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

4 November 2014

OCTOBER BITS AND PIECES


This week I have decided not to stress about only posting once a week. It really is all I can manage and, though I miss more regular contact with all my bloggy friends, I just can't do it with everything else going on. I hope the future holds less stress and more time for blogging but for the moment, I hope you will all understand. 

The last week has seen a shocking change in the weather. I realise I haven't felt cold since March and this morning, when I marched out at 7.00am with no gloves and only two thin layers under my fairly insubstantial coat, I was actually shivering. I'm not ready for this at all and had to go scrabbling about in the cupboard to find a hat and gloves for later. Tomorrow is Guy Fawkes and I'm kind of hoping OB has forgotten.....no mention of it yet. If we stand on top of Kestor on a clear night, we can see  fireworks for tens of miles. 

It's definitely a bits and pieces post. As I went through what I had to show for a week, it was sadly lacking.....so......

Fungi have been in evidence for weeks but I haven't taken many very good pictures. I quite like these though. Nice Beech nut on the top of this one....



The wet weather has meant the lichens are flourishing after a our long dry summer. No Devil's matchsticks yet but they should appear soon.



I've been walking past this smallish rock very close to Kestor for over fourteen years now and, since we moved up here six and a half years ago, on an almost daily basis, and I have never noticed how like a Dartmoor pony the black section looks:


Diamond:


Smudge:


Halloween pumpkins in Chagford last Friday:


Perky sheep:


There is an enormous amount  of flocking going on at the moment. Hundreds of Wood Pigeons fly out of Gidleigh Wood onto the moor every morning and, more recently, they've been joined by crows, allowing me to indulge in some fabulous collective nouns. Other than the most obvious murder of crows, they can also be a cauldron, congress, cowardice or storytelling with a loft, kit or dropping of pigeons. 





In the morning, the sun from the East casts a shadow of the moor onto the trees in the valley:



Today the deciduous grasses looked bleached in the sun:


The last two days I've managed to spot the Golden Plover flock, or should I say the congregation, stand, band or leash of Plovers:








Jack cast a nice shadow this morning:


Every time I climb the hill and see this view of our house, I can't believe how lucky we are:


As I started to run, well....jog home this lunchtime having seen black clouds approaching from afar, I disturbed a large bird in the long grass with beautiful pale markings and a wingspan of about a metre or three and a bit feet. As it turned in flight I realised it had the flat face of an owl (just the one, not a parliament or stare of them). Talking to our neighbour and looking at pictures, I'm now sure it was a Short Eared Owl. I've rarely seen any owl, let alone one so close up. Because I was coming at it fast.......ish, I was only a few yards from it when it took off. Very exciting. 

Right, time to get stuff ready for the morning and finish writing a draft letter to GOSH about various bits and pieces, in the absolute belief that they will reply and we will get an answer. Brilliant. So, until next time, here is a rather strange picture of toothy Snippet and flying eared Jack. Have a great week everyone. 


60 comments:

  1. Definitely a pony on that rock.

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    1. After Tom's comment, I need to go and investigate further.....

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  2. Em - I cannot positively identify any of your fungi, but the white one looks like a very old and very weird one to me!

    The 'pony' algae is really astounding. It looks to me as though someone has - at some time - painted an image which has encouraged growth to follow the lines of the medium, and I know from past experience - that if you use a medium such as milk-derived resin for instance - it is possible to train the growth of stuff like this. Show it to the archeological people of Dartmoor, if only to blow their minds as well!

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    1. I used to paint yoghurt onto flower pots to encourage exactly that. I intend to go back and have a really good look and take some more detailed photos. I'll keep you posted....

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  3. Love the shots of the Fungi and the Golden Plovers. That 'pony' on the rock is amazing as are the Ponies on the Moors. Don't worry about blogging if life is stressful at present. it will pass and you will get back to it.

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    1. Thank you Margaret - much appreciated words.

