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

27 September 2013

SLOW WORM AND MACRO BEECH


It's been a terrible year for reptile spotting here, with only one Adder and one Lizard until Wednesday, when this pretty Slow Worm decided to have a rest on the path next to the garden gate. The light was very low and so the pictures don't show the brassy sheen it had. I nearly missed out capturing it as I had no camera and the dogs so I bundled them into the car and sprinted back to the house. A few seconds after taking these, it had slithered off under the fence into our neighbour's garden. 



Yesterday, feeling somewhat down about the constant and blanket-like mist, I decided to go and visit some beech trees where I've previously seen a fabulous variety of fungi instead of striking out in the low visibility of the higher bits of moor. If the moor were a sea, these trees would be on the fringe of a cove and where we live would be a peninsula. They all droop low onto the ground, some touching it and provide some shelter for livestock when it's particularly inclement up here, which it often is. 


In the absence of those many fungi I mentioned, it clearly being too early in the year, I decided to just photograph the trees close up and what I found underneath. The light was very poor so apologies for some graininess in the the very close up ones.



These strange, pearl-like fungi were absolutely tiny



















These next ones were on the wall underneath the trees




I didn't kick this puffball; no idea which species it is I'm afraid. Massive knowledge void when it comes to Fungi



Bit of a dodgy shot from the other direction with Jack for a sense of scale

The sun came out this afternoon which was very exciting; I feel like everything's been out of focus for days in the mist. It almost dried some washing but not quite. It all has to be hung up again inside before eventually being put away. I'm boring myself now - sorry. Time to try and persuade OB and his friend who is staying tonight that it would be a good idea to get ready for bed. They're out in the garden in the dark whittling arrows. Penknives in the dark? Hmmmm. Until next time, here's Trigger, who is sprouting his winter coat and Jack basking in today's sunshine. Have a lovely weekend all of you, wherever you are. Thanks for following; I really do appreciate it!



45 comments:

  1. Fantastic photos Em, your fungi pictures are like visiting the moor in person. Trigger looks well and ready to take on the Winter, which I know in your neck of the woods, is two coats colder at times - have a great weekend yourselves :)

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    1. The Dartmoor Madams already have about half an inch of fur and growing!

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  2. It's been a 'quiet' year for snakes,skinks,and salamanders here too..I think it's the weather.
    Jane x

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    1. I expected to see lots during our heatwave in July but there were none. Having a dog doesn't help of course.

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  3. Those fungi photos were amazing to look at ... some like little extra terrestrial beings sort of , they amaze me ...fungi ~ I image extra terrestrial being might too.
    Nice to see Trigger , such a lovely color with the flaxen mane.

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    1. I'm a sucker for a chestnut; my old horse was like a bigger version of Trigger.

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  4. The photos of the beech trees and the detail of the fungi etc are wonderful - and they do make me feel as if I'm standing right under trees and studying them closely. There are so many different textures and colours there. I love the slow worms, too. I've only come across slow worms once this summer in a compost heap and these were tiny.

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    1. I think that one probably came out of our compost, although it was quite large - about a foot long.

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  5. What a lot of wonderful photographs. The detail is great. Trigger is beautifully golden and Jack looks fat and happy!

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  6. I was drawn to the pictures of the Slow Worm, but I actually enjoyed all those shots of fungi, lichen and moss more! So much life clustered together under those trees. I wouldn't know where to begin with fungi identification either - insects give me enough grief!

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    1. Thank goodness for the internet Christian. I do most of my identification poring over various different photos in Google Images.

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    2. Yes, I do the exact same thing!

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  7. Wonderful photos Em. I loved the fungi, but Trigger made my day! The foot has healed completely obviously? Isn't it a nuisance when the washing needs hanging twice. I tend to bung it into the hot water cupboard and turn it in 12 hours. If I've not folded it first that makes ironing it difficult, but at least it's dry without the use of the dryer.

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    1. The foot is great. The infection popped out of the top in a strange solid polyp which I picked off and now there's just a kind of scar there which will grow out in about six months. Very strange.

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  8. Your slow worm photos took me back to my childhood, when I had "pet" ones in the garden. We had a wild garden, at the side of the lawned bit, and another triangle of land the other side of the house where dad tried to grow strawberries. The banks there were home to all sorts of reptiles, and kids from around and about used to come and try and catch them! So I grew up happy to handle lizards and slow-worms, but blush now to think I held them so long they dropped their tails in distress (when weeing hadn't worked - they will do that to deter a predator).

