30 September 2013

Wise Old Birds

My monthly journal on my website for October (rather fitting for Halloween I suppose!) is about owls - fly across and read about an exciting evening in our lane!

But first, here is some information about owls:

'Wild Owl' - Tawny Owls

for information about other British Owls go to the Wild Owl web page

 The Owl Service

'Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships. It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling.
From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.
Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend – a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.'
I remember the story as rather confusing - but intriguing (it is really far more suitable for older teenagers, not a younger 9-11 year old group)

What I found fascinating was the frontispiece drawing of the dinner service (above) I remember suddenly realising that the pattern was an owl - spooked me a bit (must have done as I was about 13 and I still recall that moment of realisation!)

 I think I was a bit scared of the owls in these two books

Beatrix Potter's Squirrel Nutkin and the owl

some more videos on You Tube
Tinka - the Tawny Owl at Exmoor Falconry

see also another diary entry: On Owls

1st October 2013

25 September 2013

New Neighbours!

We have new neighbours next door! They are living in the field beyond the dairy ... no not campers ...


26th September 2013

Pussy Cats and Post Boxes

For those who write to me - or send submissions for the Historical Novel Society Indie reviews - this is where the mail arrives: our Postie puts it in a large wooden box just inside our garden gate.

 In this instance, closely supervised by Sybil the cat!

Guardians at the door
probably can't see this doorstop clearly - but can you 
spot the ammonite? 
Found near Lyme Regis  many years ago 
& treasured ever since

Autumn is sneaking up the Taw Valley

There is a distinct chill in the air of a morning and evening - and oh goodness it is almost dark at 7.15 p.m (and interestingly, about the same degree of light/dark at dawn at the same time.)

Every morning this week the valley has been misty - so beautiful to see the swirls of white 'Devon Dew' - this photo was taken from my bedroom window back in the spring, I must remember to take the camera up to my bedroom to take an updated view.

Meanwhile (and don't hold your breath in anticipation for that previous statement) here are some early autumn photos of the orchard:

Front Garden

Roses and hips

Windfalls at Windfall Farm!
Rose hips and honeysuckle

Sybil in the garden
The Orchard gate

That's my study window (the Window to the West)
 & the side gate into the back garden

And up in Top Field...

... no, not the horses....
(OMG - just look at that view! And it's MY view!!!)

  and  damsons

and blackberries

so I have spent the afternoon making -

And blackberry gin - and damson rum liqueur
(the mushrooms are for breakfast!) 

Yummy! :-)

05 September 2013

The Fruit in the Orchard

It has been exciting watching the trees in the orchard come into blossom and gradually develop fruit. Our only problem - no idea what the varieties of fruit are!
Some of the apples are obviously cooking apples (mmm yum apple & blackberry crumble!) but no idea what the eating apples are - or some of the other fruits (I want sloes so I can make sloe gin - no idea what wild sloes are like though :-(
Anyway - enjoy the tour of the orchard!

Getting ready for our chickens - shed and run
anyone any idea what this tree is?
outside the kitchen window