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  4. It might be getting colder but the light is getting more and more lovely in your photographs - stunning. I love this time of year for pictures - much better than the summer, in my opinion. And the toothy Snippet is gorgeous! Keep warm and I hope you spot a few more owls - I had a barn owl fly out of a tree just a few feet away from me at the weekend and I was incredibly moved and excited. Take care, Em - Lxxx

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    1. So much better than summer - I completely agree. I also agree about being moved in the presence of such an amazing bird. Glad you liked toothy Snippet! xxx

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  5. What wonderful photos as always !
    If you only have time to blog once a week or month, that is what you should do.
    Take time.
    I have always so enjoyed peeking into your beautiful world.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I don't know why I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about a lot of stuff.....I should have been a Catholic!

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  6. lol Flying eared jack =0) too cute ♥

    Beautiful nature shots just beautiful and yes you are a very lucky girl to be living there. =0)

    Just Fluttering Around

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    1. I flutter around a lot but in a very clumsy way I think!

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  7. love the pups and ponies and such gorgeous views! :)

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    1. Today I was feeling really stressed but walking out there for an hour with the dogs made me feel so much better.

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  8. I can't decide which took my breath away more - the gorgeous colours of the foliage on those trees (New Zealand has few deciduous trees) or those spectacular speckled Golden Plovers! You do take wonderful photographs. What an observant eye you have... thank you (and good luck drafting that letter!)

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    1. The letter is on hold as I can't finish a paragraph referring to Devon CAMHS because they haven't rung me back! This is a familiar feeling but now I can just ring GOSH and ask if they could place the call in my stead. Fingers crossed anyway. I'm giving our local services one more chance tomorrow before I go in with the big guns!

      I didn't know that about the trees in NZ but, now I think about it, all I've ever seen are pine forests on mountains or just big open spaces. Thanks for your very kind compliments.

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  9. That rock does look like it has a picture of a Dartmoor pony on it, with a dog looking up at it, lol :-)

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  10. Loved the ponies and sheep and of course the shots of the gorgeous Moor. Neat photo of your house, shows how you are right there in the Moor.
    Don't worry about posting once a week, just delighted when you do!

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    1. Thanks Gail. Going to bed so early doesn't help matters!

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  11. Never feel guilty Em - blogging is meant to be enjoyable. That pony in lichen is amazing - but then you are so good at seeking out the unusual. Must say I really want one of those ponies.

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    1. Me too Pat....oh for the land. I'd be at those pony sales snapping them up at £5.00 a go!

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  12. Those Plovers are beautiful Em and I'm very jealous of your owl too. Love the Droppings of Pigeons (if you know what I mean). Fascinated by Tom's comment re the pony too x

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    1. I'll definitely updating you on that pony once I've had a really good look at it close up with my specs on! Time for another 'macro post' I think. I don't know if you were following then but it was a post that got the most bizarrely large amount of views. You can see it's still the most popular post by far; in the end my best theory was that I mentioned 'Borgen' in it! xx

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  13. Beautiful pictures, Em! Oh my, you have such amazing views to capture...

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    1. Hard not to take a decent picture really.....

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  14. The first phot is a doosie

    I hope you have had loads of Christmas card commissions x

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    1. None I'm afraid - I'm just not proactive enough! x

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  15. I'm trying to play catch-up too. I have to say there's a lot more involved in running/stocking the unit than just doing the occasional Fleamarket! Good to catch up with your news and hoping that GOSH will bring you some positive news soon. Lovely photos - Diamond is a sweetheart, and so is Smudge. Just what I would like for my not-even-thought-about grandchildren . . . (None of my 3 have "other halves" - not even temporary ones.)

    Lovely photos of the Golden Plovers and well done with the Little Owl sighting, brief though it may have been.

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    1. I have a soft spot for Diamond I must say....x

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  16. What a great set of images Em, you have as always captures so many beautiful things about your life on Dartmoor. Very interesting stuff about the pony on the rock. I love all the bird images, the ponies and the sunlight and shadows too. The 'boys' look as happy as ever. Yes suddenly it's cold.
    I think so long as you blog about what you want and when you want that's all that matters, it shouldn't be a chore (because lets face is life is full of those). I don't have the time to do more posts right now and my catch up day for everyone elses posts is Thursday, but I enjoy blogging and photography so much that I feel it must remain one of the good things in my life.

