30 November 2012


Am having one of those days where nothing can cheer me up, not even the moors I'm afraid. Have done all my Christmas shopping and the cards are now started in earnest. I had to share Origami Boy's effort that we've had printed through one of those school based schemes. I think it's beautiful and we have thirty of them to distribute. I love the bauble flying off and the freedom with which he's drawn the green of the tree. I wish I had his confidence! Tomorrow is the first of December so really not long to go. I wonder if it will snow up here. Rather than bore you with my woes, here are some pictures from the last couple of days of lovely clear skies and iciness. 

Frosty Dawn

Icicles on Kestor Rocks

Water frozen as it flowed off the rocks

Ice patterns 

Not much to eat

Hungry Sparrows

Only snow missing for a festive scene

Snippet met his friend Wellington up the hill today and was in high spirits all the way home after romping about for ten minutes. Wellington takes one step to Snippet's four so he was exhausted when we got home. I keep finding bits of this gorse branch on the floor this afternoon!

It's the school disco tonight and Origami Boy is very excited. I'd better get some food ready for when he gets home as it starts at 5.00pm and he'll need to be getting into those glad rags. Perhaps having to fraternise with other parents will snap me out of my black mood....I hope so. Have a great weekend and I will speak to you next week. Until then.....

27 November 2012


I haven't dared go down to the river while the rain has been torrential, but this afternoon I decided to risk it. Not cascading over the bank but running very high and fast. I always panic as Snippet trots along the bank and skips over stones mid-stream. One false move and he'd be washed away. He's not a water dog and has never swum. He prefers to tear the bank up with his teeth searching for rodents....not something we encourage obviously!

This is the Teign, which comes out at Teignmouth and has different pronunciations within the settlements along its way to the sea. Around here, it's known as the 'Teen', At Teignmouth it becomes 'Tin'mouth and in Drewsteignton is Drews'tane'ton. Here we are pretty close to its source and this section is the North Teign. It is possible than Teign comes from the Celtic word for water: Ta. 

A sense of speed here!

This is one of the two clapper bridges over this section of the Teign, the second of which is at the top of this post; there is a third close by over Wallabrook, a stream which joins the Teign at this point. Clapper comes from the Anglo Saxon 'cleaca' which meant bridging the stepping stones. The top one is a more classic example but I love this little one where the river narrows and the water gushes. 

The sky today was battleship grey; the kind of light that means having to turn the lights on when you get up and not turning them off all day. The camera has unfortunately lightened it, which I didn't realise until I downloaded them. These from yesterday are better in that respect:

Trigger's field is the one in the middle so you can see how exposed it is. The shelter belt of trees beyond proved very useful today protecting me from the biting North Easterly wind as I walked down to the river which you can see snaking into the distance. I met the ponies yesterday too and numbers 10 and 3 were very sweet together. They must be at least four months apart but are the same size!

I'm afraid you will be seeing a lot of our little Nuthatch over the coming months as I can't resist him.....or her. Not quite sure on that front.

And finally, a couple of Snippet; one looking like no breed I've ever seen and the other in the 70 mile an hour winds on Sunday. Until next time...........have a good rest of the week.

23 November 2012


Those of you who have been reading this for a while will know the problems I had earlier in the year capturing our pair of breeding Nuthatches with my previous camera. On Wednesday, I was skulking in the kitchen photographing Great Tits feeding on our bird porridge, when this little beauty appeared in the viewfinder. I couldn't believe my luck. They are so stunning; like dull coloured little kingfishers I think. I'm hoping they'll be back nesting next year so the new camera can work its magic then too. By the way, in answer to a couple of queries on the subject, yes - I do take the pictures through the window, which is not that clean I'm ashamed to say!   Here it is again from behind and some of the Great Tits....

Taking off!

The rain and wind yesterday were like nothing I've ever witnessed before. When I took poor Trigger his hay at dusk, he nearly took off as the wind got under his rug. He just stood there looking horrified and unable to move. I had to shout to get him to snap out of his weather induced trance and get him to follow me under the trees. I nearly got blown over by horizontal hailstones and was drenched in seconds when I left the house. This morning, in the calm before the next battering, there was a channel left by the cascading water in the field through the fallen leaves which had scoured the earth of any vegetation. Our neighbour's greenhouse has been shattered and there are bits of snapped tree everywhere. Snippet and I had our first decent walk for days but I fear it'll just be some frenetic stick throwing fairly close to home again tomorrow. It was impossible to use a camera yesterday so here are some pictures from today's more clement moments....

Strange skies early this morning

Rainbow over Kestor


Not to be fallen into!

The rain coming the day before yesterday

A cloud caterpillar escaping from a grey cloud this afternoon

The tiny figure on top gives a sense of scale to the tip of Kestor in the distance

Close up of where he was standing

And Snippet does the same scale thing for the stone rows that looked monolithic in the last post but are actually pretty small 

Before I go, a word about our hopeless car. It's a Renault Megane and we bought it new when Origami boy was a baby because it came top in the safety tests at the time. Neurotic first child nerves!  However.....what a nightmare it's been. Just after the warranty ran out, the entire (diesel) fuel system failed on the way to a hospital appointment on the A30. After much wrangling with head office, Renault agreed to pay 90% of the costs because it had only done 15,000 miles which still left us with a bill of over £1,000. The total costs were almost as much as the car cost in the first place! For the nearly eight years we've had it, the electrics have been useless. The electric windows don't work for weeks at a time and then spring back into life. The front left indicator bulb blows within a couple of days of replacing it so we just don't bother any more. The headlamps blow every six months. The air-conditioning doesn't work any more. Half the dial illuminations don't work so that you have to grope about in the dark to adjust the heating and usually end up turning up the radio by mistake. Then to cap it all, the wind screen wipers stopped working on Wednesday which, given the rain we've been having, mean't it was not possible to drive it. Luckily, we also have a fairly beaten up Land Rover Defender which gets us out of here if we're otherwise snowed in, so I was able to drive that. Then the wipers sprang back into life later that day. I wish we had the money to replace it but we just don't, so the electrical saga will carry on. I wonder if anyone else has such problems with their vehicles??? Do tell! Until next time, sorry about so many pictures but, believe me, they were heavily edited! Have a great weekend and I hope it isn't raining wherever you are because it will be here...........