Category Archives: birds

A Day with the Boys

Good morning

Good afternoon

A walk round the pond.

We wanted to identify this little bird – it was so tiny and hard to spot in the fir trees. Such a loud alarm call for a tiny bird.

Even harder to find with my phone, look at the top of the video and it will come into view

We searched the free App ‘Chirp’, I have on my phone, once we were away from the bird. (we should not play recorded birdsong near birds as it confuses them) The nearest we found was the Willow Warbler and the Chiff Chaff, but ‘Chirp’ did not have their alarm calls

So I looked on You Tube and we found this clip

We think it is a Chiff Chaff, what do you think?

After a glorious gentle summer’s day in the sunshine, a last wander before bed

Good night. 🙂

Sunday Saunter

Click on any photo to see it larger

We heard the cuckoo!

 

Beach Walks

On my retreat I got up each morning eager to see the sunrise,

hoping to catch that moment when the sun just peeps above the clouds.

After some crochet, and timed according to the tides, I went for a walk to one of the two little beaches nearby.

When the sea was calm, there was a heron

 fishing

but I was looking for rusty bits and seaglass

On the whole the weather was good

with the low sun adding beauty the the hedgerows.

Looking back from the path, if you zoom in, you can see my caravan perched above the beach.

So back to my cosy nest for some more crochet

This is what two weeks of mosaic crochet looks like – in Stylecraft Special Aran and 5mm hook. The pattern is Santa Cruz by Daisy Knots.

Then out for another walk to catch the sun setting

I wonder where I will go for Christmas 2022.

If you could go anywhere in the world for two weeks on your own, where would you go?

Sammy the Seal, Weymouth

A friend has been staying near the beach in Weymouth this week and we have been been meeting for walks and al fresco lunches.

A favourite place on mine is the The Lookout where it can be a bit breezy but the view is worth it, out to sea and looking over Lodmoor.

Before retirement, I used to work in Weymouth and often,  if I had an appointment with a colleague, rather than meet in a stuffy office somewhere, I would suggest The Lookout. Very few people are there during the week outside school holiday times, so confidential meetings could be had whilst looking out to sea.

Seeing Lodmoor from here made me realise that having lived here all my life, I had never walked around the Nature Reserve, so yesterday I put that right

There seems to be only one path that just goes straight across and you don’t really get to see much for the reeds, although I do get fascinated by the lines and patterns they make

and the reflections in the water

They turn up in my doodles

The path leads to a crossing over the road, then up the steps, over the wall and onto the beach

where every day a digger pulls back the pebbles from the sea. The following photo was taken in October.

Then, back along the beach to have fish and chips at Cafe Oasis.

and later as the sun was beginning to set, a siting of Sammy the Seal.

He has become a local celebrity this year. He appears on Facebook pages, on the News and in the papers. Friends have seen him and even been swimming with him but up until yesterday I had not seen him.

He was not lying in the most photogenic position, and one can’t get too close as there are Marshalls standing near to protect him and people and their dogs.

If you Google ‘Sammy the Seal Weymouth’ you can see loads of You tube clips and all the links to his appearance in the newspapers. In this clip, you also get to see the huge dormant cruise ships that have also been a Lockdown feature of 2020

I chatted to the Marshall and she told me that Sammy has been checked by the Marine Biologists who say he is 2 years old and comes from the colony that lives on Portland (the island you see in the background). He goes back to visit but seems to prefer contact with humans, coming up onto the beach in the early morning and at dusk. Apparently he won’t mate until he is 4 or 5 years old, so I wonder if he will be on or near the beach for the next couple of years.

Image

Silent Sunday: Swan Lake

Windows

On the first Tuesday of each month we meet here to share photos of windows we have spotted. There have been some fascinating entries, I’m really enjoying seeing them. Recent or archive posts are all welcome, just leave a link in the comments.

On a recent walk to the tiny wooden St Catherine’s Chapel, Holworth:

beams

engraved glass

chapel window

The graveyard looks out to sea

feet

as we sat on the grass we were serenaded by what I think was a Goldfinch in the weather-beaten trees. We couldn’t see the bird well enough to identify it, but I have a wonderful free App called ‘Chirp’ that has taught me to identify birdsong and I checked it with that – what do you think? Song of a Goldfinch?