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    1. Thursday for me too and publish on a Tuesday is the way it seems to be going!

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  17. Marvelous pics Em. Thanks for visiting and no you're okay, it's not Friday, just me a little ahead of time :)

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  18. Plovers must be part of the Seagull family as they look close to the same. Em, you would be the perfect candidate for owning a pair of BOGS ! they are so you !!! xx

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    1. I must definitely investigate then! xx

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  19. I think we can all understand the situation of sometimes only being able to blog occasionally and missing it ~I'm going through spurts of that myself . Life gets a little jangled at times. I hope your week ahead is a bit more relaxing. Enjoyed seeing the cast of golden shadow from the East on the moors ~ gorgeous !

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    1. Thanks so much Willow - sometimes you just need other people to affirm how you're feeling.

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  20. I know I keep saying it, but your photo are stunning! ..... and as for your house, WOW

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    1. It was an absolute wreck when we bought it or there's no way we could have afforded it. We did most of the work in one go but the maintenance seems never ending.....too much wind and water.

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  21. Hiya. We stopped at Waitrose on the way home last night for supplies after three days away and there were plenty of fireworks on show. Chilly but incredibly clear so hope OB enjoyed the view from Kestor. The plovers are such pretty birds.

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    1. He forgot about it and so did I! Shameful.

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  22. Lovely images as always - I especially love the fungi, lichen and Golden Plover pictures :) Your house looks in the most idyllic location and I love the pony on the rock :) Just blog when you can Em - its all very enjoyable but very time consuming and I am afraid I just can't keep up with people who post daily. Your posts are always worth waiting a while for and lovely to hear from you when you do get a bit of extra time for commenting :)

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    1. I don't know how the daily posters do it RR and thanks for the compliment - very much appreciated at the moment!

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  23. Don't ever worry about posting or not! It is always nice to hear from you, whenever that is! I hope that things go OK with GOSH. xx

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  24. I completely understand about blogging in fits and starts. The same is happening to me right now. It's a pleasure to hear from you and see your photos, and this post in particular gave me peace.
    I too think that pony on the rock is mighty special, and Tom's comment makes me want to know more.

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    1. Can you believe I can't find the damn thing again terry? Really frustrating! It's been pouring with rain for days and it's really frustrating. Never mind, it'll happen when I least expect it I guess.

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  25. Completely beautiful photographs - I usually only manage to blog once a week - life just gets in the way! Anyway - when you blog with such wonderful pictures it's a joy to catch up when you do post. J9 x

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    1. Nice to know I'm not alone - I think uploading and editing pictures doesn't help the time issue!

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  26. I'm struggling with the catching up with blogs as well as posting, I think the dark nights get to me a little. You have some beautiful pictures as usual my lovely x

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    1. Glad I'm not alone. I'm no superwoman. X

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  27. I too am struggling to getting around to visit everyone and write posts at the moment. It was so good to pop by and enjoy those Dartmoor views. I felt as if I needed gloves to this week brr... Sarah x

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    1. I don't know what it is Sarah. Perhaps, with the onset of serious middle age, that speeding up of time thing is going into overdrive! X

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  28. This is my first time to this blog. I learned about you from Denise of An English Girl Rambles. I love your bird and horse photos, especially Smudge! I just want to kiss him! What a cutie!

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    1. Isn't he? I'd like to take him home and keep him in the garden.

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  29. Lovely picture of your house. My mother grew up on the other side of the moor at Lustleigh, which is where we also went on holiday as children. My cousins still own the house and I believe I own a small part of a field...Dartmoor houses with white walls, slate roofs (and usually a slight smell of damp) are very evocative. It took my cousin the best part of 20 years to get the kitchen draft proof and warm enough not to have to ear your coat in.

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    1. Lustleigh is not so far from here. Lovely place. I wonder where your field is? The one that Trigger shares with his lsfy friends part of the week is owned by some people in London who never come and visit it. It's leased by the farmer on a permanent basis. I wish it was ours!

      Damp is an eternal problem and every time we solve one patch, a new one appears!

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  30. Hello, Em!! These photos are enough to take a person's breath away...

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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.