“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 29 January 2014

The Great British Annual Bird Count

Just before I begin today, I'd like to welcome my new followers and thank them for deciding to visit me (yes I did my little dance for each one of you) but also a great big thank you to my loyal readers, whether you follow or not. 
I feel very honoured that you spend some of your free time reading my posts. 
If I just sat here nattering away to myself, it really wouldn't be any fun...besides it would just be odd and lonely! 

The Annual Big Garden Bird Watch event took place over last weekend and typically the weather turned nasty, the heavens opened and a hoolie howled. 
I'd mistakenly decided that Sundays weather would be the best day and therefore I delayed my count until then...but how wrong can one be? 
It's a good job that the Meteorological Office or the BBC don't rely on me! 
So what's involved with this great bird watch that started 35 years ago?
Basically throughout the whole of the UK on either Saturday or Sunday people sit or stand still for one hour and note all the birds that land in their garden over that hour. It can be any space whether a large garden, a little patch, or feeder hanging from a tree or window. Schools and other organisations such as youth groups or the Girl Guides/Scouts are now getting involved. It's popularity has grown with each year. 
So basically it's a wildlife survey that provides vital statistics for the RSPB 
(The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It is a charitable organisation registered in England, Wales and Scotland. 
It was founded as the Plumage League in 1889 by Emily Willianson
It also asks in the survey for you to note what other wildlife you have seen over that particular weekend ie foxes, squirrels, frogs and hedgehogs etc. 
The information gathered is used to create a 'snapshot' of bird populations and other species around the country. It helps to highlight which birds are either on the decline or thriving and which might need our help. 
At least it made me sit still for one whole hour, which can prove quite difficult for me. 
I also found it quite stressful which came as a surprise.

(this sack is huge and full of different delights...from mealworms, sunflower hearts, multi-mixed seeds to suet logs. It reaches up to my knees and I struggle to even lift it. The photo on the right is the RSPB spring edition magazine).

With my feeders topped to the brim, fat balls swinging and tables festooned with tasty titbits, I waited for the light! And I waited....and waited....barely able to see the garden never mind the feeders but there wasn't a feather in sight!  
 Take a look for yourself...

Hmm...yeah not so good eh? 
So why do we carry out this survey at this time of year when the weather can be so bad? 
Well apparently its the best time of year for watching, as the cold weather brings the birds into the garden looking for food and shelter, plus there's less foliage for them to hide in. 
Some of my feathered friends when they did finally flutter in had trouble landing and balancing on the feeders because of the strong wind. 
As more and more braved the elements my stress level shot up...is that a chaffinch or a sparrow? A robin or dunnock? It wasn't easy in the dull light when all you could see was their outline. Binoculars, camera, notebook, phone, pen and cuppa constantly juggling made the task even harder. At one stage my daughter said "don't stress Mum" but I wanted to make sure I managed to get a proper count. I had to call in reinforcements when flutterings were everywhere. Shouting "someone get the chaffinches while I get the blackbirds" etc...phewph! 
But all in all we did good and I'm pleased to say we counted 13 different species ~ a total of 38 birds. I think the odd one might have got away but generally that was the number for that hour. I was thrilled when our two Great Spotted Woodpeckers put in an appearance and my favourite robin but alas the wren's, goldfinches and long-tailed tits never showed up in the allocated hour. Maybe they have a lie-in on Sundays?
I nearly needed a lie down myself after all of that excitement! 
But I decided instead to celebrate and unpack my new gorgeous china mug. 
It was a gift from my sister and seemed appropriate as she'd taken part in the count too. 

