1 May 2012


Snippet in a cloud

How it's possible for there to be a drought in the South West, I do not know. Two days ago we were living in a cloud. Today has been the first passable one for what seems like a very long time although there is till water pouring off the moor into the streams and onto the road through any little channel it can find. 

Water still pouring out everywhere

The sun is actually out today and the skylarks are singing again. They seem to just sit sulking on bushes when it's raining. Three Goldfinches in the garden this morning. I'm not even going to mention photography. Talking of the garden, I have one border in which to plant anything which, sadly, faces north, is in deep shade from a five foot granite wall and can be bone dry thanks to overhanging trees. Not exactly ideal growing conditions for anything much. When we first moved here, it was unlike any garden I've had before in that there was pretty well nothing here other than a ubiquitous pink hardy geranium, nettles, ground elder and two snowdrops. Lots of rubble, old plastic and sticks too. Last year, after another three of slowly clearing and getting downhearted about lack of progress, we started to get somewhere and I dug the border. Many, many garden waste bags later I planted it with things I thought might work. Some have and some certainly haven't. My Narcissus bulbs are only just coming out and the slugs are eating them as soon as they appear. Iris bulbs never flowered at all. My lovely dusky cranesbill, which I thought would grow anywhere is not happy at all. Forget me not and other hardy geraniums are doing well, as are the Solomon's Seal and Foxgloves. Any suggestions gratefully received! My poorly son, still at home, made me this lovely daisy chain today. What a sweetheart.

Daisy chain

The fourth foal, yet another skewbald from a bay mare, arrived about four days ago in the rain. It's been playing with foal number one but I've yet to catch them at it. I can see this going the way of the nuthatches. I hadn't seen Betty since last Friday but I saw her in the far distance today; definitely no foal yet. Here are some pictures of the new foal and a great one of foal number one at speed......photographic fluke given the digital camera delay. 

Foal number 4 Following Mum 

Foal number 4 staring me out

Foal number 1 growing up

I saw the first cows out on the moor today so spring must be here. Test prints are being done today of a few of my drawings so I should be able to get the shop up and running soon. Very frustrating but I'll get there in the end. Thanks so much to Danielle for directing so many people here over the weekend by the way!


  1. hello you have such a lovely blog, i dont live far from Dartmoor and love it so much ;0)...lovely photography and art ;0) , kazzy

  2. Thank you! I've just looked at yours and it's lovely. I was immediately drawn in by the two top ladybird books in your first picture, both of which I had when I was little. Will be following....


  3. Looks like they're running a coloured stallion on your part of the moor - presumably to make the offspring more desirable at the sales?

    We were on the edge of the recent torrents of rain (for once) but still had lesser amounts which made walking or gardening out of bounds.

    I shall put my thinking cap on about what to grow in your shady dry border.

  4. You're absolutely right. He was a VERY large piebald stallion - almost 14hh I would say and I haven't seen him since last summer. Nice looking pony but not very Dartmoor!

    I managed to mow the lawn yesterday but today we're back to living in a cloud sadly. Lots of columbines doing well in that border and I'll look forward to your suggestions.

  5. Hello!

    I have just found your lovely blog via Danielle`s. I am in the New Forest and love to follow the lives of the local ponies hefted to our end of the village,as well as looking after a handful of previously unwanted NF foals who are now much loved adults in our fields.

    I do like your "Sleeping foals". I wonder what became of them?

  6. I wish I had a field to do the same! Maybe one day, but it would mean moving away from the moor. I haven't been to the New Forest since I was a child; 1970's probably. I loved it and your post has made me determined to go back.

    So glad you like the foals. Sadly, they're probably long gone. I've been busy drawing foal number 2 this afternoon which has been lovely after days of trying to entertain my poorly son. He's much better now and back at school. It's very misty here again today and the moor is covered in black slugs. Nice!

  7. Came by the way of Danielle. I love your blog but you should take the word "struggling" out of your aren't struggling at all! :)

    1. That's really sweet of you - thank you. At the moment I'm struggling massively with getting a decent reproduction, hence the fact that I can't start selling them. Coloured pencil is proving very difficult to scan; the subtlety of colour and line is just not coming through. I'm thinking of photographing them in a kind of mini studio instead to see if that works better. It's really frustrating!

      Thanks so much for following and I'll look forward to hearing from you again,



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