    Lovely fungi and litchen photos too. I have the Roger Phillips' books for both. Invaluable for identification.

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    1. I tried to get that Roger Philips book but have had no luck so far. They rarely come up on ebay or amazon and they're SO expensive! I'll keep trying....

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  9. Amazing fungi and lichen photos and beautiful beech trees. What a great area to explore :)

    The slow worm photos are great - last time I saw one I was in the Lake District and we found one in a drain as we arrived at the cottage where we were staying.

    Hope this mist clears and you get more sunshine soon!

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    1. In a drain....how majestic! Today the rain is ABSOLUTELY tipping down. We were woken by thunder and lightning right over the house this morning too. Clearly the Met Office didn't look out of the window in Exeter today as they said there might be light showers!

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  10. Beautiful lichen images Em, you are so good at seeing all this with your artistic eye. Love the contrast of colours and textures-just amazing living things! Trigger looks so well and it's nice to see his foot is all cleared up. Great Slow Worm close ups too.

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    1. Thanks Suzie - Trigger could still do with putting on more weight but never mind, he seems happy enough.

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  11. Your photos are wonderful. I love how you've focused in on some of the small things in life. Hope you have a wonderful day.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

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    1. Welcome Heidi - I love your little inset picture!

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  12. Trigger is looking very well.

    Love the beech trees :-)

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    1. The sun wasn't catching his ribs at that point!

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  13. I don't suppose the weather today will be helping at all. Dartmoor seems to have disappeared, but it is misty and raining here too, so you are not alone.
    The brassy sheen on the slow worm is quite amazing. They live in the railway sleepers and walls that hold up the raised beds here, and in the compost heap.

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    1. What a terrible day! Just stopped in the last hour but we're still shrouded in that mist. What will tomorrow hold I wonder? Mist perhaps?

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  14. Another enjoyable series of photos! I am like you in that I have a knowledge void where fungi (and reptiles) are involved too, but they really do make for great photos, as do Trigger and Jack!

    I hope you're doing well, and I hope you have a good weekend!!

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  15. Gud Dug know when to come out and lay in the sunshine !
    Bellyrubs all around !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. He certainly doesn't like being rubbed with a towel.....what a performance in the porch today.

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  16. Nice one, Em. I`m very envious of your Slow Worm. A species i`ve never seen.

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    1. Only my second in 49 years Dean so I'm not doing brilliantly either.

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  17. No apology needed for those exquisite photographs Em - that bright yellow lichen is such a startling colour. Lovely to see that happy Jack in the last photograph.

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    1. It's incredibly bright isn't it? Almost luminous in the mist.

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  18. what a lovely, secret world beneath the trees! Perfect shelter from hot sun and winter storms!

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    1. More of the hot sun please. I've forgotten what the sky looks like!

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  19. Absolutely love the photos of the trees hanging over the stone wall!

    Really would be glad if I had no snake or worm sightings :)

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    1. I'm sure if they weren't so rare a thing here I would feel the same Gail!

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  20. Fungi, moss and lichen really are fascinating and you have illustrated some fine specimens here! Those Beech trees are amazing! It is so lovely to see a slow worm in such detail. I saw a grass snake curled up in the sun catching some rays the other day...

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    1. You lucky thing! It's been SO bad this year which is odd given the glorious weather.

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  21. What an incredible post, Em! The last Slow Worm I saw was also in Devon (but edge of Exmoor) ... It was sliding over the path as we walked towards the mill at Dunster. I'm so glad you got your camera in time. Incidentally, I've just been looking at this ... and wondered if you had ever seen one? I certainly haven't (to date). The eyes round the edge are utterly extraordinary. The stuff myths are made of!

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    1. I have seen them Caroline and very strange they are too! I can't take credit for knowing what they were but partner fished one out of the river to show me a couple of years ago. Like stepping back a few million years.

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  22. Beautiful photos as always of the fungus/fungi? tumulus/tumuli? I have lost my way in words;) but having experienced the mists of Cornwall can understand the feeling of greyness.....

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    1. It's just relentless Thelma. I though it was clearing again today but it's back.....visibility down to about 20 yards!

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