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

12 September 2013

SUMMER'S END AND THE BIRDS ARE BACK

                                 

Funny how quickly it feels autumnal. Only a few days ago, it still felt like summer, but today the mists and dew say otherwise. The berries in the Guelder Rose above in our mixed hedge look the part, and the late summer Japanese Anemones are starting to fade. This is the first year I've managed to grow them up here; they're doing very well.


I've noticed the Swifts and Swallows are feeding frenziedly in anticipation of their pending long journey and the garden birds are back eating their porridge. I keep missing Nuthatches feeding, stumbling through the house to get the camera, only to find them gone by the time I get back. The ones I've seen look very fresh and young and I wonder if they are the offspring of our breeding pair. No problems photographing Sparrows or Chaffinches obviously.


The young male Chaffinches are beginning to colour up


And get aggressive with the Sparrows


Tiny Blue Tit




Lots of young Sparrows


Great Tit

Today I decided to take Jack for his first trip down to the river. He's done streams but nothing bigger. On the way we saw many cows. 


This one wasn't fooling anybody:


Jack is not quite as obsessed with sticks as Snippet, but he will be soon.


The pair of them were racing about like mad things in the absence of sheep. Lovely to see Snippet having such fun and reinforcing the decision to have the two of them.





The moor is beginning to turn an autumnal shade of greenish brown.



I saw a Heron about a quarter of a mile away:


The river was beautiful






More of the same doggy energy on the way home.....




Jack is chewing stuff. Snippet never did. I used to provide him with old socks to chew which averted the problem. Unfortunately, every time I try and give Jack something to stop him chewing the doormat, OB's shoes, the rug and most worryingly, the floorboards, Snippet steals it. If only he like Runner Beans - we have enough to feed many armies. I was terrified of a repeat of last year's total failure and over-planted, thinking at least half would fail. they didn't, and for weeks now, I've been picking armfuls every day. The freezer is full, we eat them every night and friends and neighbours are inundated with the things. Still - there are worse things to be inundated with.

A word of advice regarding aluminium dog tags. Great for small dogs given their weight but don't go for the lovely subtle and tasteful silver colour I thought would be nice for Snippet.....the engraving is already completely illegible given that it has no contrasting effect against the aluminium and I've had to order yet more in lurid blue. 

Until next time, here's Snippet looking weary after a particularly hard bout of Jack-chasing this afternoon. Please note the blank looking tag.



47 comments:

  1. Hi Em Love all the bird shots at the feeders. I have never given my birds porridge. I usually eat it all!! That was a lovely walk you took us on, great scenery,peaceful. I adore the shot where that cow 'thinks' he is hiding behind that tree!

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    1. I wouldn't eat the bird porridge not being a fan of it being made with water and it sitting , solidifying for six hours!

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  2. too bad you couldn't bottle that all doggy energy!

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  3. Love the undercover cow.
    We still get so few sparrows down here, I hardly ever see them. Unless they are hiding too!

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    1. We have more than I've ever seen anywhere before. They live in holes in the eaves of the houses and in the many barns dotted around. Perhaps I could make my fortune doing Sparrow tours?

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  4. yes you're right, it turned Autumnal almost over night a few days back. Loved al the photos, especially of the 2 dogs racing and playing. What a glorious place to live when you are a little black dog.

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  5. Our dog tags are sorted by Mr Nesbitt - a precision engineer.

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    1. You lucky thing! I bet they're a lot nicer, and not lurid blue.

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  6. Your bird pictures are fabulous. Love the cow hiding behind that little skinny tree. I've come to really enjoy cows. I see so many of them in my new surroundings here.

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    1. I enjoy them as long as they're not blocking the road when I'm in a hurry. They just stand there staring at me until I get out and start shooing them away.

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  7. Poor old Snippet being run ragged by Jack. I do so love your photos. In addition I think Dartmoor would be one place I would love to live -- all those lovely wide open spaces. Love the cow camouflage too!

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    1. Do come and have a cup of tea if you do visit Chris.

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  8. I love your bird photos and miss seeing mine. We have no birds outside of a pair of Titmouses and Chickadees. And of course Crows. Wish the Hawk would move elsewhere so some birds would come back.

    Love the photo of the cow hiding behind the bush :)

    I think there will come a time when Snippet and Jack are close friends.

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    1. They're already getting on much better. Jack likes Snippet more than Snippet likes him though!

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  9. Ah, beautiful Passer Domesticus...which we don't have here.
    It feels like autumn ,but the past two days have been 40C and 39C....which is weird.
    Jane x

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    1. That's hot! Sorry you don't have sparrows; they're such a British institution.