I'm contemplating braving the weather today in order to nip to my local garden centre in order to buy a new bird table. 
(The trouble is if I go...I could be gone for some time. I've managed to resist visiting the garden centre so far since I arrived back but it'll be very tempting I'm sure and I probably will come back with much more than just a table)
The bird table is another gift for my recent birthday...yep another year has somehow sneaked up to bite me, but I'm not reacting. 
With any luck no-one will notice Emoji
There's so much noise and people in and out of here today, I feel the need to escape. 
It's all the preparations for the new windows which are due to arrive tomorrow. 
Then the fun will really start with trying to take the old ones out and put the new ones in without any of the weather coming in. I may hide under the duvet!
And yes snow IS forecast and that's not just my forecast! 
Stay cosy or cool depending on where you are on the planet.
Have a great day and keep smiling no matter what!

Until next time...https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif 

Friday 24 January 2014

Grow Your Blog Party 2014...and a GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the Grow Your Blog Party!
For those of you that haven't heard about the brain child of Vicki over at 2 Bags Full she's offered to host a party for over 500 people. Now I call that generous and incredibly brave. 
If you click onto the logo below it will take you into all the other party people and their blogs, but hopefully you'll not go before staying awhile. 
Now anyone that knows me will understand what a huge task this post has been for me to create...I have difficulty being brief or to the point at the best of times and that's one of the reasons why my blogs name has 'Natter' in it! 
I love to natter...about everything!
Basically, I've been described as someone being able to talk even under water and I know that's true. 
Yes, I'm aware that even this opening paragraph is in serious jeopardy of running away with me. So with that in mind I'll move swiftly on...
Firstly, though I thought I should give a brief idea of what makes me tick...I'll give only give you a few things to keep it brief...I'm not over thinking these either...they're not in any particular order, I'm writing them as they come into my head. 
Yep I'm that dizzy...and blonde! hehe
I adore my family and friends (plus our dog obviously...I live with my hubby, son and soon my daughter will be moving back home too plus our pooch Muffin)
I love drawing/art - I seriously want to devote more time to this (My Etsy shop needs to reopen) Gardening, but like to involve others when the going gets tough
Drinking copious amounts of tea and virtually never refuse a cuppa
Blogging big time of course! 
Reading and books (I've been devouring them ever since I first started to read)
Cooking and baking (sharing recipes and getting used to using my Aga once again)
Wildlife and Nature 
Photography, I'm just about to purchase a new camera...how exciting is that?

I started blogging a few years back when living in Melbourne and my daughter who was living in Edinburgh Scotland, at the time suggested it might be good to have a diary in the form of a blog to record daily life on our travels. 
At that time I'd never even heard the word 'blog' or what it meant.
Well, it was a shaky start and I'm not sure I've improved as much as I would have wished but it's certainly something I love to do and can't imagine not doing. I have posts pop into my head randomly and I'm constantly taking photos of everything in my day and thinking how they would be added into a post or tweet. Yep...I'm an avid Twitter user too. 
Blogging has changed my life and opened doors that I never thought possible. It's also brought new friendships from all over the globe. It really never ceases to amaze me just how powerful and wide stretching it can be.

Here I am doing one of the things I love to do...drawing whilst having my trusty assistant nearby to help with all of the major decisions. 
You can see she's riveted! 
That's Muffin by the way . 
(She's a mini Shih Tzu but there's nothing mini about this poochs attitude. She also known as Muffy, Muffty, Mufftypup, McMuffy after our last move, to name but a few
Although she looks cute and puppylike...don't be fooled...she's just celebrated her 10th Birthday ...and she certainly knows how to work the system or more precisely us! 

We have finally given up the expatriate life after 24 years of travelling and living abroad. We've had lots of adventures and certainly seen life along the way! 
Some a little too close and personal for my liking, but you have to take the good with the bad. Embracing it all.
So we've returned home...but I've never been sure where home was when asked this reasonable question. Over the years I decided that 'home' was wherever our nest happened to be at the time and we were all together. You have to adapt to this concept in order to have some consistency to your life when you're away.
But we packed our expatriate bag for the last time and flew off...but to where I hear you ask? Well here's a clue where we've landed.... 

