flew somewhere safe and survived it's ordeal.

    Did you see our post

    http://airedalemollyandwelshtaffy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/almost-wordless-wednesday.html

    Silly duck has nested in our hedge!

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

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    1. Have just been to look - very sweet!

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  18. well done for helping the little bat. they are gorgeous little creatures, and I am glad you were able to help. I was smiling at the photos, then scrolled through the rest to see the magpie! oh that one made my day!!

    Leanne x

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    1. Always think of you when I take them!

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