15 May 2013


49 today......where did those years go? Anyway, these beautiful flowers are from my mum. When I came down this morning, I found Origami Boy had made me this wonderful banner:

I also got this print which I spotted in a local gallery some months ago and 'mentioned' in an unsubtle manner. I absolutely love it:

I didn't know a lot about Lucy Dawson but, having trawled the internet, I've found a lot more of her work. I love this being white on a coloured background. I think it's one of the most successful drawings I've seen, done in 1937.

Coffee and cake this morning with friends and now sitting waiting for Asda to deliver my shopping. I'm always amazed they come up here; they must be mad! £3.00 well spent; it would cost me more than that in fuel. Once they've been, I can take Snippet out in the delightful gale force winds and rain. Four degrees centigrade this morning and about six now. Lovely. I've just been sent this picture of snow in Princetown last night....they did say it might happen. I'm so happy it missed us:

Shopping is away, Snippet walked and coat dripping all over the floor. 

On Saturday, we had the close shave mentioned in the title. OB and I came back from his tennis lesson (he's no Federer but enjoys running around with his friends), to find a massive branch had fallen off the ENORMOUS beech tree that shadows our garden for most of the year under which we and our direct neighbour, park our cars. You can kind of see how big it is from the picture below but nothing really gives the sense of its majesty. What fell off was the size of a medium sized tree in itself. We don't own it but have very kindly been given enough of it to last us a year once it's seasoned. Partner spent all of Saturday with two others chainsawing it up to get it off the drive it had fallen on. The tractor below was parked in that drive and the falling tree just brushed its mud guard and trashed the trailer. Expensive though the trailer is, it's nothing to what the fairly new tractor would have cost to replace. We are SO lucky it wasn't one of the branches on the other side as it would have destroyed three Land Rovers, one Renault Megane (I could have lived with that), three sheds at least and probably a section of our roof, despite it being 100 feet away. Anyway, I'll stop wittering; here are some pictures:

Sadly, because of what's happened, the whole thing is going to have to come down. It's such a beautiful tree but, on the plus side, our garden will be much lighter and won't be a depository for its millions of falling leaves every year.

To change the subject, have any of you ever lost your entire Blogger reading list? For two days, it completely disappeared. As if to tempt fate, I just checked it AGAIN and it's all back. Very strange. So, apologies if I haven't been visiting recently but a lot of you went off the radar. Here are a few more pictures taken in the brief moments between torrential rain:

Things still not looking very green

Foal A and mum

Daisy and Isaac

Gelding shenanigans 

A new foal G. Two little white socks are the only distinguishing marks. I'm beginning to regret the lack of skewbalds for that reason alone!

Curly heads

Wind ruffled feathers

Not sure who this is, it was SO far away. I'm tempted to say it's a Harrier from the shape, possibly Marsh Harrier given the amount of marsh around here. I look forward to your opinions....

The Longstone, with Thornworthy Tor beyond

The visitors to the bird feeding station are getting bigger and bigger!

So, Having eaten nothing since the massive slice of cake at ten this morning, I am stealing myself for the M&S curry I splashed out on yesterday whilst spending the birthday cheque my mum gave me on clothes in Exeter yesterday. I was not allowed to spend it on anything but clothes. Do you think she's trying to tell me something? Until next time, here's Snip again in a rare dry moment.


    The flowers & banner are wonderful.. that tree is beautiful & huge ... damn too bad it had not just taken out the car ..ha !

  2. Happy Birthday Em, I wouldn't mind being 49 again LOL
    Yes my Blogger list disappears on a regular basis, but always comes back again.

  3. Cindy - The wind screen wipers stopped working again today and I had to get out and clear it every hundred yards or so....not funny!

    Kath - Thank you - that's a relief to know!

