THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

14 October 2014

CHRISTMAS CARDS, LIGHTING STRIKES AGAIN AND THE GOLDEN PLOVERS ARE BACK


Many apologies for my absence; we had ANOTHER lightning strike last Wednesday and have had no internet until last night. How depressingly reliant I am on it. I felt panicky, isolated and desperate. But I'm back and have picked these four favourite snowy scenes for Christmas cards but need to know how many of you are interested this year. After last year's financial loss due to my forgetting Etsy's commission, I've had to build that in this time and am wondering if eBay might be a better bet. Your opinions would be appreciated as well as any definite orders as I'll have to talk to the printer as soon as possible. I thought a pack of eight 12x12cm cards, two of each design and MUCH better quality than last year having discovered my lovely printers in Cornwall. The company supports the Woodland Trust and only uses carbon captured papers which are sustainably sourced. £6.00 for eight plus £1.30 postage in the UK. I'll have to check outside the UK. I think two packs would still be okay at £1.30 P&P as I will pack them flat like last year, but more than that could move out of the 'large letter' format. Do let me know if you're interested.




For the last few weeks we have had a builder in hacking the render off the house as it was falling off all over the place.....too much sand in the mix. This is what it looked like when he'd done half of it; what looks like lovely granite blocks revealed on the left are actually horrible concrete ones, hence the render.


He has put polystyrene insulation all over the wall before the render goes on:


The rains came then......update soon I hope.

The Golden Plover flock is back. I was so delighted when I heard their distinctive call overhead the other day. They fly round and round for half an hour at a time.........










................before landing and pottering about on the same patch of ground every day. I'm hoping to get some better shots than this soon but Jack is NOT helping matters as you can imagine. I think their markings are just beautiful. 




I don't know this foal or its mother but it's very sweet:




Rainbow cow:


View through the Beech and wall:


Shelter belt rainbows:



The Long Stone or Three Boys as it's known. It marks the boundary of three parishes:



Bronze age hut circle with a view:


It's good to be back in the cyber-world. Birthdays are coming up and I was beginning to panic. OB goes on his residential week in Brixham next Monday and there were things I wanted to bid on on eBay. Never mind. I'm labeling EVERYTHING, even his socks. I find a biro is good for writing on clothes. It never comes out and is much cheaper than a so called laundry marker. My tip for the day. So, until next time, hope you've had a good week - I'm about to go and attempt to find out from all those of you who write blogs - and here are the boys in the browning grass of Autumn. Don't forget to let me know about those cards.......thank you!


7 October 2014

SEPTEMBER BITS AND PIECES


From 600 to this. Still too many but I may carry on editing as I caption. I imagine you will have to whisk through them - sorry!  

We saw these lovely Highland cattle yesterday. It was pretty warm in the sunshine so they must have been sweltering.



These next ones are the various evening skies I captured during the brief walks after supper with the dogs. During the real summer months, M has time to take them out for much longer ones but now that's all over and they've slipped into winter mode, sleeping all evening by the fire.








A ruffled Wheatear:


The Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared briefly on the feeder:


And a male Chaffinch; the breeding colours faded now:


The Meadow Pipits are flocking at this time of year, with over a hundred of them soaring around Kestor. This did not photograph well but here are a few on what I thought looked like 'The Singing Ringing Tree', if you remember that Euro-classic TV programme:


A couple more Pipits:



A Magpie eating ticks off a sheep's back:


Crow:


Green Grasshopper:


Meadow Grasshopper:


Bright Eye. These are SO tiny as to be nearly invisible unless you're deliberately looking for them:


Jess from Rusty Duck ( http://www.rustyduck.net/ ) on a visit here. We had a lovely walk to the river. I realise, having blown this up, that it looks as though she's weeping but is actually taking a very lovely photograph:


Scorhill (pronounced Scorril) stone circle that day. There was someone sitting to the right so you don't get the full effect:


She had her eye on us.....


Speckled Wood on the washing:


I only put this appalling photo in because It's the best I've achieved in I don't know how many years of of Snipe hunting, and I mean that in a photographic sense obviously, not for the pot. I disturb them constantly and have never even got a blurry image until now.....could do better:


Enchanting sheep:



A pair of Kestrels have been breeding up at Kestor this year and I've been watching them with their two surviving offspring, hunting together over the summer. The last month is the first time I've managed to get any pictures of them though, and not brilliant ones at that. Obviously they're all ones of them hovering; such an awe inspiring sight:




This is my absolute favourite. The bird was at least a quarter of a mile away and the background is at least two miles away:


And to lower the tone, some beautiful dung fungus. they seem to grow exclusively on cow dung. No accounting for taste. 


The deciduous grasses are fading fast:


OB's Christmas decoration....there will be many more I hope:


I think this is a Sea King; I love that heat haze around it:


Ponies on the move:


Meerdog on the right:


Snippet just before everything started to go brown and it was still seriously hot:



More recent; a lot less green but no shorter:



Jack with a good vantage point:


I love the Meadow Pipit in the background here:


If you haven't fallen asleep by now after all that, I'll talk briefly about the Skype call from GOSH. It too over an hour, which was impressive in itself, and they went through all the results of their tests and observations. We now have and absolute and definite diagnosis for Aspergers, or a high functioning ASD as I believe it might be termed now. All this changing of names for things drives me mad. This means we can go forward with trying to get OB a statement of special educational needs. Ah - no - that's changed and is now called a DAF which apparently stands for Devon Assessment Framework. What it means is that, at the point where OB changes schools, there should be access to someone to help him through it, should it be necessary. Previously he would have had to have three statements, one for Tourettes, one for Aspergers and one for his amazing maths ability so I suppose this will be better....we hope. It feels scary to have to go back to our local services to do anything after our previous experience but, with back up from GOSH, we're hoping we might achieve results a bit quicker. We only have 11 months and they'll be gone in no time. They will send through a written report very soon with their recommendations which will be sent to everyone down here. 

So, if you're still with me, have a great week and until next time, here are those naughty boys speeding towards the camera.