28 July 2013


This is our town Chagford from up on our part of the moor yesterday. It was a bit hazy but you get the general idea. Thank goodness the rain has come in force today and things might start to go green again, but anywhere cultivated looks like it's been toasted and makes the usually bleak moorland look like lush pasture:

Parched grassy bits on Kestor Rocks

Our desert island in a moorland sea

Chagford again

I'be been keeping an eye out for Tornado over the past few days and, on one of the occasions I saw her, she was very much living up to her name. Most of the shots, from a great distance, were too blurry with speed but this one was okay as she slithered to a halt after much prancing. The faithful bay gelding from last year is keeping watch over her; I say her because after a close look I can see no obvious evidence of coltness. Knowing my abilities in this field I should look forward to the next post reversing my decision.

A few more of her. I'm a bit smitten....

Oh dear....what's that in the nether department? I give up. 

The bad hair mother and daughter were in evidence yesterday, still sporting their ridiculous fur coats. Here's the daughter with what looks like an aunt:

Origami Boy is well and truly in holiday mode, so long walks aren't really happening. However, he does love whacking a tennis ball for Snippet which get's him excercised in a concentrated kind of way:


There are lots of young Chaffinches around on the feeder at the moment:

The sole Blue Tit juvenile is nearly grown up:

Blackbird juveniles are appearing for the first time:

There are two broods of Great Tits around now. First, nearly mature:

And the second, still fluffy with gapes:

The first Thrush for ages:

The gorse is flowering AGAIN. This is the third time this year!


Meadowsweet is  looking beautiful around our neighbour's pond:

Spear Thistle are flowering everywhere:

Our Runner Beans are going a bit mad. Origami Boy has grabbed this one out of his window and tied it to his desk drawer with a piece of string:

We shouldn't have sown the second lot of salad when we's ready much too soon and we're handing bags of out to everyone we know:

I'm managing to write this in a brief window between holiday activities and bed. Hayfever is keeping me awake half the night at the moment, as the pollen gently descends from the stratosphere into my nostrils via the battle ground that is the windows. I would like them closed as a barrier to the sneezey stuff, whereas my partner likes them wide open. An age old argument I'm sure. I grump out of bed in the small hours of the morning, snuffling like a truffle pig, and slam them closed, only to find them open again in the morning. Tonight, I'm trying some drowsy making antihistamine tablets in the hope of killing two birds with one pill but we'll see.  Until my next available moment for communication, here's Snippet after my latest dog grooming exercise with the clippers. This is what he was like as a puppy....he'll be bald before you know it....

23 July 2013


I saw this little foal a few days ago but have been so busy, I only managed to get out and look for him/her (haven't got close enough to tell yet) properly today. Not much chance of mistaking this one; I spotted it from half a mile away. I think that looks like a whirlwind on his face so I'm non-sex-specifically calling it Tornado, since we already have an 'Arrow'. Such charming markings. 

Before I got to them, I saw many others. Here's a great example of why I haven't been able to keep track of the foals or their mother's this year:

Whilst chatting to one of my neighbours, standing next to their fabulous pond, we spotted a leech. I know they are still used with great success in modern medicine, but my ideas about plunging in for a swim went by the wayside.

The grass surrounding the pond was alive with tiny, tiny frogs; so tiny I couldn't get the camera to focus properly in macro mode, but you get the idea:

The heat has been getting to us all and we still have no rain. My theory, as I gazed over to North Devon, where storm clouds were gathering, is that the gathered heat in the lump of granite that is Dartmoor, is rising as a giant column, diverting all the rain away. I don't think the Met Office will be knocking on my door any time soon but that's my opinion! You can feel it radiating at night. Snip needs another haircut if this is to continue.

We headed for Widemouth Bay with OB and a friend again on Sunday, where the day was much clearer. I swam without fear of the hundreds of jellyfish we encountered last time and took a few more pictures:

The garden is really starting to suffer. A precious Ash sapling growing out of the top of the Vole wall has died. The grass is browning fast and the water-butt is emptying fast. The geraniums, however, will survive anything it seems. Given my dry shade issues, I try not to water anything other than my few tubs, but, when washing out the compost caddie, the water has been poured wherever it looks most needed. A bit stinky with bits of onion skin, but it does the job. We really don't want to risk the bore hole running dry as it feeds three households here. 

The Jacob's Ladder seems to be doing okay in the dry too:

The butterflies are everywhere but the only ones I can get near are in the garden. This lovely Comma was resting on the hedge: 

I've noticed that very few flowers are flourishing out on the moor. Milkwort should still be going strong but I see barely any. Self heal is around but very stunted:

The Dragonflies are still laying in the boggy puddles where so many expletives are uttered as they escape my macro lens. Pretty soon there will be no water left and their work will be for nothing. Some rain please! This Keeled Skimmer male looked exhausted today and I managed to zoom in on him.

I think the Stonechats are between broods as the males are singing their hearts out. Perhaps they're just avoiding their parenting duties.  

The seed feeder is inundated with young Chaffinches:

Tomorrow is OB's last day of school. He appeared in a play about the Romans last night, managing to be the first to die in every battle scene. I think he just wanted a rest from the searing heat. Posts may be less frequent as I take up my taxiing role and am unable to walk as far due to cries of 'do we have to?'. Six and a half weeks start here. I will look back in a few years and wish for these holidays, so I'm not complaining. Apologies if I'm not as regular in my comments on your blogs; I will try my best. Until next time, here's Snippet disappearing out of shot at speed.