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  10. Great photos Em. We are 'grandparents' to a Golden retriever, and when she gets left with us I find it very difficult to give her a hard enough walk - unless I take her a 20 minute drive to the nearest "off leash" dog area. I realise, seeing your wonderful photos, that what I need is a companion dog to play with. Snippet will be being kept young, fit and mentally agile by Jack - and you don't have to gallop to exercise him.

    We're heading into summer here - we've had a few lovely warm days, but there's the "final fling" of winter arriving tonight, according to the Met Service. Bother it - another wet and wild weekend. Why couldn't it be during the working week?

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    1. It's always the weekend isn't it?

      I look at city dogs that only get a walk round the block and it's no wonder there's a canine obesity crisis as well as a human one!

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  11. I've just rediscovered the recipe for bird food goo which you kindly gave me earlier in the year. Our birds are starting to return too so I shall give it a go before long.

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    1. The main thing about it is that it's so cheap. A big bag of 'smart price' oats from a certain cheap supermarket and a bottle of budget sunflower oil will suffice if times are hard, which they are a bit at the moment. The birds don't seem to mind what's in it - they just wolf it down.

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  12. Lovely photos and some great action shots of the dogs having fun :) And I love the shot of the cow hiding behind the tree :)

    Feels very autumnal here too - dewy mornings and lots of berries in the garden and its gone much cooler.

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    1. I laugh every time I look at that cow picture. She looked really surprised when we actually passed her. Perhaps they have no perception of their own size?

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  13. Lovely set of photos, Em. Yeah...autumn as finally arrived and with it comes a whole host of new things to see & photograph.

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  14. I think we tend to forget Em that dogs are essentially pack animals and as such, once they have got used to one another they usually enjoy the experience. I think we can say for certain that your two have bonded. Love that cow 'hiding' behind that sapling.

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    1. I thought you might appreciate that one Pat.

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  15. Nice to see the birds back Em and you've got a nice collection of species in your garden (I would love to see a Nuthatch in my garden but they are very rare in East Yorkshire for some reason). Our Swifts left back in mid-August but a few of the Swallows are still around, for now anyway.

    PS. I had to smile when I saw the picture of the cow trying to hide behind the Holly bush :-)

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    1. We are SO lucky with the Nuthatches, and to have them nesting in our box is amazing. Two years running now and hoping for next year too.

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  16. Beautiful images of Dartmoor in its Autumn colours Em. Love the dosg running through the grass, and the cow behind the tree. I will also try the porridge and sunflower oil treat and see what happens. My gang of sparrows is eating all my seed, but no sign of other birds yet, just a couple of Goldfinches. I know we will see winder visitors soon enough.

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    1. We don't get Goldfinches up here at all. About a mile down the hill they flutter around, but I don't think they're robust enough for the winds here!

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  17. How do you make the bird porridge goo? I saw your reply to CT saying oats and sunflower oil...what do you do to make it stick together? The doggies look like they have so much fun! I wish we could get a friend for Bracken, but I don't think my mum is too keen on that idea yet!!

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    1. Just cheap porridge oats, a glug or two of sunflower oil and enough boiling water to cover it. Stir around a bit and leave for a few hours to cool down and solidify....serve with a clinking of the bowl.

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    2. Great! I shall definitely make some of this :)

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  18. Your boys look like they're having such a wonderful time together, love the picture of them chewing the stick together! It really does feel like Autumn now.... at least it seems that we've had a lovely summer this year.

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  19. Lovely photos as always. Love the rock bridge.
    This must be a dogs dream to be running around on the open space.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Em, I forgot to mention I wrote a comment to your comment on my Wednesday post about photo cards. If you have a chance check it out.

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    2. I'll have a look now - thanks Parsnip. x

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  20. Fabulous photos of the little birds and the scenery is fantastic.

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  21. I do love your photos of the moor. I will be there again next week looking after my father. You really capture it in all its bareness and beauty.

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    1. Hope your father is okay and that it doesn't rain for you. It's tipping down now!

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  22. Em... gosh I need your email... anyways.
    Etsy is sort of a pain.
    But here was my idea when I moved back to Tucson.
    I live in a big Tourist area and I was going to try and get my cards in several resorts around here. My health got in the way so I gave up on it.
    Does your town have any Tourist type shops that you could box your cards up and sell ? Since it is already September this might be an idea for next year.
    It might be better than Esty.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I haven't had a lot of luck with etsy either! Will send you my email via your blog. x

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  23. Great set of your beautiful photographs! little birds looking cute..nice post, Indeed...

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