Hehe isn't he stunning...a Highland Cow! 
(Not sure if you can call a 'he' a cow but maybe that's the thought for the day?) 
Did you guess right? 
Yes, we are in Scotland...in Aberdeenshire to be more precise. 
We moved away from a house here and rented it out whilst we travelled but we're back to stay. 
If you'd like to see the landscape and join Muffy and I on one of our daily walks then click HERE
I'm not sure this is it...the final destination and we'll stay, but for now we've no plans to move for a while. But I've learnt to never say never! 
It's surreal to be here once again but I'm loving settling back in. 
There are major renovations on the 'to-do list' and I've mentioned them in previous posts. Two bathrooms are just about finished except for a little bling to be added. There is decking being crafted right before my eyes as I type here and next week we are replacing all the windows and doors in the house. 
Keep your fingers crossed that snow doesn't arrive!
If you like the TV programme 'Grand Designs' with Kevin McCloud then come and visit here regularly because it's all happening. I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin walked up our driveway any day now. 
But there are peaceful parts of the property...
Here's a view of the side garden and one of my main bird feeding stations. 

(obviously this photo was taken in the summer months...
it doesn't look like this at the moment) 
It's amazing just how many birds have started to regularly visit us now there's a five star restaurant opened up. I just love to see the birds and can seriously lose hours watching their antics and acrobatics. We used to have pheasants visit when we last lived here, but I've yet to see one in the garden since we returned, but I'm hopeful that the word will spread..."they're back, come on down"!
Here's a few photos that I snapped over the summer. 
There are so many things to capture on camera.
Since we've been back in Scotland, we've been lucky enough to share in a fairy tale wedding at a castle...click HERE if you'd like to take a peek and there's lots of plans ready for exploring the area once spring arrives. There's so much happening here, history, architecture and fantastic scenery to name but a few...so it's going to be tough deciding what to post but I'm sure I'll manage. 
I hope that you'll join me because it just won't be the same without you. 
(The city of Aberdeen and around and about)
But there's also lots to share still about our travels and no doubt they'll make an entrance too at various stages. 
We've lived in hot places, cold places and everything in between.

(In order from left to right...Qatar, Canada and Melbourne) 
Melbourne was our last port of call and I miss it terribly. I made so many wonderful friends (Little Wandering Wren is taking part in the GYB Party...so why not nip over to say 'Hi'. She'd love to see you plus you'll be able get a warm too because it's summer there at the moment).
We had a fantastic time in Melbourne and have fantastic memories and at one stage we very nearly stayed. It was a very close call.
Melbourne has been voted the best city in the world on numerous occasions and rightly so.

Before Melbourne we were in the Middle East and I seriously thought we were heading home from there but instead of turning left on takeoff to come back to the UK we turned right to Australia!
What a fantastic time we had whilst there and I couldn't possibly pick a previous post for you to see because there's just too much choice. I think it might be better if you'd like to see any details by heading into my sidebar to browse. 
Muffy was actually born in Qatar and we couldn't leave her behind so she made the journey...and Australian quarantine. 
Now here's the link but be assured no animal was hurt in the making of this post...click HERE 
It's way back in the early days of blogging for me so please be forgiving if you look back. 

Can you imagine what might go through her little brain? 
"What are they thinking? I'm from the desert and then they take me off to Australia which turns out to have winters and quarantine"! 
Not content with that they then decide to cool me down even further and take me to Scotland! It's really a good job that I have friends and connections out there that send me beautifully knitted jumpers in Aran that have made my life at least bearable!" 
I am very selective in my choice of location for snoozing...it's normally near the wood burner or Aga

