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

2 January 2014

MEERDOG WELCOMES 2014


Caught in the act at last! He can keep it up for quite some time, but, until now, has eluded the camera. So - Happy New Year to you all and apologies for blog silence; we've been so busy. New Year's Eve involved a brief respite from the APPALLING weather and we all managed to get out for a walk. OB likes to see how few strides he can take between two points, normally two rocks:


A handstand on a hump:


Trying to annoy Dad:


The river was running pretty high and fast. This is close to where a girl drowned a few years ago while training for the Ten Tors challenge that takes place every year on Dartmoor. So sad and we are hyper-aware of how dangerous water can be:


Wind rippling the water accumulated in a track between two fords:


Wallabrook:


OB doing something inexplicable on the clapper bridge over Wallabrook:


View through the bare trees:


Watching white water:


More white water. I know people who have kayaked down this. Rather them than me:


The day before, the river was even higher; sorry about the raindrops on the lens:


The dogs and I got rained on despite being surrounded by blue sky and sunshine. the rain cloud seemed to be following us:


Full rainbow over the shelter belt and my unavoidable shadow:


Sunshine amid the rain:



My saviours, the Devon Air Ambulance, off to rescue someone else:


Meerdog on the rampage:


The birds have run out of berries and are clustering round the feeding station, including this Nuthatch, who flew off as I pressed the button. I just love the blur of Nuthatchy colour:


Female Chaffinch:


Dunnock:


Male Sparrow:


Robin:


Male Sparrow with another coming in to land:


And finally, the Magpie skulking in the tree:


We've all been sleeping a lot and getting up at 8.00am sometimes, which is seriously late for me. I find it just makes me feel lethargic and guilty that I'm losing so much of the day. I've been really lax about taking Trigger down to see the Dartmoor Madams too. He went down there today, but when the weather is awful, he just stays up here. I'm itching to get the Christmas tree down but OB insists on it remaining. Thankfully, he's staying with a friend tomorrow night, so I'll probably do it then; I find it a rather depressing reminder that the excitement is over and the snow is probably coming soon. Looks like we're in for more floods unfortunately though. Yesterday, we set off in the raging winds and rain, to see M's dad in Paignton and had to turn back when my mum's car clearly wasn't going to make it through a giant lake puddle. The Polo is making a nasty squeaking sound so we are borrowing the rather insubstantial and low slung Kia Picanto. It still smells new despite being two years old. Not for long if we have it for any length of time. Batten down the hatches all of you affected by this next wave of storms and keep safe. Until next time, here's Jack still looking like a puppy; Snippet is being camera shy again....


44 comments:

  1. great photos! I agree, Jack does look like a puppy. Doesn't it all look so wintery and wonderfully dramatic, with bare branches and swirling water.

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  2. It's so mild though. Just wet, wet, wet!

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  3. Fine shot of Snippet's framed arsehole - again. And once again, I am envious of where you live.

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    1. P.S. - 10-1 that the squealing sound in the Polo is caused by going through water. We all need to tighten our belts in times like these.

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    2. Always happy to oblige with those arsehole shots for you Tom...

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    3. PS - the squealing noise is metal on metal which is why we're so worried!

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  4. I used to watch Meerkat Manor. Meerdog is funny. OB looks tall for his age.

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    1. He'll be ten in March and, to be honest, M is......er...........quite short.

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  5. Love the Meerdog - the grass is too long!
    The wind is really whipping up again tonight, keep your head down. Looking forward to seeing you too!

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    1. I made the mistake of wearing no gloves just now in the wind. Burning sausage fingers as a result.

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  6. Happy New Year Em.
    Beautiful photos of Dartmoor, love the sun and rain image. So fed up with this weather, we will all be washed away at this rate. Great to see your garden birds, ours are hardly out and it starts raining or the winds pick up-only the tough Wood Pigeons have been hanging about today in the few hours of sunshine we had.

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    1. I was thinking of you last night with all the reports from the South coast. Keep safe!

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  7. My cats do meercat...they are as confused as Jack as to what species they are.
    Jane x

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  8. Your river is really running wild. Hope you don`t get blown away by the gales tomorrow!

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    1. It's bad, but not as bad as I was fearing so far. There's always tonight.....

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  9. What a character that Jack , what a character !

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    1. He's in the dog house today having growled at one of our friends. Admittedly, the friend was ignoring the doggy signals!

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  10. Wonderful photos of the moor. They really convey how windy and cold it is. I think the moor would be a great place to grow up as opposed to the city with all it's problems.

    I have had cats who thought they were Meercats, first time I've seen a dog meerkat!

    It's gotten cold here (17 degrees with a 5 degree wind chill). Put out lot's deer feed and bird seed.

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    1. That's COLD. Keep wrapped up Gail!

