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

11 November 2013

STALKING GOLDEN PLOVER


I spotted this flock of Golden Plover a few weeks ago and have been looking for them ever since. Today my persistence, tiptoeing round the saturated fringe of the bog, was rewarded. The presence of two potential canine assassins doesn't help the stealthy approach. Me shouting "WAIT!" at Jack doesn't exactly help either, so these pictures are on full zoom, taken through persistent drizzle. They were surprisingly obliging for a minute or so.







The weather forecast for the rest of the week is for high pressure meaning no rain but I'll believe it when I see it. The rain here can get you down sometimes. I'm suffering with my back at the moment which is probably the real problem. Two years and three months since my accident and resulting spinal surgery, and I'm still in chronic and constantly changing pain. This, I think, is the last of the big numb areas stuttering back into life like very sore pins and needles. I'm sorry to moan - I know I should be grateful to be alive but it does get me down a little sometimes. I've just put my very expensive and lovely Musto riding coat on ebay which I've been putting off as it reinforces the reality of never riding again. Right - moan over...I have some bloody strong pain killers for a week and I'm going to make the most of them. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:


I like this for a card but I wonder if anyone else will


Is it a calf? No it's a very furry foal


What an amazing little Chantarelle-like fungi


Strange jelly that appears at this time of year. Not sure if anyone knows what it is yet but there was a lot of discussion about it in the media a few years ago. Does anyone know?


Lonely cow


I found this mini lichen garden lying on the ground. I assume something had knocked it off its rock. I took it home and stuffed it into our little dry stone wall; I hope it survives.

Thank you SO much for all your opinions on the card options last week. The results are in and I'll be getting the top six printed very soon. I really appreciate all the effort you put in. So, until next time, here are the dogs, Jack in Meerkat position. 


50 comments:

  1. That was a good find Em. You got some good shots under the circumstances. I only get to see these at Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve. They are definitely not easy to get close to.

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    1. You're right Roy, although I find the Fieldfares more difficult to get near. The flocks of them are just enormous at the moment; Wood Pigeons too.

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  2. That IS Chanterelle! If it smells of apricots, eat it!

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    1. I'll go and have a snort this afternoon Tom - thank you. What a pity you don't live next door!

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    2. They'd gone! I'll have to wait ill next year but I know where they were....I think.

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  3. The plover photos are lovely, and look almost like a misty watercolor on my monitor.

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    1. Misty watercolour is good as opposed to blurry mess. I did have to tinker with the exposure and colour balance before I published them I'm afraid; they were almost monotone.

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  4. Em my e-mail is denisebydesigns at googlemail dot com - get the drift? Drop me an e0mail and I'll give you my mobile hun - text me anytime you like xxxxxx

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  5. Aren't those plover gorgeous? Hope you feel better soon Em.

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    1. Thank you.....the pills are definitely helping very much indeed. I'd rather not take them but sometimes it's stupid not to.

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  6. Oh well done with the Golden Plover. Aren't they beautiful? I loved the photo of the standing stone, but then I wouldn, wouldn't I?! Any photos of Dartmoor are wonderful - I just get a buzz from them. Think I must have granite and peat bog in my blood.

    Sorry to hear your back is so painful still, and hope that the painkillers work. I can understand how sad it is to start really cutting the ties with the past, in selling your Musto coat. I hope that it gets a good price for you.

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    1. I had someone email me about it asking if I'd do a buy it now, but there was already a bid on it so I couldn't. I would probably have suggested too little for it anyway - business is NOT my strong point!

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  7. Hi Em. Sorry to hear you back pain is still troubling you. I have never seen that white stuff before. Would be interesting to know what it is. great shots of the Golden Plover.

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    1. I'll do some more research as the article I found was from 2009 so there may have been more progress since.

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  8. I am sorry you're in so much pain Em, I hope the painkillers let you get on top of it again. Selling your riding coat is a big step - I kept mine for twenty years after I stopped, and only parted with it to a friend's daughter a few years ago. It was a link with such happy memories.

    Wonderful photos - the camouflage of those birds was incredible. Isn't nature amazing!

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    1. That's so nice to hear Virginia. I felt silly hanging onto it but I don't any more. Thank you.

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  9. Yes that stone photo is quietly stunning, but then I love old stones, and the Golden Plovers are very ethereal, they also wintered up on the Bath downs, magical birds.
    Do hope your back improves, hope the pills help.

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    1. They are helping - thank you. I love old stones too, particularly lichen covered ones!

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  10. What a lovely view of Dartmoor and love your photos. So sorry to hear about your back pain Em. Hope the meds give you relief.

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    1. Thanks Denise. The bleaker the photo the better for me!

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  11. Lovely photos of the beautiful Golden Plover. It's wonderful seeing them like that. I know how difficult it is taking wildlife pics with a dog (or two!) in tow. Harry always moves just at the wrong moment.
    I've no idea about the white jelly, it's very mysterious.
    And I'm really sorry to hear your back is so painful, Em. I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. It's a miracle I get any photos at all Wendy! Now the sheep are all in for the winter, it's a bit easier as I don't have to be watching jack every second, but their hunting instinct is very strong.