If you're still with me at this stage I'm thinking you need a reward. I'm going to have a giveaway and if you leave a comment below then you will be entered into the draw. I did this at last years party and there's no show without 'Punch' so Muffy had to do the draw. 
If you want to see how we did it then click Sticky Draw Prize Draw
I think we'll do something similar this year but at the moment I'm not sure what I'll be giving away. But I know 'Hamish' will be in there...plus a few bits and pieces like the book marks from a craft market in Melbourne. 
I would like to include something that I've created too but at the moment it's looking unlikely, but as I said 'never say never eh'? You never know?
Here's just a snippet of some of my art...the first was my personal mandala and was so much fun to include lots of things relevant and special to me. 
I was thrilled to open my Etsy shop last year, but I decided to close it just before I moved from Melbourne. I'm hoping that I will be able to re-open it again soon.  
For our last big adventure last year we went to New Zealand...both the North Island and the South Island with a few thrills along the way. 
If you want to see these posts they are in my sidebar (October 2012)

We plan to explore Europe now that we are over this way...so as they say...watch this space! 
Before I go I want to share a recipe with you and it's quite relevant with it being Australia Day on Sunday plus this is one of my hubbies favourite recipes. I know I should perhaps have tipped my cap or should I say Tam O'Shanter (tartan hat...if I had one) to it being 'Burns Night' on Saturday night (25th January) but I haven't got to grips with haggis yet...but no doubt I will. Maybe that'll be for next years party? 
I would have liked to have a new recipe for my regular visitors because they've seen this one before but the days just keep running away with me and I don't accomplish half of what I'd like to before my energy runs out and it's time for bed! If only I didn't have to sleep?
If you like the look of this yummy lemon tart then click on Australia Day Classic Lemon Tart
The recipe is enclosed in that post and it's one of my most popular posts.
I promise I'll have a new recipe soon...my Aga needs to get busy! 
Phew...well I think it's time for another cuppa in my favourite Denby mug.

(There are obviously other brands available than the one shown here...hehe...in fact there's a whole plethora of flavours and other brands out there...all waiting to be tasted  ~ how perfect is that) 
I'll just thank you for popping into my place and taking the time to browse. If you manage to leave a comment to show that you've been here all the better (or if you decide to follow...I always find I do a little clap and dance when I see a new follower) you'll be entered into my giveaway and will feature in a future post when Muffy does her party piece! Plus I always try to answer everyone that leaves a comment. 
Just one more thank you...and that's to Vicki for hosting this incredible event. I can't imagine just how much time and effect has gone into organising it.
Vicki is a very special person...just pop over to see her wonderful blog to get to know more.
I'm away now to put on my glad rags, lippy and dancing shoes to party the weekend away!
Have fun whatever you have planned...enjoy! https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif

Monday 20 January 2014

Happy Blue Monday...and two Birthday's

 So another week begins....and I was up before dawn once again. 
Why? Because my builder is an early bird and likes to start work at this unearthly hour. 
He even brings his own light! 
There's no waiting for daylight with this guy...when a jobs to be done...let's get on with it! It's a good job I'm an early riser anyway. 

For those of you who have requested a peek at the bathroom renovation work I've decided to give in and show you. Initially I wasn't sure I really wanted to reveal all, so I've decided to give you a partial snippet of one of them. We've done two bathrooms back to back...just for the fun of it! 
(Bare with me Sally because there is a small amount of blue in this post...which will grow as each photo appears)
I couldn't resist these little ducks when I saw them. I don't think they'll be a permanent feature, but for now they're fun and suitable for a blue Monday entry. (I hope?)

So now that the bathrooms are near to finished...we are just adding the bling etc we thought let's not stop...let's keep ticking off the long list of the to-do-jobs on our list.
Therefore decking it is...and here's the delivery arriving as if by magic.

The decking will go at the rear of the house 
(for regular visitors to my blog...it will overlook the fields and woods where I'm hoping the sheep will appear soon). 
It's already taking shape as I type sitting here at the kitchen table. 
There's also some compensation for beating the dawn chorus because I got to see Andy Murray playing in the Australian Tennis Open today. 
Unfortunately I can't be in Melbourne but it's the next best thing.

Well done Andy...on to the next round!  

