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

28 January 2014

NOT TAKING IT EASY




Yes,  we have snow and not even that is deterring Jack and what is now the cone of athleticism. I gave up trying to keep him from running on day two and, after today's check up, it seems it's doing him no harm. The vet just shrugged when I told him. Snippet seems to think they can still fight and has to be told off for doing so. Who, me?


OB hiding behind the wall as Jack streaks past, stretching that wound:


Sticks can still be fought over:




There's no holding him back:






Snippet pretended to set a good example....


Hmmmm........


We had this lovely sky over the weekend:


And lots of grey.


And significant snowfall yesterday:


I noticed this Cladonia lichen with orange rather than red 'flowers'. I've never seen it like this and since it's on one of my regular routes, I must keep checking it to see if it stays orange or reverts to red.


One of those lone escapees from Fernworthy Forest:


A little snow settled in the distance: 


Trigger still seems to be finding grass in the little paddock here but is at last eating some hay at night. It's been a cheap winter for me in that respect; only one bale so far.


Ponies sheltering from the wind that blew the snow from all but the most sheltered bits of the moor:


I have recently taken possession of my first smart phone. I've been resisting it but, after the two weeks we spent without a land line with me relying on a mobile that doesn't work in the house and standing out in the rain on the compost heap to make calls, I found my old phone was wanting in many areas. The most serious of these is the fact that, if you have to press keys during a call as you get given infuriating options, the virtual keyboard doesn't work and you are left unable to contact any of the companies responsible for the lack of phone line. The point of telling you this, is that I decided to do the RSPB garden bird survey on it on Sunday and it worked so well and was so easy. I'm a convert, having said to the woman on the phone a week ago that I would probably never use the internet. I feel like an idiotic teenager as I stand in the kitchen checking my email. I even wrote the first paragraph of this post with it but the lack of apostrophe and other punctuation was irritating me too much to go on. I usually do the survey and then forget to look at any results so I must try and remember this year. I had the camera out too.....







On Saturday, we got the Polo back after nearly four weeks in the garage. That afternoon, we were filling it up with diesel when a hearse pulled up next to it, opened the immense driver's side door, which caught the wind and smashed into the Polo's front wing, leaving a large dent. This car is jinxed I swear. I have spent over three hours over the last few days on the phone to the insurance company and many other people who thought it would be a good idea for two people to come and pick the Polo up and drive it back to Exeter, 25 miles away. Then a strange man from a hire company would come and pick me up, drive me to Newton Abbot, 20 miles away to sign the paperwork for the hire car which I would then drive home. A complete waste of time and fuel to be repeated when the car is mended. Luckily I spoke to a sensible woman at the hire place who said they have a depot 200 yards from the garage in Exeter. I can drive the Polo to the garage and walk up the road to the hire place. Simple.....I hope. We'll see on Thursday. I can't believe we're losing the Polo AGAIN. Incidentally, the hearse was empty of coffins at the time of the incident!

Rant over - sorry. Welcome to two more followers as we edge further towards 100. I think I should do some sort of giveaway when and, more importantly, if it happens. I'll have a think. So until next time, here are the boys looking at Kestor. Only six more days with the cone.....


61 comments:

  1. hi Em. Well that collar certainly did not stopped the pup from bouncing around. Great shots of the Moors. sorry to hear about you "bump". Did you take the bird shots on your new phone? if so they are very good.

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    1. No - I don't think the zoom is that great unfortunately!

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  2. A Smart phone, yet another item that once we have it, we wonder how we could ever possibly do without it Em.
    A really nice splash of colour with the lichen.
    Hopefully that will be your only brush you have with a Hearse for an awful long time.{:))

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  3. Little Thing had to wear a cone for 3 months. She had a tangle with a raccoon in the barn and it tore a gash down to the muscle. 9 months with taking her to the vet 3 times a week and of course now a house cat. Long story short, she never slowed down with the cone although we did have to cut it down some so she could eat.

    Jack seems to be little fazed by the cone or surgery which is great. I love the photo of Snippet on the wall with Jack down below.

    Wonderful shots of the Moors!

    I am doing the Project Feeder Watch here in the states. It's from November to April and has been interesting. Noticed some new birds I hadn't seen here before whether they are new because of the cold, frigid weather or I just haven't noticed them before.

    Hate to here you may have a "lemon" . But at least the hearse was empty :)

    I have a smart phone also, resisted for years but finally caved in. Mine has a keyboard which I like much better.

    Lovely photo of the Blue Tit!

