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Archive for May, 2012

Straight From The Horses Mouth

Two Horses

Two Horses

“Don’t make an ass of yourself for goodness sake! I’m looking for something stable in this relationship”. “Hay! Let’s not get so serious – with the number of horse shoes we have between us we can’t help but be lucky”. “Trot off and buy a lottery ticket then”.

Well, I’d heard that four leaf clovers were very lucky.

I can’t say I’ve noticed, I mainly eat the three leaved variety. How are you getting on with her next door these days?

Well, she still kicks over the traces now and again. You know what it’s like, just because they bring you the water it doesn’t mean that you want to drink it. Next door this side now. A bit of a dark horse there!

You don’t say! A horse of a different colour, then?

Oh my, yes. You wouldn’t want to be saddled with neigh-bours like that.

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A Tall Tail

Meadow Foxtail

Meadow Foxtail

Cat’s tails, rat’s tails, tall tales – the mice will play while the cat’s away. Bring on The Jubilee, run up the flag and let’s see which way the wind is blowing. Red is hard to find at the moment.

Continuing The Jubilee theme, here we have the ‘flowers’ of a grass that is standing waist high on the verges along our route. As you can see the seed heads vary in colour from a pale blueish, to a rusty red and then on to a dry white. I always thought they were called rat’s tails but when I looked them up the best match I can find between Google’s picture and my photo is with the Meadow Foxtail. The nice thing about the Meadow Foxtail is that it should be flowering about now, Google says it is one of our earliest flowering grasses.

The colours of the flowers may not be that vibrant – but they are the nearest thing we have to red so far. White, of course, we still have plenty of. Blue in various shades is not so easy to find (now the blue bells have gone) but it’s there if you go looking for it. Red is a little problematical. Yellow, we have in abundance, but I’m not sure that adding yellow to the national flag would be that popular – if you’ve a nautical bent – then yellow meant you were from a port that had The Plague.

I wonder if I could talk St George into a nice, bright, clover purple?

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The Great Escape

Dancing At Moota

Dancing At Moota

The Great Escape at Prisoner of War Camp 103. Most people seem to be more anxious to get in than to get out. Well how about a cream tea on a Sunday afternoon? I think I’d prefer a cappuccino if you don’t mind and a nice piece of toasted plumbread.

The prisoner of war camp is long gone as are the prisoners. Instead we have a very nice garden centre at Moota and an even nicer cafe.

In preparation for The Jubilee celebrations next week, the staff have taken to dancing with the customers – wearing a union flag headdress naturally.

For us, on a Sunday afternoon, it is definitely a great escape. I’m inclined to think too, that for all those, first Italian and then German, prisoners of war, given the numerous gruesome opportunities for death and maiming that life on the front line during World War II offered – it was also ‘The Great Escape’.

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Green Cheese, Hard Cheese

New Moon

New Moon

Third World Countries (except the UK of course) protest! The developed nations are deliberately minimising your chances of advancement. They never shrink at calling you a banana republic, yet nowhere in any of their cultures or religions, nowhere in their mystical traditions, not in hyroglyphs, not in pictographs, not in runes, not even in Ogham, is the New Moon likened to a banana.

Look at it – the New Moon IS a banana.

But no. Cheese; an old man; an old woman on a broomstick; a young woman; a pair of cows horns, all these and more are offered as possibilities.

Where is the banana? Why is there no reference to the new moon looking like a banana? Is it just too obvious? Do the mystics and seers, sitting round their smoky camp fires (with a copy of the I Ching concealed under a Peruvian blanket) behind their Park Lane squats, dismiss likening the new moon to a banana as being too simplistic? Are they not seekers after truth?

Difficult philosophical questions bore The Dog she has ‘No comment’.

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Cow And Gate

Cows At Gate

Cows At Gate

Called to The Bar – reminds me of the time I was stranded on the shores “What shores?” I’ll have a pint, thanks. Oh yes the old ones are the best formula. What do you have to do to get served around here? Try waiting your turn, that works sometimes. I’ve only got two pairs of hooves.

The really interesting thing about this picture is that I have no idea why these ladies were waiting here like this. The Dog and I were on our way past when we happened to glance towards the gate to find ourselves under close scrutiny.

It is possible that they were bored – you can only look at grass, walk on grass and eat grass in a green field surrounded by green hedges for so long before it get a bit samey. The hedge is quite high so the only place in the field that has a prospect of anything that is not green or grass is where the gate gives a view of the road.

They were probably comparing the time on their iphones and saying to each other “See. I told you they came past at this time.”

Judging by the deposits on the road after the herd has moved from one field to another they’ve got the [cr]app for that.

Under Construction

House Martins

House Martins

Self-build enthusiasts arrive in flocks when word of a source of building materials spreads on the grapevine. “It may just look like a patch of mud to you,” said one enthusiast, when interviewed, “but where there’s muck there’s brass!” It’s possible that this last phrase has lost something in the translation, our interviewee wouldn’t stop to elaborate.

The Dog and I noticed a black and white bird at a muddy spot up at the T junction, so we stopped to see what he was doing. As he zoomed away, he looked like a house martin to us. By the time we had the camera switched on and ready (with my assessment of the best settings – The Dog refuses to get involved in the technicalities of photography, on the grounds that I don’t know what I’m talking about, so there’s no point arguing) half a dozen more had appeared, made their selection from the items on display, loaded up and departed.

Just across the road was a convenient bench so we went and sat there for a while. Most of the photos we took show the muddy patch just after the birds have flown (literally) but we did get a few with birds in.

I did think of getting some sheep’s wool (there’s plenty lying about) and mixing it in for them but I wasn’t sure what TOG they would prefer their nests to be.

Lookout for the Crow’s Nest

Crow's Nest?

Crow’s Nest?

Rook takes castle! But is it something that’s worth crowing about? Judging by the noise the chicks make, it would certainly seem to be.

There’s a small wood behind the houses just up the road and there are a few tall trees in it. In one of the tallest there is a crow’s nest – at least that’s what we thought. At first, the sight of two large black birds and the sounds of loud raucous cawing seemed to confirm this hypothesis.

But we now have photographic evidence – and pretty damning evidence it is too. Look closely at the photo and you can see quite plainly that the bird sitting on the nest has a white beak – the defining part of the anatomy that marks this bird as a rook – not a crow at all.

What happened to the ‘Rooks and Jackdaws live together in large colonies’? There isn’t another similar nest for hundreds of yards (or metres either) in any direction. Do these two not read any bird books?

So what’s going on here? Have they been sent to Coventry by the rest of the flock? Are they a couple of snooty, stuck-up so-and-sos who just can’t bear to be in the same lifeboat as the working class riff-raff who live in the rookery? Is it just that they can’t stand the noise?

Personally, I think they don’t trust those Jackdaws, and I for one don’t blame them.

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