12 February 2013


But not as many as there were yesterday before this insufferable laptop decided to delete all my lovely frog and lichen pictures. I'm getting really upset with its life of its own. Time to dig a mouse out of a drawer and deactivate the touch pad. Whether that will solve the problem of hovering over something and it pressing virtual buttons that you don't want to press, I don't know. Anyway, enough grumping. I followed yesterdays footsteps today, but the frogs I had photographed had finished spawning and disappeared today. Not surprising but they are all at it and the spawn is gathering in every available puddle. Some may have to be rescued and moved as some of the puddles will dry out if there's a dry period. This is a fraction of what I saw today:

I haven't seen Betty or any of the other mares and foals for weeks. The occasional little group of vaguely familiar ponies appears for a few days and then goes. Some are in foal but not many. I'm really hoping Betty and the rest of them come back nearer foaling time. They will have to be named by letter rather than number this year so I don't get confused. Here are a couple I saw today a couple of miles away from home:

Eating the lush greens in the stream

My lichen passion had reached the point of searching for a comprehensive tome for identification. Not easy to come by I can tell you. The one I want is ridiculously expensive so I may have to just stick with the on-line sites which are pretty good, but not exactly portable. I'm finding the best but I haven't done very well with these I saw today (and yesterday!).

I can't identify this one.....time for i-spot

Cladonia Bellidiflora

Cladonia Polydactyla I think

Cladonia PleurotaI I think

Another one for i-spot

Cladonia Pocillum I think

I've been trying to photograph a Dunnock that has been visiting the garden for a few weeks. It kept flying off every time I managed to focus and never comes to the bird 'table'. This picture isn't great but at least I've got it at last. I haven't seen one up here at all until now so I'm really pleased.

These sparrows look like one of those wooden toys with the swinging ball underneath that makes them peck:

And a rather lovely Chaffinch with a mouthful of seedy porridge:

My viola are still flowering: 

And the Columbines are beginning to spring into life:

Snippet enjoyed today - lots of rodents making noises under tussocks of grass: 

I'll leave you with Kestor at sunrise the other frosty morning. awe-inspiring and a reason to get up and out early. Until next time..........


  1. We're always certain to see wonderful photos when we visit here, I especially liked Kestor at sunrise- just beautiful.

  2. Very impressed with your lichen identification.
    And that sunrise is indeed beautiful.

  3. Hi em
    George has not had a haircut yet but meg and William have
    Can I send a pic of them ? X

  4. A beautiful sunrise, but my favourite is the one of raindrops on aquilegia leaves.

    I hope your laptop starts behaving again soon. So frustrating to lose good photos.

  5. as always just gorgeous, everything is still white over here.........


  6. Kath - That sky colour is amazing isn't it? I always love to see your ones of the Tor in it's various weather conditions.

    Rusty D - I pored over that identification site for AGES and they look so similar. I never realised how many there were in this country.

    John - Send them over!

    DW - I like that one best too. They're one of my favourite flowers and it's always a good sign when they start to come up. They're very forgiving in my dry shade.

    Gill - hoping for a thaw for you Gill!

  7. Great post with some lovely photos :) Nice to see some early frogspawn - we don't get any in our pond until March usually.

    Fascinated by your lichen photos. I've got a couple of Field Study Council field guides on them and once spent ages in a churchyard with hand lens and FSC guides but they are a hard group to id.

  8. Em what gorgeous pics again- the lichens look amazing, beautiful texture. Which camera do you use? We have 5 dunnocks here and one special one who has a useless foot. We call her Poppet and I put food on the ground for her every morning to make sure she gets some. I feel rather protective of her and am really pleased she's made it through the winter so far. They are lovely little birds.

  9. Ragged R - The trough in the field next to Trigger's, that I use to top his up with my watering can, is FULL of spawn but I keep forgetting to take the camera up there. It's a bit dodgy getting the water out without disturbing it to much.

    CT - You've reminded me of a female Chaffinch we used to have visiting the garden who had a club foot. She was around for about three years and I felt exactly the same about her as you do about your Dunnock.

  10. Hi Em, what is your porridge mix, I mean do you put seed as well in it? We have loads of starlings and everything gets eaten up so quickly...

  11. Hi Thelma, I just mix porridge oats (the fine, cheap ones) with sunflower oil and boiling water and then add whatever else is going. That morning it was some old bird seed I had missed in the bottom of the cupboard and this morning is was some chopped up dried apricot. I leave it until after lunch so it's cold and has taken up all the water and then spoon it out. They seem to love it.

  12. Hi Em, Lovely photos of the lichen. It is a fascinating subject and I can see it could become an addictive and quite compelling subject. I can also see how complicated it is ;-)

    So nice to know you have signs of Spring with the frogspawn. I suspect it will be some weeks before I see any in my area. It is snowing again here this afternoon!

    Lovely to see your garden birds. My favourite is the Chaffinch enjoying its tasty porridge mix and the pretty one of the Columbine with water droplets :-)

    I hope the laptop realises who's boss very soon ;-)

  13. I don't think I stand a chance with the laptop - it's definitely getting worse. Touch technology has a lot to answer for, including the loss of 48 photographs.

    I discover that there is such a thing as a Lichenologist. What a great job!

  14. My Viola have gone pretty much all Winter; truly amazing is it not? will have to also check it the columbine is up as I am sure it will be hidden somewhere under a pile of snow. Dang those contraptions that have minds of their own. xx

  15. Nice to know you have columbines over there too!

  16. Ahhhhhhh! Your wonderful photos of Dartmoor and inhabitants gives me hope Em! Spring is coming, fresh and new. I especially like the tight shot and perspective of the little white horse. Have a great day. ME

  17. I think it might be thank goodness. It does raise the spirits doesn't it!

  18. I think I have a Roger Phillips book on Litchens and Mosses - have you got that one? He is normally very good with his ID photos.

    Loved the photos - like DW the Aquilegia with raindrops was my favourite. I have a garden-full and they don't mind heavy wet soils either!

  19. I don't have a book at all but I'll look that one up - thank you!

  20. Love the pony in the stream and the beautiful sunrise photo. I can never understand people who want to sleep the morning away!

  21. Me neither. I wish I could get up even earlier but 6.30 is my limit in the week unless there are circumstances that force it!


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