Before I get carried away with lots of natterings, I mustn't forget that today is a very special day because it's my nephew's birthday. Now before you all say 'ahh what a cutie' when you see his photo (and yes he is ;D) I should explain that this photo was taken quite a few years ago. I'll not say how many to save embarrassment.
My brother has taken all the old family slide photographs and converted them to digital. There's good and bad points to doing this because some of those suckers you hoped would never see the light of day, but then what a laugh we had going over them all together at Christmas. 


And to keep the balance here's another photo of his brother from a similar slide. 
He's just celebrated his birthday too. 
January is a busy birthday month in our family! 
'Belated Birthday wishes M'

I've got so much to catch up on your blogs and I apologies profusely if I haven't left a comment. I sometimes nip in to take a peek...because basically I'm nosy and I don't want to miss anything. I'll try to let you know that I've been next time, but please forgive me I'm trying (yes I know...very trying hehe) to get some sort of order and routine into my week. It's an ongoing project at the moment but I'm hoping things will settle by Christmas!!!

Why not nip over to Sally over at Smiling Sally's blog to see more Happy Blue Monday entrants...you'll have a great time hoping all over the globe and you never know what you'll see! 

Have a wonderful week everyone...and I'll hopefully see you soon 

Friday 17 January 2014

Frantic Friday!

Well what a day...but I think I've got a lot to show for it, so far.
I revisited the flower jug I started working on last Wednesday which is quite an achievement for me. 
I tend never to go back to anything that I don't finish in one go. 
But not this time, so I'm feeling pleased with myself for that reason alone. 

I'm not sure I like it, but I'm just going to move on and keep drawing/painting a project every week until I get that feeling that I'm safely into a new routine. 
I've already got a few ideas of what might come next, so that's a definite move in the right direction. 
If you'd like to join in with Eva and Kristin's Friday Paint Party fun like me, then click HERE to see what fantastic artists are up to this week. 

Keeping with my creative flow today (especially after watching the Sports Aid Celebrity Bake Off) I decided to bake today. I haven't been baking much lately either, but after my son's down-turned mouth at the suggestion that I was going to make a lemon drizzle tray bake, I decided to make a chocolate orange flourless cake that I've made before.
It's a fantastic, simple recipe that you can see by clicking HERE
Here's what it looks like...well it would be better if someone hadn't taken a chunk out of it before my photoshoot! Clearly the chocolate hasn't even had time to set...that just highlights how quickly these things disappear in this house. 
And no it wasn't me!!!
After feeling I'd indulged the right side of my brain enough today, I thought I'd better get back to the dust issue. But today it was rather fun. 
I know that doesn't really go together does it? 
Dusting and fun but look at McMuffy below...
She had a whale of a time meeting my new ostrich feather duster ^..^

She's timid of quite a few random things so naturally I thought that she might be scared of this too, especially when I shook it at her (Mmmmwwwhhhaaa) but I think she thinks she's found a new friend. 
Now I've got to teach her how to use it! 
I'm off now to get ready for the weekend...bring it on.
Have fun whatever you get up to. 
Enjoy yourself and I'll hopefully see you again soon.
p.s. I'm such a numpty but it has been frantic here today therefore I forgot to add my painting into the Artist Play Room today...(sorry Jenn)...so here's the link if you'd like to check out some of the other artists work. I know I will ;D

Wednesday 15 January 2014

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday...WOYWW #241

Well hello there...long time no see!
In fact, I think the last time I entered the WOYWW (What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday for anyone who hasn't come across this before) was way back last October.
You might not even let me in...or have changed the locks by now :(

So where have I been you may wonder? 
Well, I flatter myself a wee bitee here maybe thinking you've missed me. 
But in reality you've probably been flat out creating, having a wonderful festive holiday and now you're already working on your Easter designs!
So what have I been busy doing other than resisting the temptation to hibernate? 
I mean it's hardly been a severe winter up until now and hopefully it'll continue this way,
Basically no I've been dusting.
Is there anything more futile to waste take up every waking hour?
I've been shifting what I believe to be the same dust about for weeks...only to see it laugh and land as I turn away!
I thought when I lived in the Middle East I knew dust, but that was nothing to two bathroom renovations! 
Here's a peek at the second one...
And that's been tidied up! 