 

On the path down to the beach we noticed that this little cottage had been spruced up with new windows and a new thatched roof, shame they haven’t removed the horrid pebbledash on the walls.thatch

I’m looking forward to seeing a window on your piece of the world. 🙂

Wordless Wednesday

(turn volume up)

Wordless Wednesday: Evening Walk

 

spring

Glimpses from my walk yesterday evening.

Turn the sound right up to hear the birds and the bees.

Early Evening Birdsong

The birds sound so happy this evening.

I just love seeing how this border is developing.

You can read more about what it used to be like here.

Oooh – edit – I’ve just looked back at how the border was on 8th May – so good to see how everything has grown.

Swan Sunday

Abbotsbury Swannery

We had a magical family day out yesterday at Abbotsbury Swannery.

my cygnets

Feeding time for swans is at 12 noon and 4pm

feeding swans

Children are able to go and feed them too.

swans

There were masses of breeding pairs to see

breeding swans

and cygnets – awwww!

swan eggs and cygnets

cygnets

baby swans

swannery

There are Go Karts, a Maze, a Quiz, a Playground and a very good restaurant, which all makes for a very good day out.

And – Little Miss M and I added 3.2 miles to our total – 75.2miles completed – target 500 miles

Silly Saturday with Birdy

pebbles, playing with pebbles

Birdy had such a handsome face

In flight he was elegance and grace

As he rested on the beach

He heard a loud screech

Sid Seagull flicked sand in his face.

 

Sid was loud and uncouth

And strutted with the arrogance of youth

Swinging his hips

And gorging on chips

He teased Birdy for being long in the tooth!

 

Birdy challenged Sid to a race

The seagull laughed in his face

With my youth and my size

I’ll easily take first prize

But his boasting was sadly misplaced!

 

As Birdy flew high in the sky

Sid regretted pecking that meat pie

With all the chips and the bread

He felt as heavy as lead

He couldn’t leave the ground if he tried!

 

Birdy was not one to boast

He won doing what he loved most

Flying along with the breeze

Above the crystal blue seas

He loved his life on the coast.

 

Poem by Judy E. Martin

 

Birdy McBirdface hopped in for a brief bit of silliness ……..

Judy’s poem resonates with me as we have a real problem with gulls swooping down to scoff any food you might have about your person and pestering you if you sit on the harbour wall with a juicy handful of fish and chips.

Happy Saturday!

 

Wings

………Continuing to share our lovely bright Winter’s walk around the Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset, England.

There is a smaller wings sculpture in the South Garden.

angel's wings

here, viewed from the rampartsWells, Somerset

from where one also gets this glorious view across the Somerset countryside

Somerset

Peeping through the rampartspeep

you can see the moat below

swan in Wells, Somerset

There are some videos of the gardens and last year’s cignets here.

swan by moat

Like us, the swans were basking in the sun

whispering gallery, Wells

(Noelle and Alison in the Whispering Gallery)

swan in Wells

moat, Wells

And so was a cheeky little robin

robin

sitting on his favourite posing post

robin1

All of us glorying in that clear blue skysky and the warmth the sun gave us

Noelle suggested this photo of me trying out the wings, it was such a fabulous day our spirits were certainly soaring

getting my wings

and I must show you Noelle’s marvellous hand-knitted hat and scarf/shawl, which looks like wings to mehandknit hat and scarf

more to come …..

Crochet Owl Motifs

Oh my goodness, Google ‘Crochet Owl Motifs’ and a gazillion options are laid before you.

I am wanting to make ‘Old Brown’ for what I’m now calling the Squirrel Nutkin Woodland Blanket, so I went in search of a pattern.

My go-to site after Attic24 is The Green Dragonfly as I know I can rely on the patterns

This is the Owl Pattern from Bunny Mummy that Green Dragonfly usedcrochet owl motif

Made with Stylecraft Special DK 4.5mm hook, Copper, Walnut and Pistachio with a Mustard beak and Trimit eyes. These eyes are not suitable for attaching to a blanket as their backs stick out too far.

The pattern is cute but not quite big enough for what I have in mind.

I searched some more and came across this little gem!owl, Pinterest

I think the owl for the blanket will have to be more ‘standard’ but I love the quirkiness of Zuzalinkaa’s designs – you can find her on Pinterest.

Even though there are masses of patterns out there, it looks like I might just have to make my own to get exactly what I want, but I’m so grateful for all the wonderful designers out there for the inspiration.

