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 July 2013

ENGLAND'S BROWN AND PLEASANT LAND


This is our town Chagford from up on our part of the moor yesterday. It was a bit hazy but you get the general idea. Thank goodness the rain has come in force today and things might start to go green again, but anywhere cultivated looks like it's been toasted and makes the usually bleak moorland look like lush pasture:


Parched grassy bits on Kestor Rocks


Our desert island in a moorland sea


Chagford again

I'be been keeping an eye out for Tornado over the past few days and, on one of the occasions I saw her, she was very much living up to her name. Most of the shots, from a great distance, were too blurry with speed but this one was okay as she slithered to a halt after much prancing. The faithful bay gelding from last year is keeping watch over her; I say her because after a close look I can see no obvious evidence of coltness. Knowing my abilities in this field I should look forward to the next post reversing my decision.


A few more of her. I'm a bit smitten....



Oh dear....what's that in the nether department? I give up. 


The bad hair mother and daughter were in evidence yesterday, still sporting their ridiculous fur coats. Here's the daughter with what looks like an aunt:


Origami Boy is well and truly in holiday mode, so long walks aren't really happening. However, he does love whacking a tennis ball for Snippet which get's him excercised in a concentrated kind of way:


 


There are lots of young Chaffinches around on the feeder at the moment:






The sole Blue Tit juvenile is nearly grown up:


Blackbird juveniles are appearing for the first time:


There are two broods of Great Tits around now. First, nearly mature:


And the second, still fluffy with gapes:


The first Thrush for ages:



The gorse is flowering AGAIN. This is the third time this year!

                                      

Meadowsweet is  looking beautiful around our neighbour's pond:


Spear Thistle are flowering everywhere:


Our Runner Beans are going a bit mad. Origami Boy has grabbed this one out of his window and tied it to his desk drawer with a piece of string:


We shouldn't have sown the second lot of salad when we did.....it's ready much too soon and we're handing bags of out to everyone we know:


I'm managing to write this in a brief window between holiday activities and bed. Hayfever is keeping me awake half the night at the moment, as the pollen gently descends from the stratosphere into my nostrils via the battle ground that is the windows. I would like them closed as a barrier to the sneezey stuff, whereas my partner likes them wide open. An age old argument I'm sure. I grump out of bed in the small hours of the morning, snuffling like a truffle pig, and slam them closed, only to find them open again in the morning. Tonight, I'm trying some drowsy making antihistamine tablets in the hope of killing two birds with one pill but we'll see.  Until my next available moment for communication, here's Snippet after my latest dog grooming exercise with the clippers. This is what he was like as a puppy....he'll be bald before you know it....



50 comments:

  1. What a great place you live, and what great photos. I have to say that I'[m with your partner on the open window debate, but I don't suffer from hay-fever. More rain on the way...

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    1. Torrential today...coat on.........coat off..............coat on.......coat off.

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  2. Love the photos of Chagford! Love Tornado also although the sex is still open for debate :) Envious of all your close up bird photos-they are wonderful!!

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    1. Close up photos of close up birds which helps! They really are only five feet away.

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  3. I can't believe how brown everything is, are you sure some are not wheat fields? The photos of the wildlife is as always great. I have a post about birds on Monday. Hormones are normally racing in young males horses if that's any help on trying to figure out if its a he or a she.......they will hump anything in site or at least the two foals on the farm across the way do!!

    Gill in Canada

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    1. They are all the fields that were cut for hay a couple of weeks ago and the grass is NOT growing back. Now we've had lots of rain, it should start going green again I hope!

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  4. Such a pretty town nestled in the countryside. Must be a great place to live. Beautiful photos as always!!

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    1. It's a lovely town. Village sized but a town in terms of its shops and its Stannary status in the world of tin weighing in bygone days.

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  5. Snippet is a bundle of energy!. Your photos are always outstanding, but I love the one of the gorse. Just gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Chris. He has SLIGHTLY less energy than he did as a puppy but only slightly.

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  6. I think if I was there, I wouldn't know what to look at, the amazing view of your lovely town, the horses, or maybe I'd watch Snippet! :-)

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    1. Snippet is always good for a laugh.

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    1. Isn't it lovely? Black and white too!

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  8. That is one SMART little foal, regardless of sex! I would be finding the owner and offering to buy at weaning (for my mythical grandchildren you understand!)

    Brilliant bird photos as always, and the photo of Chagford made me want to be there, NOW. I sold a spotty 1950s Babbacombe jug to a Devon couple on holiday yesterday. We chatted for ages, and I told them about my Devon roots and they said, Oh, you have to come HOME. That's just how I feel about it too.

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    1. You really must but I know you have a house to sell first! I can always make the farmer an offer for you regarding the foal...

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  9. What a lovely landscape you get to call home! I understand why you'd be smitten with Tornado - beautiful animal!

