15 February 2013


As you can see I have been tinkering, perhaps unwisely. I started with the header photo, which I've meant to do for months. The one of the ponies has been bugging me as the one on the far left was very straggly and not what a Dartmoor should look like. I like the new one. I then moved on to the one of me, which I HATED. It was a rush job, taken in the mirror out of desperation when starting the blog. So, I thought I'd replace it. Me on the sledge isn't really working but I now can't find the original one. I will sort it out but not now!

Yesterday, I found some frog spawn in a small puddle which will dry out in a few days if we have no rain. Today, I decided to go looking for more spawn that needs rescuing and.over the weekend, I will draft in Origami Boy and his friend to help me move it to safer water. I was amazed at how remote some of their spawning sites were:

This huge puddle takes about a week to dry out in the sun and was the site of last year's tadpole rescue. This year I'm hoping to save them before they hatch!

This clump should be fine

Idiotic spawning and definitely in need of rescue

Huge amounts in the middle of the giant marsh

Close to the river so they should be fine

More middle of nowhere spawning

And again....

Sorry - those were pretty boring! Whilst picking my way through dodgy marsh, I saw these two lovely mosses:

Serious problems identifying them but probably Hair Moss and...

Bog Moss....I think. Mosses are notoriously difficult to identify...

I managed to capture the burglar Nuthatch in action today. A bit blurry but you can see the criminal at work....

Inside the feeder taking the nut....

Leaving the scene of the crime....

Stashing the swag under a rock in the neighbour's garden....

Trying to look innocent

Here are a few more pictures I took today.

Clapper bridge over Wallabrook

Snippet in the marsh

A lone sheep

A very naughty sheep trying to escape its field

Half term is upon us and I have no idea yet what my posting abilities will be. Forgive me if there is a temporary break in transmission but you never know, the mid week sleepover might afford an opportunity......until next time, have a great weekend and I'll leave you with a very happy Snippet.


  1. Wonderful photos today.

    OK, why do tadpoles need to be rescued ?is there not enough tadpoles where you live ? Do birds eat them ? are they on the endangered list !

    cheers, parsnip

  2. So this is how a moor looks. I am reminded of the high plains/desert of the interior west in the color of old grass and the bare windswept spaces of sunshine and shadow. Perhaps the biggest difference is the lack of rainfall to create marshes or puddles in the American west.
    Your photos are never boring!

  3. I'll bet the boys will love collecting spawn! "The muddier the better-er" for boys, isn't it. Thanks for the photos - the weather is definitely improving, isn't it. Summer's just around the corner!

  4. I love that hillocky grass. You look like you live out in the wildw. I love those wide open spaces.

  5. Gorgeous photos Em. I especially loved the nuthatch. Ours spills seed everywhere when he comes to the garden but this is ok because the smaller ground feeding birds gobble it all up!

  6. Love the new header. Suppose I should do the same, it's always an exercise in blundering. :)

    I agree with Morning's Minion, your photos are never boring!

    The Nuthatch is so funny!

  7. I have yet to see frogspawn here. You must be a bit warmer, further down in the south west.

    Nuthatches seem very clever and resourceful birds don`t they? Lovely photos. Our nuthatches are quite aggressive at the bird table but they do seem to run away from a hungry pied wagtail who is trying to claim all the bird food for himself.

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  10. There's an old and very leaky pond here, down in the woods. I really ought to go and see if it has any spawn in it.

    Lovely pics as ever Em. Your nuthatch is very cheeky!

  11. Parsnip - I just hate to think of all those potential amphibians perishing as the puddles dry out!

    MM - More puddles than I would like!

    Virginia - I'm hoping the don't do more harm than good and start poking at the spawn. Will take pictures....

    Chris - It is pretty wild here. I would find it hard living anywhere else having lived here.

    CT - The more I see of them, the naughtier they become and they really bully the smaller birds....the bigger ones too!

    Gail - Blunder I did. It took about an hour which is why I gave up on the one of me. Hopeless!

    Cindy - No - I really feel for you over there in your winter wonderland!

    DW - it does seem a bit early to me and I was a bit worried as I walked out this morning to find half of them surrounded by thin ice. I hope they can survive that but I'm assuming they can or there would be no frogs and toads left.

    Rusty D - I hope you's dso fascinating watching them grow and start to wriggle. I still haven't managed to get a picture of the trough full of it. I need a polarising lens which I can ill afford!

  12. Em, I find your photos so captivating and I have to admit to never having seen frogspawn before, but I have to think I'd be moving them to safer water too!

    Enjoy your weekend!!

  13. It is weird looking stuff so you're not missing much. Have a great weekend too!

  14. Some lovely photos here Em. I particularly like the moss and the Nuthatch as well as all the atmospheric landscape shots. Well done on the frogspawn! So nice to know someone cares enough to do that.

  15. I just hope the small boys in question didn't do more harm than good with their scooping hands!

  16. that's my friend em searching the fields for signs errant breeding. i cannot tell you how breathtakingly beautiful some of the photos are. you are so very lucky to see this landscape first hand.

  17. Not sure how well the rescue went yesterday! Not many pictures as I was too busy trying to stop small boys manhandling delicate spawn!

  18. Frog spawn is icky, icky, icky. Oh and did I mention I am terrified of frogs!!!


  19. You would not have wanted to be involved in the rescue!

  20. I am always trying to get on your blog but never succeeding - today I have made it and must say I adore the wildness of your scenery. Well done you for rescuing that spawn - it is the same here - many of the puddles dry out before it has time to hatch and move on.

  21. I am so glad to have stumbled on this blog and this post which is full of the bits I love about the moors here in the South West. My nearest moor is Bodmin moor but having lived in North Cornwall, Dartmoor was loved, appreciated walked then. I enjoy the winter colours of the wild land expressed in your photos. I will definitely be a follower of your blog.

  22. Weaver - Lovely to hear from you. I am told that the spawn felt lovely, leaving no residue on the hands but I didn't try it myself!

    CP - Welcome and you hold the illustrious position of being follower number 49....the first to be a number greater than my age!


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