Now I’m off to see what Nanacathy is having a good old natter about this Friday

Paint Party Friday: Birds and other animals

I am extremely proud to present my sister Caroline’s paintings.

She sent me an entry for into our One-A-Week Photo Challenge, this week’s prompt is BIRD, and I knew she had been painting so asked her to send me some pics of her paintings too – Wow! So glad I did

I’m wondering if this magnificent chap will appear in a painting before too long. Caroline tells me she photographed him at Come to Good Farm in Cornwall.

I’m lucky enough to have two sisters, and now they have both appeared on my blog this week: Sue who I am going to Chelsea Flower Show with and Caroline. We are all quite creative, I think we get it from our Mum.

Caroline is on Instagram @clthistlethwaiteart, where you can keep up to date with her latest works, which include silver jewellery as well! She has only just started sharing her work in this way and I know it would give her a tremendous boost you to take a look and leave a message.

She also sells greetings cards and some prints.

I’m joining this post in with Paint Party Friday.

 

Bird

plain grey pelican

diving into the shallows

small fry for breakfast

A joy whilst on Nevis was to watch the pelicans diving near the shore on my early  morning shell hunts

Joining in with Ronovan’s weekly Haiku Challenge, prompts PLAIN and FAST

and

combining it with our One-a-Week Photo prompt for this week of BIRD.

Cathy and I compiled the list for the year, just for fun. Join in as and when you like using new or archive blog posts. We love to see your take on the subjects – always a fascinating variety. Leave a link in the comments to be included in the Round-up.

Arch

My entry for our One-a-Week Photo Challenge

Golden Rock, Nevis, Caribbean

We were told that this was the best place to eat on Nevis – what a place.

Gorgeous gardens

fabulous cocktails

Lunch:

sumptuous burger with obligatory Rum Punch for my friend L

and a Conch Chowder for me, (with pink and orange napkins) Yumsk!

Then masses of arty stuff, which was right up my street

side tables made of plastic rubbish set in a solid foam  – now … could I do this with some of my beach finds I wonder???? Hmmmm … must find out more.

I want that green chair!

I want to make that lampshadeHad to go for a sit down – I was getting over excited!

An Antillean Bullfinch came to see if we had any crumbs to spare.

So romantic …….

Lunch

spying from my seat

beach activities below

wonderful delight

~

Our Photo Challenge Week 15 : LUNCH

Ronovan’s Haiku prompts (10th April): WONDER and SPY

~

Two weeks in the Caribbean! Lucky me!

I’m playing catch-up. Thank you so much Cathy for keeping the Photos purring along.

I can’t just leave out the two weeks of our One-a-Week Photo Challenge I missed – not after nearly three years of weekly postings, so I will be catching up with a couple of posts today.

A few more scenes from that balcony – not a bad place to sit and have lunch 😉

Looking towards St Kitts

Pelicans bobbing on the water in the early morning light

diving for fish

the boys going snorkelling

fishing

evening

storm brewing

Click on any photo to see it larger.

I was staying at The Hamilton Beach Villas which were beautiful, but not quite what they promise on their website. No Spa. When we questioned this we were told that they “had got a bit over enthusiastic on their website” !

There seemed to be a lot of that going on in the Caribbean. Often when travelling I have found people tell you what they think you want to hear – anyone else had that experience?

16 for 2016: June

These are the targets I have set myself for 2016, inspired by Cathy.

16 WALKS (of more than an hour)

7 done, 9 to go.

DSCF9181

One in June: I pondered whether to include my 4 hours spent wandering round the Cerne Abbas Open Gardens and although this was not a straight walk, I ached the next day so I decided to add it. Cheating? Hmm – only me to judge that one – that’s what I love about this challenge!

A few other walks in June but none over an hour – I thought this challenge was going to be easy to fulfil – must get a wiggle on in July!

15 HANDMADE GREETINGS CARDS

11 done, 4 to go

I made 2 more in June – both using Duck Tape and a Dymo for retro lettering. I think this is super funky, although I’m not sure my 68 year old friend did! The other card is for Miss E, I wonder what she will think.

DSC_0818

14 NEW ITEMS IN MY ETSY SHOP

7 done, 7 to go

I added 4 wigs in June. It was a relief to finish these 4 wigs which had been sitting in the W.I.P.s box for far too long.

DSCF8918 (1)

13 SWIMS

9 done, 4 to go.