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    1. Poor Little Thing! I imagine those vet's bills were a bit steep.

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  4. I do like your photo of the two boys and the two dogs trundling along after them - great :)

    Glad Jack is on the mend! The lichen looks really interesting... I am hopefully going on a study day in Somerset about lichens :)

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    1. Ooooo - very envious of your lichen day Lou. I'll look forward to hearing about it.

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  5. Hopeless trying to keep them still and glad he is mending well despite the rushing about. No snow here, although there is a suggestion of some to come this Thurs x

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    1. I sort of hope you get snow.....if you want it!

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  6. Love the colourful lichen and all the varieties of birds. The dogs sure enjoy running on the moors.

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  7. I wish our snowfall was a 'significant' as yours!
    Thanks for the magpie shot!!
    Jane x

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    1. Yours is beyond anything we get here. No sign of respite I assume?

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  8. I'm glad Jack is okay, even with his athletics! Amazing how they bounce back (hang on...do I mean that [cough] )!!! The weather has turned colder, we are putting the heating on DURING the day for a while, but those pictures of the snow...brrr, still I guess the gas company will be happy.
    How annoying about your car...hope all goes well on Thursday.

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    1. I wish we had gas Ann. It doesn't need chopping. What a horrible idea of waking up and finding those balls back in position!

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  9. So good to see Jack bouncing around as ever!
    I was thinking of doing the Birdwatch on an iPad, but bottled out at the last minute. These things have a habit of going horribly wrong with me..

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    1. I assumed it was going to go wrong but it was a seamless operation.

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  10. I had to keep thehamish's cone on all the time also but he could only go out for potty breaks and that was it. Because of eye surgery he could not jar his head so he was crated . Then with the cone of shame on he was allowed out in the house. But he had to be watched.
    Your little Jack is tough.
    I adore the photo of the "Sheltered Horses"
    Keep warm !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. You too Parsnip. Poor Hamish - he must have been going stir crazy.

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  11. wow, snow! it's got a bit chilly here today, so I'm wondering if it's coming.
    I did have to smile at Jack, my 2 were like that years ago when they were spayed. They would gallop up the stairs and when I told the vet she covered her ears and said "don't tell me!".

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    1. I guess when they're young, they heal SO quickly and it's a fairly small op for boys!

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  12. Our dogs never last as long or even half as long as the vet says in 'restricted activity'. And when our wolf dog wore a cone (which we had to call Elizabethan collar to make her wear it) she actually jumped our wire fences to visit the neighbors, just like she does without. Running full speed through a maze of cacti and spiky agavae with that big blinder on? No problem either.

    Congrats about your increasing blog follower numbers. I really love vising you virtually! But I don't really understand the 'following'. I, for example, have no way to let followers know that I've written a new chapter, and I find out about yours because I look at my blog roll when I remember. However, my blog does send a message to my fb page because I am a member of some nature blog network.

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    1. I'm not sure there is a way of following other than the blog roll, which is what I use too. Wordpress seems to have a better system or at least one that I understand how to use!

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  13. Jack certainly looks as though he wants to rush around as normal. It is good to see him looking well, even if he's not obeying doctors' (or vets') orders!
    I was surprised to see your snow. There's been no sign of it here at all, although we did have a dramatic hail storm the other night which left the ground looking white right into the next day.
    Sorry to hear about your car. What bad luck!

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    1. We are above the snowline, so there was nothing even a mile down the road. It can turn to rain as you cross the cattle grid into civilisation!

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  14. The cone and operation don't seem to have bothered Jack at all! I couldn't believe it when I saw that you have had some snow. How infuriating to have the car out of action again! Sarah x

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  15. I love the standing stones, and nice arsehole with stick shots as well. Shame about the hearse. The boy is working in Exeter right now, filming Royal Marines recruits - it's hilarious.

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    1. I like to keep you happy with at least one arsehole shot Tom. It's a bit blurry though - sorry.

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    2. Haha. Love the flying dog shot. I have a new blog as of today.

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  16. Both of your dogs are adorable - Jack is positively effervescent jumping, running, and leaping everywhere.
    Sorry to learn about your Polo and how very annoying for you.

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    1. I'm taking it in tomorrow....the Polo that is. How many weeks without it this time I wonder?

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  17. super bird photos. Glad to see the cone of shame is not slowing Jack down!! Pleased to hear that there was no coffin in the hearse, that would have been just too creepy.

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    1. Funny though, had I not been so cross!