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! My mum gives me the same instructions- "DON'T spend this on the animals or the children!!!" Hope you got some lovely new things and enjoy your birthday curry. CT x

  5. PS- Blogger regularly ditches my reading list too

  6. Happy Birthday !
    I love bouquet wrapped in paper. Lovely !
    Your banner is so special.
    Sorry to here about the tree having to be taken down. I have been trying to decide to cut down the Paloverde tree next to my pool. Aside from the huge mess problem, I could live with that and have, it had been pruned badly and now keeps getting taller and taller. After 6 years of dithering, it will be cut down in two weeks.
    I lose my Blogger list all the time, sooner or later it comes back. Plus there are days that I can't post with my picasa/google link and have to switch to web album. Then magically it appears again.

    cheers, parsnip

  7. Happy Birthday!
    Oh to be 49 again (maybe!)
    Lovely presents.

    What a beech tree adventure.
    Not too many beeches here and many of the best copper beeches have some sort of disease......

    Oh happy Snippet!
    Greetings from damp cold NY!

  8. A Very Happy Birthday to you and hope you are having a great day. Love your present, what a wonderful drawing that is,....never heard of the artist but will be googling the name. We saw there had been snow! What the heck is going on with the weather!

  9. CT - The birthday curry was extremely delicious and I am now feeling very full indeed after an added creme patisserie choux bun. Yum.

    Parsnip - Lucky the tree doesn't belong to us as it's going to cost over a thousand pounds to do!

    Elizabeth - If we get a beech disease here, we'll have no hedges left! It grows really well up here even in such harsh conditions so we'd really be in trouble. Sorry it's miserable in NYC too.

    Ann - Isn't she great? There's an author with the same name which is a bit confusing but I know you'll find her. I'd like more!

  10. Hope you're having a wonderful birthday, Em. The flowers are beautiful - and I love the print. The banner is great, too! The branch looks huge; I'm glad it didn't cause all the damage it could have done. It must have really crashed down.

  11. Happy Birthday! Love the picture that you received, very beautiful :-)

  12. Hi Em, a belated Happy Birthday to you - its been a while since I was that age but that's OK - every age has its good side.
    Yes, hubby says he is pretty sure that is a marsh hawk.

  13. Happy Birthday Em.
    I just love that drawing.
    I can't believe we've had snow in the middle of May, and temps may be below freezing tonight..
    Keep warm and stay clear of trees.

  14. Em... the photo of the bird, what camera and lens (?) did you use. Did you crop and enlarge it ?
    It is so clear.
    I have a little but nice Japanese Point and click so there is no really clear zoom.

    cheers, parsnip

  15. Happy Happy Birthday!! You were properly spoiled :)

    A shame about that magnificent old tree, lovely photos as always!

    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jennifer
    Jenn's Random Scraps

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  17. Happy BD! Good that your stuff didn't get burried under the branch - here it's saguaro parts that weigh several tons that we have to worry about.
    I love the ram portraits. Got the last cds of "All creatures great and small" from the library - your blog pictures had something to do with that. By the way, 'High Chapperal' and several John Wayne movies were filmed where we have our property now. I actually watched them a while ago!

  18. Happy Birthday, belatedly! That was a bit too close for comfort with tree wasn't it, glad it wasn't any worse. Love reading your stuff.

  19. Wendy - It was VERY loud apparently - a crack followed by creaking and crashing!

    3M's - I can't believe I'd never heard of her. Worth sticking her name into Google images.

    Carla - Hello, lovely to hear from you and thanks for the bird confirmation!

    Rusty D - We're all fully expecting our cars to be crushed every time we wake up in the morning. The tractor driver had been parked under where it fell about ten minutes earlier. Looking forward to it coming down now...

    Parsnip - The camera is a Fuji FinePix SL300 and, if you're talking about the crow, was on full optical zoom (I don't use the digital one). I am an obsessive cropper and find the Windows Live Photo Gallery thing on this computer perfectly adequate for what I do day to day. We have Photoshop on an old computer but it's too much of a faff moving stuff across. When I worked for Getty Images some years ago, I would do a lot more Photoshop fiddling with levels and things but now, if they don't pass muster, they go in the bin!

    Jenn - the Choux Bun was the straw that broke the camel's back....I had to lie on the sofa to recover!

    Margarethe - I now have the theme tune from the High Chapperal on the brain! I think All Creatures Great and Small was filmed in Yorkshire but they have a lot of similar dry stone walls up there and moorland. I would say it's colder up there but, at the moment I'm not so sure.

    Goosey - thank you and keep your fingers crossed more doesn't fall off before it's taken down!