    I like the juvenile bird photos too. The Great Tit is a beautiful bird that I loved seeing when I lived in the UK, though I had no idea at the time of how vicious they can be compared to other songbirds.

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    1. I love the Great Tits too. One of the most recognisable songs too which is always a help when that isn't your strong point.

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  10. Clipping a dog gives you a new one with each hair cut :-)

    Love the baby chaffinches and v envious of your thrush- haven't seen one in ages. That foal had quite a dished face- were the dartmoors ever bred with arabs? The forest ponies here were so I guess it's possible.

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    1. The pure Dartmoor breeders wouldn't let their ponies out on the moor for fear of producing ones like Tornado. They could have ANYTHING in them quite frankly, given the stallions that are allowed to roam out there.

      Your'e so right about the new dog!

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    2. Ahh that's v interesting. Must have much tighter controls in the forest then- v strict on who is allowed to roam and when. The arab blood was introduced in the 1800's (approx) to dilute things as the old gene pool was becoming a tad shallow!

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    3. Exmoor is much more strict I think. The Stallion out there two years ago that produced all last year's coloured foals was AT LEAST 14.2hh and piebald. Not Dartmoor in the slightest!

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  11. Wonderful photos - the views are beautiful, even if it's all looking a bit parched and I love all the birds. Tornado is so adorable, I would be smitten, too. And great to see Snippet at full speed!

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    1. He can really move when he wants to!

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  12. Love Tornado.. and Snippet is transformed! Does he approve do you think?!

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    1. There was much whining and attempts to sit down when I did it, but I think he's happier with the temperature. He had nearly four years of growth there as I'd never done it before!

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  13. Glad you finally got some rain - can't believe how brown it all looks. There again grass verges round here look the same :) Tornado is such a beautiful foal - your photos are wonderful as always. Love the shots too of Snippet :)

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    1. We've now got a little too much rain and the water butt is overflowing!

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  14. Dear Em, good to catch up with all your news. Gosh, England does look brown!
    Snippet's haircut is very elegant. Yes 'the puppy cut'!
    Loved your sidebar picture of the spaniels.
    Cheers.

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    1. I went to see the owner of those Spaniels today funnily enough. The drawings were a wedding present last year when I was the bridesmaid. Please, no one ever put me in a frock again!

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  15. Have a feeling that things will start to look green again soon, the rain seems set for a few days. Loving the pictures, they are always a real highlight of my blog browsing - thank you :-)

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  16. Lovely photos Em, everywhere is brown! I was at Berry Head yesterday and it looks parched-even evidence of a small grass fire and lots of notices about no bbqs etc. Love the two (bad hair)horses together very sweet. Great pictures of all the birds, it's always lovely when you see a Thrush, we get them here in the garden in winter and early spring mostly.

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    1. The thrush has been gone for so long, I'd given up looking for her/him. I think this one is a juvenile which is great news. I THINK those are the remains of gapes I can see....

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  17. Lovely images and what a beautiful place you are fortunate enough to call home. The countryside up here in eastern Yorkshire is pretty parched too but some rain recently and a few thunderstorms have greened things up somewhat. However 2013 will surely have some of the best hay for years :-)

    Nice to see Tornado again as well :-)

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    1. I've had the good fortune to have a smell of some of that hay and you're right, it's wonderful.

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  18. Hi Glad the rain has come to your fields now as it looked very brown. Love the close ups of the birds and great shot of horses an foal.

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  19. Tornado is gorgeous, bird pics divine. Grass in my garden here in Wales is brown too but rain has come at last...on and off....

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    1. Our grass is almost back to green after only two days - amazing.

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  20. I'd like to see anyone get close to our pup with clippers. He tries to eat the brush when we try and give his coat a once over! It looks like such a fab area you live in! Cute foals too :)

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  21. He's really not keen and whines the whole way through but he's going to have to get used to it as he hates being brushed even more!

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  22. Photos 1 and 4 are just perfect. And the final pix of your dog are so like my first dog 'Hamlet'; I miss him terribly even after 35 years.

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    1. When we first discovered Chagford, 14 years ago, I knew I wanted to live there. We moved there a year later and have never looked back except to compare a previous existence unfavourably!

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  23. I miss the moors, love the brown. I lived in the U.K. for several years as a child fond memories riding on the moors. Now I have the cranberry bogs that we ride about next to, in the pony cart.
    Great seeing lovey Tornado again ... such a beautiful little thing whatever he/she may be ;)

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    1. Oh my memories were running away with me, I just reread your post I didn't mean I miss dead grass. Lol

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  24. I love the photos on your blog - but my old eyes have such a time trying to read the black print on dark grey background, but that is ok - I'll just look at the wonderful photos.

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    1. Hi JoAnn,

      Lovely to have you visit. I do know what you mean about the black on grey. I'm able to do something on the mouse pad that makes the whole thing bigger, which helps. Next time, I'll try doing the whole thing BOLD and see if that helps!

      Em

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