Anyway, so basically that's what I've been working on for the last few months and sadly neglected artwork. 
But I'm now determined that with this new year my priorities are to change. It's not exactly a resolution because in that case I'd be doomed to fail.
(Do I sound convincing?)
So here's my desk...still working on the kitchen table I'm afraid but that's okay. 
The music is playing, the wood stove is roaring away and McMuffy's curled up under the desk. All is well especially with a view like that to gaze upon.
Still no sheep yet other than in my journal...click here to see the gang. 
But I'm hopeful of their arrival any day now. 
I couldn't decide what to draw yesterday, but knew I wanted to spend a few hours getting back to trying out my paints. 
(I still don't feel comfortable with painting yet...in fact I'm contemplating taking an painting class to overcome this) 
So I decided to draw what was right in front of my eyes!
The vase...or jug to be more precise
Nothing new here as it's not finished (why is it that my work is never finished?) as the light faded at 4pm! I know this is getting later so spring must be on it's way...right?

So there you have it...my desk this week. 
If you want to see lots of other desks from around the globe just nip over to Julia over at Stamping Ground.
Thanks for stopping by...it's always great see you and even better if you stop to comment. 
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone
Toodleloo for now

Friday 10 January 2014

Are you looking at me?

Now I need you to be very lenient with me today? 
No I'm not sick or anything serious...it's just that I'm posting something that I don't think I should, but I'm doing it anyway! 
It's nothing controversial or in bad taste of course.
Let me explain....I've had terrible trouble trying to find time for art since we arrived back here in the UK, but I'm determined that I'm not giving in. 
I'm going to persevere and I hope you'll forgive me for being so self-indulgent. 
My wonderful friend Jenn over at the Artist Play Room will forgive me for sure, because she understands just what it takes to meet deadlines. 

Even as I'm posting this I'm emptying the washing machine, loading the fire with logs, and trying to come up with some culinary delight for tonight's dinner and all the while McMuffy is gruffing at me for attention.
Rest assured our meal won't include lamb 
(well not tonight anyway...it will all become clear below).
So I'm pushing myself to enter into the Artists Play Room, which I haven't done for what feels like years.

 Meet the clan...
 When we last lived in this house, the farmer brought his sheep and new born lambs into the back field and it was wonderful to watch all of their antics. 
The bouncing playful lambs loving life and generally having a wonderful time. 
We would watch them for hours and in fact they returned the compliment especially when we were in the garden or sitting at the window. 
Very often you'd suddenly feel like you were being watched, only to look out and see a small herd intensely concentrating on you...that is if sheep are capable of concentrating. 

Most of the time it would be okay, but we just couldn't eat lamb on such occasions. 
I'm hoping that the farmer will once again let us enjoy watching over his herd. 

The field is still empty so we're hopeful. 
All the other fields nearby are ploughed...so fingers crossed. 
If they do arrive I'll certainly let you know, plus maybe even taking a video to show their acrobatic skills and bouncing springiness! 
Oh I forgot to mention that this drawing isn't quite finished yet, but as the deadline was looming I thought I'd bite the bullet and post it anyway. If you look closely you can see the pencil marks...no maybe don't look closely on second thoughts!

There's no stopping me today and I'm being very tough on myself because for the first time EVER, I'm hoping that the lovely group called Paint Party Friday will allow me to entry their party.
Check out both APR and Paint Party Friday and see how much talent there is out there. 
It's so inspiring and that's what I want to keep me trying to allocate more time over the next few weeks. 
I'm hoping that if I find some kind of routine it'll all get a little easier.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
Have fun and enjoy! 

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Are you free to take a walk in the countryside with me?