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  12. Hey Em - what a great series of photos! They just got more and more interesting as I scrolled down. I love the Plover shots - I only ever see them as distant big-eyed specks on shiny mudflats here, so it's nice seeing them close and in a different setting. That orange fungi is just stunning but I'm really perturbed by that random icy slime! There are strange little mysteries like that all over the world and I'm often stunned by what science doesn't know. You've sent me off on a Google search to indulge my inner Cryptozoologist. Lastly, sorry to hear you're in such pain, but your attitude of persevering with your walks and interests, combined with your acceptance of your limits, will hopefully get you by. I look forward to more photos! :)

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    1. Thanks Christian and I hope you have better luck with the search for answers than me so far. I may be making a mistake by calling it a fungus of course, but that's all I can think of to call it. Theories abound about spawn but this is surely the wrong time of year for that, on this side of the planet anyway! Hope to hear your results.

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  13. Sorry to hear your back is so painful - really do hope it feels better soon.

    Well done to get so close to the Golden Plovers - such beautiful birds. There's a few fields not that far from us where they occasionally gather but I've never managed a photograph.

    Is your strange jelly one of the slime moulds by any chance?? Just a thought - although I am probably hopelessly wrong :) I love your miniature lichen garden by the way - do hope it "takes".

    I love the standing stone photo - wonderful and would make a great card :)

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    1. I've found a more recent article, from February this year regarding the slime, and at that stage, it remained a mystery. Definitely the same stuff, but found on a nature reserve in Somerset. Suggestions that it might be regurgitated innards of frogs.......hmmmm.

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  14. I had a quick look-up on plovers. It seems there are some in coastal regions of the US, but maybe not quite the same as your species. I learned that our common kildeers are related. I do think birds are the most uncooperative of creatures re photos--you did well!
    Chronic pain--I think we're allowed a whimper now and then. Your accident/injury had to be completely life-changing.

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    1. It was! Plovers are absolutely beautiful and such a privilege to see.

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  15. Em those are amazing shots of the Golden plover. I feel for you with your back and have a friend who has spinal surgery and just like you has suffered much pain. Our backs are such a major structure of our bodies. I love the view of Dartmoor that you like too.
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I feel for your friend too! x

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  16. I am sorry to hear that you are in such pain Em - that sort of constant pain is just so very wearing. Your photographs are amazing - they always are - and all the more so now that I learn of the state of your spine.

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  17. I came late to the post ... lovely photos.
    I am sorry to hear that your back is causing you such pain.
    Damp weather ?

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Just the legacy of major surgery I think Parsnip; they just chuck you out of hospital with no idea of what's in store!

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  18. Until someone has had spinal surgery they have idea the pain and problems that result from it. Hang in there Em, I know the anguish of selling something you know you'll never use again. I die a slow death every time I see our horses knowing that I can never ride again and even riding in the carriage can be painful if it's over rough ground. It's been since 2008 since I had my spine fused and I still take pain killers daily :(

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    1. I was thinking of you when I wrote it actually. It must be awful looking at those horses Gail - Trigger, at least, was never a comfortable ride. He was described by someone as like sitting on a pencil! When I meet people on the lanes on horseback I give them a cheery wave, but I actually want to wind down the window and tell them how lucky they are.

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    1. You should have seen them before I tinkered with them!

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  20. Fab plover shots! They really are so pretty! Sorry to hear you are suffering with an old injury, it must be hard not being able to do something you love. You are definitely entitled to moan about it :) What a cute plump fury foal! I must have missed a post I think - I haven't seen more options for cards! I'll investigate!

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    1. They shimmer in the sunshine, the plovers that is, not that there was a lot about that day!

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  21. I always come to you for my nature 'fix'. Your dogs are much luckier than poor city-bound Buster!

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    1. His pack are more important than anything I'm sure Elizabeth. Lovely to hear from you!

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  22. Great stuff Em, these are cracking shots as Golden Plovers are hard to get close too as you have already highlighted. I also really like the lone standing stone pic, I think it would make an excellent card :-)

    I am so sorry to read about your constant pain and I can only send you my best wishes that things will get better with time. I can certainly sympathise with how difficult it must be to give up riding so I think you have every right to moan !

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    1. Thank you David and I'm glad you agree about the lone stone!

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  23. That foal certainly had me fooled Em !

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    1. I really had to get close to be sure!

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  24. Ah Ha at last, I'm able to comment! Something weird happened and I was unable to leave any comments-anywhere, Google just refused to log me in.
    Anyway Em, I have now written this 3 times so here goes.....
    Just beautiful images of the Golden Plover, they look misty and soft and it's nice to see them close up. Love 'The Boys' in the grass image-they look so keen. That foal really looks like a calf to me too.
    I'm not so keen on the stone image as it's a little too bleak for me, but I can see the beauty in it.
    So sorry to hear you back is so painful -I think you need to give yourself a break and take the pain relief for a while, otherwise it can get you down, it works better if you take it over a longer period rather than in short bursts.

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    1. Blogger can be SO frustrating. It so often completely deletes all my blog list, some of which I've never transferred to the sidebar,which is really annoying. I suppose it's free so I shouldn't complain. Glad you're back and sorry about writing it three times! I often copy something before trying tom publish it just in case.

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