One done in June. Gardening takes over a bit at this time of year.

12 GARDEN POSTS

6 done, 6 to go.

I’m keeping up with the EOMV posts and enjoying recording how one border develops through the seasons.

11 HAND MADE TOTE BAGS

Zero

10 TYPES OF HANDMADE BEADS

6 done, 4 to go

6 in June! Hurray! At last I’m off the starting blocks with this challenge.

I have made six types of bead – 5 using Fimo, one using scrap paper and thread.

9 PIECES OF TEXTILE ART (started)

3 started, 6 to go

I have made a start on this appliqued bird. It might go in one of the books or be a stand alone work depending on how it turns out.

DSC_0026

8 MORNINGS of SORTING and STORING

3 done, 5 to go.

Two in June

The garage has been cleared and sorted, and my stash of beads are now in order.         Before Miss E was born my daughter was making fascinators and I was making beaded embellishments and jewellery to go with them. It was fun creating bespoke items for wedding outfits. I ended up with absolutely masses of beads that have been used intermittently since and got in a right old muddle.

A happy morning was spent sorting so they are now in some sort of order – ooo that feels good!

7 PAINTINGS (or other pieces of art)

Zero (but they maybe something to show you for July – the paint brushes are out!)

6 BUS RIDES (using my bus pass)

2 done, 4 to go

5 NEW TYPES OF EXERCISE TRIED

4 done, 1 to go

So far I have tried Pilates, Belly Dancing, a Dance Class, a Zumba-like class.

4 NEW PATTERNS for my ETSY SHOP

Zero

3 MASSAGES

One

2 WAYS TO HELP REFUGEES

Zero

For now I am going to have to stick to crocheting ‘Squares for Blankets‘, but I am still on the look out for a suitable trip to make.

1 NOVEL READ

Zero

Still 2 false starts, they have to be engaging and happy – difficult to find.

0 BEADS BOUGHT

Zero

Thank you Cathy for this inspiration, it is a great motivator.

Winter

DSC_0069

finally

frost stops birds trilling

Winter’s here

~

and a sweet tune by Bjork called ‘Frosti’ to accompany the photo and haiku

~

Joining Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge

and our Weekly Photo Challenge

Four of us had fun creating the list for this challenge. You can leave a link to your WINTER photo post in the Comments on Rainbow Jane’s blog; Nana Cathy’s blog (she usually posts on Tuesdays); Melissa’s blog, she has a super busy life and posts when she can; or in the comments for this post.

I will sweep them all up for a Review on Sunday sometime after 9am GMT.

If you would like to join the list as a regular contributor then let NanaCathy know and she will post your blog address each week along with all our other regulars.

Next week’s prompt is

STITCH

Japan. Day Two 5: Crazy Cats and a Hare in High Heels

……I am so enjoying sharing with you my trip to Japan, here’s the next instalment ……

If you have only just joined in you can read previous posts by clicking on these links:

First evening in Japan ringing the bell

Day Two: 1    Bonsai ,     Day Two: 2     3/5/7 ceremony,  Day Two: 3   shopping,   Day Two: 4   Craft Centre

After the Craft Centre we were back in the coach seeing the imposing modern architecture go byJ1

till we got to the  Amuse Museum

There were many wonderful displays in this Museum, but the exhibition that captured my attention was one of whacky, glitzy, fun paintings by Kaneda Hanaki. I just LOVE them.J5

I didn’t quite know what to think of them at first, I don’t usually go for paintings with animalsJ15

but those grumpy cats got me and wouldn’t let me go!J13

I’m so glad I took so many photosJ6 because the more I look at themJ7 the more I like them – they are funJ9

and ridiculousJ8

and funnyJ10

and crazyJ12

and I felt a little uncomfortable at the time taking all those photos without buying something, but back then I had not really got to the point of loving them enough to take that step. Going through the photos again now, I realise how they have stayed with me and might well inspire some textile work in the future.

This is the one I particularly likeJ11There is something about a hare in high heels! And it is so obviously Japanese as they are both wearing kimonos, and then there is the glitter! Oh I do SO love it.

Writing this post inspired me to email the Museum and ask if this one is still for sale. They got back to me and it is!!!!!

They have spoken to the artist and she will send it to me – I’m very excited! And I am so pleased to be supporting this fabulously talented artist. I’m hoping they will send me some information about her and her work. I’d really like to know the stories behind the paintings.