Are you free to join me in one of our first New Year walks? 
It'll blow off the cobwebs and maybe if I'm lucky a few festive fat cells too!

Talking of which reminds me of a tweet I sent out yesterday...it was so funny I had to share it. 
(sorry to all of you who may not see my tweets...you don't know what you're missing by the way, as I don't always post the same things on my blog
The tweet was about my hubby's first day back at work after the holidays. He went to put on his work trousers...well the look of sheer horror on his face was priceless. 
The waistband didn't even come anywhere near where it needed to be to fasten. 
He took a huge in-breath and stretched up tall sucking in his cheeks making them indent 
(his face cheeks that is peeps...tut tut...what are you like? :$)
Anyway, as I dried my eyes from all the laughter tears, I found him an alternative pair which were slightly less painful. It's such a shame because he's not really anywhere near overweight, so it came as such a surprise or more accurately horror to him! 
(which I find amazing really...if he'd only analyzed just what a great holiday he'd indulged in...quite literally...he'd have realised that there'd be trouble ahead)  
So maybe they'll be lots of walking now and his bike might even get an airing too.

Off we go McMuffy...the great beyond lies ahead!

A lovely off lead walk through the woods and country lanes...what more could a dog want? 
We even found an old water mill which was a complete surprise. 
Don't you just love coming across something unexpected when you're out walking. 
I think it happens every time I walk...whether it's a bird, plant, the clouds formation or meeting someone...you just never know what you'll see until you step outside. 
These buildings are part of an old dairy farm and here's even the old cheese press.
I think this is magnificent. 

(obviously my blog name isn't engraved into it...wouldn't that be spooky)
Because of the amount of rain that we've been experiencing in the last week or so, this 'burn' was fast flowing. It had a fantastic gurgling and bubbling sound. 
(By the way just in case you've never heard of the term 'burn'. 
It is the Scottish Gaelic word used for smaller rivers and larger streams
I love this little gate and all the stones covered in moss. 
It's like they've got their winter togs on don't you think?
I'm not sure if the recent gales blew this tree down or whether it's been down for some time. But I'm sure it wasn't there last time I walked this way. 
It's sad to see it upended in such a way, but it shows just how shallow the root system is on these magnificent trees. 

(Here is my daughter and McMuffy investigating...I think this shows the scale of the tree perfectly
I wish that I'd thought to take another photo just shortly after this one was taken, but I was too distracted and laughting once again because Muffy went through a kind of assault course and didn't come out of it very well. 
There was a little plank of wood that someone had kindly laid across a particularly bad patch of mud, water and basically all things grotty but did Muffy use the plank to follow me? You know the answer already don't you? 
Yep she ignored the plank and walked alongside. 
Well walk possibly isn't the right word...more like waded through. 
Remember she's only a mini Shih Tzu so her undercarriage is very near to the ground...and in this instance we lost sight of it completely and of her legs and midriff. She emerged at the far end like the creature from the deep with black limbs and dripping debris everywhere. Twigs, dead leaves and moss attached throughout her coat. 
Like my hubby's face described above, she looked horrified and confused all at the same time as to what had happened! 

(Brr...that water was %$#%%@ chilly ^..^ I'm NOT amused!)

So looking like a drowned rat, we had to make a quick retreat for home and a warm bath.

But not before we were in open ground and I was amazed to find a field full of geese quietly contemplating the day until we arrived...then whoosh up they rose into the heavily-laden sky. 
I was disappointed I didn't manage to get a good photo before they became aware of us. 
We tried to be so quiet and still too. 
Perhaps Mufftypups shivering gave the game away? 

Just before I sign off today I'd just like to wish everyone who is suffering due to the incredibly tough weather conditions we're experiencing...whether it's here in the UK with all of the floods or in the US with the freezing temperatures. 
Take care, stay safe and warm everyone.

May the New Year bring your visions into focus and your dreams into reality. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...