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

26 November 2013

COLD


Winter is here. Heavy frost and cold air that can produce a cough if sucked in too deeply. The ground is like iron in the morning, softening by lunchtime. The ponies, when fighting over food, slither over and get up again with no sense of the embarrassment we humans might feel. The Renault is on borrowed time, so scraping the ice off the inside is only something I will have to do a few more times. We went to see a VW Polo on Saturday, only six months younger than the Renault-ecosystem, but with all its parts intact, and will be collecting it this coming Saturday. Here are some frosty pictures:


Oak


Beech


Snippet


Madam Lady Jane


Morning sun


Gorse


Moss


Dead grass


More grasses




Acer


More Beech


The plant whose name I can never remember in the garden


Marjoram


Fern

Today was the first day the Golden Plover flock were absent from their usual patch, a seemingly fruitless area of scrubby grass, but here they are yesterday.




A pair of Stonechats have appeared. I've not seen any for months; perhaps they've been recovering from their multiple broods over summer. No breeding colours present now.


Today I noticed smoke in the distance. Perhaps they are swailing over near Hound Tor and Haytor (seen on the Horizon). You may remember a picture in the spring of a farmer friend cutting fire breaks up here in preparation for swailing, but then it rained incessantly and the opportunity was lost. 


The Army were flying over us again today.......


.........and gone.


In the garden we have a pair of Bullfinches visiting but, unfortunately, they refuse to come close enough for me to get a decent picture. Still, anything is better than last year's Snow Bunting shot, which brings me out in a sweat every time I think about it!


I need to clean the windows AGAIN as these look a little grainier than I would like. Double glazing + grime + feeding station at weird angle + reflection of tap = not so great shots. However.........


Blackbird male


Chaffinch female


Dunnock

I wait with baited breath for the post each day for the arrival of some of the cards, including the rainbow sheep, whose printed success is in the balance I think. Because we're rather remote, the guarantee of its arrival before midday doesn't really apply, with our postie usually rolling up around 1.00pm. Nice of them to come at all quite frankly. I feel the same way about the rubbish and recycling; it's a miracle. So, until next time, here are Snippet and Jack enjoying the dry weather yesterday.



60 comments:

  1. I love... here are some frosty pictures: Oak Beech Snippet... that just made me giggle.
    #9 Dead grass is fabulous !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. He loves the frost and snow but then, if I had a coat like his, so would I!

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  2. Replies
    1. They look good enough to eat I think.

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  3. Brrrr.

    We haven't had frosts like that here yet and I am rather sorry for that- it's a beautiful landscape.

    LOVE the golden plovers, and glad to hear you've got your car sorted x

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    1. I'm missing the frost today CT - just dull, thick cloud with nothing to recommend it.

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  4. Gorgeous photographs as always Em. It's nice to see what is happening on the moor...we get a view of it on clear days you know, way off in the distance I know, but we still see it from a vantage point at Mullacott.

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    1. We can see Exmoor from our bedroom window, just not very well. I must have a look at where Mullacott is.....

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  5. The frost covered leaves are wonderful. One even is in bloom.

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  6. We just got a scraping on the car windows today. I do like a nice, crunchy frost!

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  7. That looks so frosty and cold but so beautiful. My son was out on Dartmoor on Saturday on a 10 mile walk and the weather was good to them. Glad you have found another car.
    Sarah x

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    1. Saturday was rain free as far as I recall so he was lucky! I can't wait to get the car. No more condensation.

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  8. Wow never seen a Golden Plover before! Now I will know.Lovely photos as always.Glad the new car is on the way:) x

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    1. This flock seems settled in for the winter so, if you come up one day, we can go stalking.

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  9. Is the pony named for Lady Jane Grey? Just wondering.
    The leaf shots are stunning (as are all your pics). Don't the plovers have gentle faces?!
    Jane x
    PS Don't kick the Renault as you leave it...however tempting.

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    1. The Renault looks as if it's been kicked many times already Jane and, yes, the pony's name was my unimaginative effort with GREY on a cold rainy morning some months ago!

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  10. Lovely photos again, made me feel cold looking at them. We've not had any sharp frosts here yet. Good to hear you will replacing your car before it lets you down completely and before it grows any more interesting things!

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    1. The breaking down is the fear, or something more major than the wing mirror dropping off, so I'm crossing my fingers until Saturday.

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  11. i do love to see the dogs charging about! I wish you had been with us on our chilly walk on Saturday. There were weak sun beams shining though the mist between the trees, you would have got a fabulous shot! and the 3 dogs could have charged about together :-)

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    1. I do love a bit of weak sunshine.Far more photogenic than the bright stuff!

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  12. Beautiful frost images, I particularly like the moss. Great shots of the birds visiting your garden, only the pigeons come close enough to get a decent picture in my garden. All the other birds stay further away and almost out of range. Lovely to see the dogs out in the dry sunny weather.

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    1. Sticking the feeding station right outside the kitchen window when they're all desperate for food helps!

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  13. Replies
    1. We do. Took some effort to get here but worth it.