  20. A belated Happy Birthday to you - love the banner OB did and the print :)

    Sorry the tree has to come down but glad there wasn't any massive damage.

    I must admit I don't have a Blogger Reading list as such just rely on My Blog List being updated. But where I am concerned Blogger seems to have a mind of its own and I still can't get things like italics and links to work!!!

  21. Happy Birthday! I hit the big 5 0 next week. Currently having a stay at my parents, in Leics, the same home I grew up in. Half a century old & surrounded by childhood memories, weird!

  22. A belated happy birthday to you! 49 is young! Wish I was the same age :) Your Mum's flowers were beautiful, I love those colors and the banner is so special!

    A shame to lose such a gorgeous tree, but unfortunately next time you probably would not be as lucky and have part of it fall on your house. Car would be fine but none of the other is expendable.

    The picture of the crow is wonderful! Such detail. Babies are looking great and yes it would be nice to have some color on them for ID purposes.

    Can't say if I remember Blogger ditching my list or not...

  23. RR - It's so good to know most people have some problem or another with Blogger. I suppose, given that it's free, a few glitches are acceptable.

    CC - That must be very strange and a huge contrast to where you live now. Hope you have a good time despite weirdness!

    Gail - Glad you like the crow - I know how much you like that family! Every time I go out of the door now, I'm wary of the huge tree looming over us with its potential for disaster!

  24. Those flowers are so beautiful. I once painted one wall of the shower-room that beautiful Pansy-purple colour (in fact, intensely purple, if I am honest) and my husband never stopped moaning! Belated birthday greetings anyway and I trust you DID buy clothes with that money from your mum : )

    I loved the photos of the moor - firstly that remote stream and then the amazing close-ups of the stones and colours. Oh WOW!

    I am looking forward to being able to blog properly and post photos again, but I am still going through 5 years of photos and trying to get rid of those I really don't need any more.

  25. Happy Birthday Em. My heart lurched when I read of the tree falling - one of you could so easily have been underneath it!

    Keep safe, Keep warm, and have a great time buying your birthday clothes!

  26. BB - I bought some lovely things. So nice to not be constantly worrying about the money! I'd like to have seen that bathroom....

    Virginia - Am currently wearing a very nice jacket that I would never have bought otherwise. It was a great present.

    I feel rather apprehensive every time I go under that tree now.

  27. Belated but Very Happy Birthday wishes to you Em. Lovely presents! Glad you got that attractive print you wanted. Sounds like you had a great day.

    The tree incident was a narrow escape! So sad when a lovely old tree which has stood for so long has to come down, I always think if trees could talk to us they would have such tales to tell of times past.

    Blogger in general is terribly temperamental. I tend to rely on my sidebar blog list for updates but have had several blogs on it failing to update recently.

  28. I find that a lot of the blogs on my list just disappear from the sidebar and I don't notice for ages. They stay on the blogger list but go from the sidebar.....very odd. I wonder if Wordpress and other blogging packages have similar problems?

  29. A very happy belated birthday Em, looks as if you had a good time. As someone who is much older than you I don't think age matters one bit. You have that marvellous landscape to explore and record and give us all those marvellous photos. Drama as well with that great branch falling, but it should keep you warm come this winter? don't know how long it takes wood to season and dry out.

  30. Belated happy birthday greetings to you sweetheart
    Have a look on today's blog....
    Your pictures have been framed and look absolutely delightful xxxxxxxx

  31. Thelma - We'll be utilising it in about two years. There really is enough to keep three households going for a year though, which is great. As for when the whole thing comes down....the problem is, we have nowhere to store that kind of amount, unless I give up the whole garden. I will feel a lot better once I'm fifty to be's kind of looming!

    John - Thank you and I'll be off to look....x

  32. A Very Happy Birthday to you Em! Harriers (Marsh hawks) have a white rump patch. For some reason the shape of the bird (in absence of scale) suggests a european kestrel (female)to me. But heck, what do I know! Burn all the candles and eat your cake! Best - Mark

  33. Hello Mark - lovely to hear from you. I know what you mean about the kestrel. two differing opinions from the US and Canada and I'm not sure at all. I need it to come closer! I ate inordinately large amounts of cake - thank you.


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