      I think OB is SO lucky to grow up here. I would have loved it so much. I'm not sure he really appreciates it to be honest but it's all he knows.

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  11. Your photos are always very enjoyable Em, lovely to see you all having fun on the Moors. I hope it doesn't flood where you are. As I look outside it is snowing, probably the most snowfall we have had so far but still will only be about three inches. Our nephew is supposed to be driving up tonight and staying the night, so that he can catch a flight out of the airport tomorrow. It would be great to see him but I don't like the idea of him driving in this weather. Well we'll see! He is supposed to get in here around two in the morning as he doesn't finish work until 11.00 a.m. We're both night owls so no problem and it would be great to catch up with him. Happy New Year to you all :)

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    1. I hope we're so high up that flooding won't be an issue. The river is a couple of miles away over the moor. Happy New Year to you too. x

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  12. LOVE always your photos.. Happy to see everyone out having fun on your walk. The Aussies do the stands like Jack too on occasion. Lexus jumps straight up in the air to kiss my nose without touching the rest of me; she almost takes my nose off.. Happy New Year my friend, be well in 2014, with 2013 now at your back. xx

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    1. What would we be without our dogs? They are such a comfort in any situation. x

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  13. Wonderful photos, as always! Dogs are great companions for walking. Our last one was a Border Collie with an adventurous nature. It appears that the moor requires a bit of stamina for winter walks and the need for a hot mug of tea when one returns home. I did note that OB wasn't wearing a cap or gloves, so perhaps I'm over estimating the wind and cold [?]
    I hope that health issues will be improved in your household this year [and that your vehicle holds together!]

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    1. OB just doesn't feel the cold. I had a hat, scarf and gloves on but getting him to wear a coat is a struggle a lot of the time!

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  14. Jack is so funny.
    Love the bird photos especially the sweet chubby robin. All our birds are rather lanky I think that is why I so love those little round bundles. They are so kawaii !
    The two sky photos before the rescue helicopter are wonderful ! You are so talented.
    Love puppy looking Jack, What a cutie,

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I wonder if he'll ever grow up? I had to look up Kawaii but now I have, yes they are!

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  15. Some people walk on Dartmoor and find little to photograph. You''ve captured the light and feeling of space beautifully.

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    1. Thank you John - a much appreciated compliment, especially in these post Christmas times!

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  16. Think what the previous post says is so true, you capture the atmosphere of Dartmoor beautifully, I just love that raging river (and hoping Snippet did not jump in). What a playground for OB, lucky lad....xx

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    1. Thank you too Thelma. No - he didn't jump in, but I thought he was going to try and cross over the big rocks at one point. Luckily I managed to persuade him not to.

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  17. Back to do a proper comment later - we are just off to Hay-on-Wye for the day. WONDERFUL photos (they make my heart ache for the moor). I hope you didn't blow or float away last night if you shared our thunderstorm and torrents and gales.

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    1. Have a lovely time in Hay-on-Wye. xx

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  18. Happy New Year Em :) Some wonderfully atmospheric photos of Dartmoor and I love your blurry nuthatch photo :) Stay safe in this windy wet weather.

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    1. Glad you like that Nuthatch one - I love it but there are probably those who won't!

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  19. I love Jack as a Meerdog - what a wonderful photo! Lovely pics of the moor and the birds and the beautiful rainbow. The river does look very full and fast-flowing, a true sign of all this rain. Keep safe in these storms, Em.

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    1. I love that rainbow and couldn't believe my luck when it popped up. We've battened down the hatches tonight but are missing OB already. I don't think he'll be missing us, or at least I hope not, if you see what I mean. Keep safe too, although I think Essex will probably be okay.

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  20. Happy New Year to you all. Hope you are okay with all this 'bracing' weather we are being bombarded with at the moment. Luckily we are okay up here but some areas are really getting it aren' they! I remember that Ten Tors accident, it was awful....friends of ours knew the family, sad but these things happen I guess. Anyways, here's to 2014 and may it be good all round :-)

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    1. I always remember her when we go down to the river. Wallabrook looks so sweet and narrow but is deep and fast running, even when the weather isn't bad. I feel so sorry for the family when she was doing something so positive. A great 2014 to you too Ann. I REALLY must find the time to so something on Somewhere to Sketch. MANY apologies!

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  21. I love Jack's impression! The river looks so fast flowing despite the blue skies. Dorset is looking very flooded by the rivers. My son took part in Ten Tors and we can appreciate how difficult the terrain can be. Lovely to see the visitors to your garden.
    Sarah x

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    1. More rain coming in tonight apparently....keep safe Sarah! x

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  22. Happy New Year! The Meerdog photo is priceless :-) Looks like a wonderful wintery Dartmoor day for everyone.

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    1. It was lovely. Nice enough for handstands anyway!

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