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  14. Lovely frosty shots Em and you got some good G/Plover as well. I did see some of them the other day, but they were so far away, my photos are little dots in the distance.
    Nice shot of the Royal Navy Lynx that disappear over the horizon. At least you got some sun, its been grey and overcast here for three days.

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    1. We've joined you with the grey and overcast today Roy. I've got lights on that usually onl get used at night.

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  15. Those frost shots were really cold! We're heading into summer down here, so we hope there'll be no more frosts for some months. We can't trust the weather yet though - a weekend of 25 + 26 degrees have been followed by misty rainy days of 14! Good luck with the new car. I'll be praying the old one make it to the change over!

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    1. Me too Virginia! I hadn't considered that as a possibility but there's every chance we might have to tow it there.

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  16. Always wonderful and outstanding photos! I've never seen a bullfinch and I'm green with envy.

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    1. I'll try and get a better picture for you next time Chris. Do you remember the snow bunting one last year?

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  17. Beautiful frosty pictures, you certainly have it colder than us. We haven't had a hard frost yet, maybe we are too close to the sea. I wonder why you found a dead cow that had been chewed, do you think you have the big cats down on the Moor?

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    1. I wish there were but more likely foxes, crows and buzzards!

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  18. Bullfinches are as common as sparrows around here, especially along the beech hedge on the way to the A40. Beautiful little birds, even though they come and feast on my apple blossom buds come spring.

    Loved the frosty grasses. Is your unidentified garden plant Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)?

    So glad you have a decent replacement car lined up. As our car "lives out" without a rug, it too, has green mould and litchen starting to grow on the window rubbers. It is MUCH warmer here this morning, which I am very relieved about, although of course, it comes with grey skies. I hope it soon warms up down on the moor too.

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    1. It's warmer here too. 5 degrees no less. That plant isn't Lady's Mantle but I know why you might think it was. I can't get rid of the stuff in the borders! It has orange dry-ish flowers and someone identified it for me over the summer. I've just noticed there's a picture of it in the 'popular posts' section and Ragged Robin thought it was a Coreopsis.

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  19. Love the frost photos - just beautiful :) A couple of frosts here but nothing like as severe as yours!
    Great garden bird photos - wonderful to see Bullfinches - we get about one visit a year from this species :)

    Glad you've sorted out a new car :)

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    1. I'm really hoping for a better picture soon!

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  20. I love the last photo with Jack and Snippet running in the rocks! Beautiful frost photos. We've had a couple of hard frosts but mostly cold rain and mixed with sleet. Oh joy!
    So glad you are getting a replacement car although I have loved the stories of the ecosystem.

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  21. Beautiful photos of the frost. We haven't had a hard frost here yet, no doubt it will be soon enough! I love those Golden Plovers and all your bird shots, too. I don't see many Bullfinches here, so the sight of one is always a real treat.

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  22. Wonderful frosty shots, Em. I haven't seen a Bullfinch for months ... though we were thrilled (and taken by surprise) to see a Kingfisher at Flatford Mill on a very grey afternoon last w/e. No chance of a photo, though ... it was a case of ZOOOOOMMMM!

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    1. You lucky thing - I've only ever seen two in nearly fifty years and the same problem with the camera!

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  23. Simply stunning frosty pics Em, you really do live in a beautiful corner of this Isle :-) Nice bird pics too :-) However having not followed your blog that long I had to see what you meant about the Snow Bunting and all I can say is that it made me feel much better about my own photographic errors ;-)

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    1. I really must save up for a camera with a manual focus. I just assumed they all had them but how wrong I was. Looking at your pictures, I find it difficult to believe you have any errors David.

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  24. Brrr makes me cold just looking! Lovely pictures! Hope the VW replaces the faithful Renault satisfactorily!

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    1. The doors do that clunky thing like in the Golf advert!

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  25. Cold it might be but by golly those hoar frost photographs are absolutely beautiful. We have not had one up here yet.

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    1. Wow - I'm really surprised Pat. Maybe tonight? It's meant to get cold again tomorrow isn't it?

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  26. Yes, it does look cold. Only a brief respite I think, cold again next week? The birds will be appreciating their porridge!

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    1. They certainly are....twice a day at the moment!

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  27. Brrr. But so pretty! I think my dogs would like it too!

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    1. I wonder why dogs love it so much. Snippet would far rather eat ice than drink water but then I'd rather eat ice cream than drink milk.

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  28. Replies
    1. Thank you Squirrels and also, thank you for visiting.

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  29. Fantastic frosty photos! We are still yet to receive a proper frost. How lucky you are to have bullfinches visiting your garden!

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    1. They seem to have gone now! They were feeding on something very specific which is obviously all gone!

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  30. You take great pictures. Those big rocks at the top of the hill, are they historic as in something important happened there? I just love British history. Yours truly- Elaine Glendening in Luray Virginia USA

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  31. Hi Elaine and thanks for visiting. Kestor Rocks, sometimes known as Kes Tor or Castor Rocks in the past, are principally known for having the largest rock basin on Dartmoor (http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/rock_basins.htm) but nothing else of any historical interest really. They're just beautiful!

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