My journal and my life

Posts tagged ‘nature’

Post #34 Winter Swim

This is where Hayley should have been, but there she was – gone!

Pleasley Woods

Entering woods from a different direction, I’d forgotten that this path led to an open glade, complete with a pond.  Hayley hadn’t forgotten – she’s a labrador water diviner – I’m sure her dad must have been a seal, her mum an otter.  As she suffers with hip dysplasia, I tend to keep her away from water in winter, but by the time I reached her, she’d actually broken through a thin layer of ice & done this:

A pond full of logs

Hayley has a mission, she has to rescue any branch or log drowning in the water & will amuse herself for ages retrieving pieces of wood, even submerging her head completely to reach them as they bob under water.  There was a large log that proved particularly difficult as it’s girth was too big for her jaws & all she ended up doing was spinning it round & round. So frustrating 🙂

Winter pond

After a good roll in the grass, she selects her favourite branch from the newly rescued wood pile & patiently carries it back to the car.  She’s never happy to leave it behind, but if brought home, she’d set to & shred the wood into little pieces with her teeth.

Carrying a favourite stick home

We have a routine once home, I have to sit down with Hayley on my lap for the first half hour of her exhaustion, otherwise, she follows me round & won’t settle.

Post #29 Kiruba the Elephant

Meet Kiruba, my Asian elephant 🙂

Adopt an Elephant

As mentioned in my last post, on impulse I signed up to adopt a tiger on the WWF website.  As this only cost a few pounds per month & as I’d seen a news report about the dreadful poaching of elephants, I wanted an elephant as well.  How can anyone kill such magnificent & noble creatures?  It brings tears to my eyes, but the soft toy reminds me that I’m doing a little towards protecting the species.

Kiruba is around 40 years old with a son called Anand & a daughter Tula.  She’s the matriarch of a tribe of about 20 elephants living in the Corbett National Park at the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India.  The population of Asian elephants hasn’t declined quite as much as the tigers as there are approximately 40-50,000 left from 100,000 in the year 1900.  They are still on the endangered list though & there’s nothing quite a cute as a baby elephant is there?

They make good soft toys – when we were babies, my brother didn’t have a teddy bear, he had a cuddly toy elephant called Empt, which he carried everywhere holding onto his trunk 🙂

Post #26 Midnight Snow

Many of my posts have been about the weather & particularly snow!  However, when spending all day in front of the computer working for my clients, other than walking the dogs daily, I don’t always have the opportunity to do much else.  Much like most people I assume?  I enjoy my work & have chosen to be a Virtual Assistant as I’m a good PA, I love being organised, I have a great relationship with my clients & enjoy the variety of my workload.

Snow & Trees

Anyway, back to the daily photo – this is the snow as it was first thing in the morning.  I was actually walking in a snow storm at 2am in the morning which the dogs thought was great!  The light was bright, but I hadn’t taken my camera or phone.  The wind was blowing from the wind turbines (see post #5) & as there was virtually no traffic noise, I could actually hear the whiney, swooshy hum as they turned.  There were a few cars on the road & it was interesting to note that the snow ploughs came along in threes, just like buses 🙂

On the track, I was sheltered from the wind by the bushes either side & thoroughly enjoyed trudging through the virgin snow.  It was so exhilerating – something to knock of my bucket list perhaps?  Having a friend with mobility difficulties who’s slowly progressing towards being permanently wheelchair-bound, I always feel so very grateful when walking, fully appreciating the fact that I can.

Post #25 Snow Dogs

Dogs love snow, it sends them whappy!  Whilst it’s difficult for us to trudge through the drifts, the dogs chase snowballs & each other.

Snow Dogs

There’s always hares on the field where we walk, but they usually ‘hare’ off & are quickly camouflaged.  The dogs half-heartedly run after & then give up.  Today I could see many against the snow at the opposite side of the field which was criss-crossed by their distinctive tracks.  The dogs were snuffling in the scrapes where the hares had rested, revealing the ground underneath.

2013-01-25 08.19.41

After an exhilarating walk, I had a good day, dipping in & out of two or three clients’ work all day, plenty to keep me busy working from home. It’s Friday with more snow forecast & as I write this, it’s already more than an inch deep – more fun for the dogs 🙂

Post #14 More Snow

This photo answers my on the previous post. After it snowed yesterday morning then brightened up to become a lovely sunny day, I wondered if the forecast was correct by threatening snow in the evening.  Then I woke up to this:

2013-01-14 05.53.44

A good couple of inches on the cars & side roads, but clear on the main routes.  Unfortunately it was still dark when I set off, but I could see the trees & hedgerows, covered in snow, ghostly white in the gloom.  It wasn’t snowing & I did wish that I was able to walk the dog through the crisp white woods instead of going into work.

By lunchtime it was snowing again, big heavy flakes & none of us could concentrate, wondering whether we’d have to leave early to avoid traffic problems.  But, this is England & two hours later, everything was dripping & melting with the sun bright in a clear blue sky.  There would be nothing left by the time children came home from school.

It’s freezing outside tonight, dangerous for driving & I’ve finally closed the bedroom window.  I don’t like to be cold, but when I’m toasty warm under the duvet, love to breathe fresh air & have the window open a crack.  My husband thinks this is extravagant, with gas prices so high, letting out all the heat that’s been paid for.  So I admit it’s my little luxury, but then I can remember the ice on the inside of my bedroom window as a child in a house with no central heating, the only heat a stone hot water bottle at my feet!

Blog #1 New Year’s Day Walk

I’d already decided to share a photo per day and briefly blog about it from 1st January, when an email from Michelle Shaeffer dropped into
my inbox – the power of email marketing!  I can’t remember signing up for newsletters, but obviously must have thought they would be
beneficial and the challenge to blog every day for the 31 days of January at www.ultimateblogchallenge.com just fits with my resolution.

Midday on New Year’s day in the East Midlands of England 2013 is typically cold and grey, but at least not raining as it’s seemed to have
done none-stop for weeks.  My black labrador Hayley needs walking so we set off in the direction of a path that’s the least wettest
underfoot, merely muddy rather than soggy.  Everything at this time of year appears to be dead in muted tones of brown, beige and grey,
until I came across this bright yellow lichen.  An ideal picture for my first post!

Yellow lichen on winter branches

Now my husband has treated himself to a fancy SLR digital camera, but other than a dog lead, I’m not fond of carrying anything that won’t fit into my coat pocket so my photos are taken with my iphone.  Compared to the early digital cameras, smart phone’s now have a much better resolution – plenty good enough for my requirements.

Another goal for 2013 and beyond is to stop rushing around so much, to slow down a little, notice and appreciate the little things. So, after admiring the lichen, I slowed my pace, opened my eyes and looked for anything else interesting and found lots as the pictures here demonstrate http://goo.gl/5OyRZ   I must admit that I am fascinated by the texture and colours of bark, and Winter of course, is the best time to admire tree trunks without troublesome leaves getting in the way.

I’m not at all artistic like my friend Lin who’s paintings of trees I love www.linc-art.com but I do often think of how the bark could
possibly be replicated in fabric and embroidery. One day when I’m retired and have more time as another resolution is to set aside some
time to get out my sewing machine and use it.

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading – catch you tomorrow.

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