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  18. Your camera must have a wonderful zoom feature--the bird closeups are a joy.

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    1. Thanks MM - love your new photo by the way!

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  19. Good for Jack!
    Love the bird shots....so different from birds here....but....I have the Cardinal!
    Must be beautiful to walk the Moors, Em...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. I love your Cardinals. Gail and Kate (Chronicles of a Country Girl) often publish pics of them and they'tr stunning.

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  20. Jack is a trooper! Great photos, love those walks on the Moors you take us on. Thanks Em :)

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    1. You would never know Jack had ever been to the vet's other than the stitches!

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  21. Gorgeous photos as always - I love the one of Jack and Snippet with the stick :) The cone and recent "removal" doesn't seem to have stopped him having lots of fun :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your car - what a dreadful pain. I hope you get it back soon and there are no more incidents.

    I'd love a smartphone - I make do with a really cheap pay as you go thing which I only use for "emergencies". I suspect I'd be spending all my time on the internet even when out and about though!!!!

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    1. I have a Moto G which, having read endless reviews of phones I couldn't afford, looked to be the best bet. The Guardian raved about it and said they didn't know how they were doing it for the price. It runs on Android so links up with Blogger and G-mail. It's a joy. My mum bought it for me and it was about £139 with spec similar to an i-phone 5 and a quad core processor. Are you still with me!? I'm boring myself. They won't be this price for very long I imagine. Camera not great but it's still pretty good for taking pictures of a dmaged front wing of a Polo for example. Take the plunge.....

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  22. All the dogs and cats we've ever had neutered (male or female) have been jumping up on the furniture/beds within 48 hours with me doing my nut and checking their stitches/glue to make sure nothing has come undone! Their powers of recovery are amazing!

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    1. That's a relief to hear. When Snippet was the only dog it was much easier!

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  23. Impressive moves in that collar, glad to see he is none the worse for his experience :-)

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  24. Very happy that Jack is not suffering with the collar-he's a tough chap! So sorry to hear about the car. Love the ponies sheltering with sun shining on them.

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    1. We now have a Vauxhall Corsa.......I don't like it!

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  25. Oh dear, I'm so sorry about your polo and a hearse of all things. On the other hand your photos are a joy to see, cute photo of OB peeking out behind the wall, love the close-ups of the birds, seeing your dogs enjoying themselves, the ponies, the moors, what a great collection Em, thank you!

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    1. I thought it most inappropriate for a hearse driver to be shouting in such an uncouth way!

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  26. I hope 2014 proves to be a good year for you and yours.

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  27. Em, Jack must have an inordinately high pain threshold - or no brain ... which is what we used to say of our childhood corgi companion... who got into all sorts of trouble as a result! Wonderful photos. I love my iPhone too - having held out on a very cheap phone that cost next to nothing to run (but did next to nothing) I can't imagine life without it not.

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    1. This phone is a Moto-G which connects with our other devices in the same way as i-phones connect with other apple devices. I love it more each day!

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  28. god, jack is so precious. he looks like an astronaut performing a moon landing. bless him. the birds are gorgeous. but i must say that is not a lot of snow - come to alberta and see some snow. xx

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    1. I've always wanted to visit Canada. My great uncle lived in Toronto for most of his life after the war and designed golf courses for a living.....strange job. He asked if I would like to visit when I was a child but the idea of going there alone (that was the deal) wasn't too appealing to am eight year old. Generous and kind as he was, I'm afraid he was a tiny bit tedious!

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  29. Jack seems to be enjoying life even with his cone on.
    Such magic wintry scenes.
    Yes, I totally love my iPhone and no longer use my camera ever!
    Splendid bird photos.
    Have you thought of joining Instagram? worth looking into.
    Cheers.

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    1. I don't really know what instagram is so I must definitely look into it. Thanks Elizabeth. I feel a bit of a dunce!

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  30. I have just enjoyed a catch up with your excellent blog Em and you seem to have captured plenty of lovely images despite the wet and grey weather during January. The ponies looked wonderful, and I loved the skyscapes in many of the photos with the magnificent Dartmoor landscape below :-) I also liked the post when a fellow blogger came to visit and I have often thought about meeting some of my own blogging friends but to be honest I think I would just be too shy to even consider it !

    Being a bit of a technophobe I have thus far resisted smartphones, ipads and all that malarkey but those that I have seen have been very impressive and perhaps I should consider entering the 21st century sooner or later. Hope the car is fixed soon :-)

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    1. Thanks David and I strongly recommend the smart phone!

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