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It Must be Bunnies

Recently, Rosie has started spending time at the top of the steps that lead to the back garden. This seemed odd: usually my dogs utterly scorn our back garden, instead insisting that they must be taken to more exciting locations where there is more to sniff: people, dogs, foxes, sheep, Victoria Sponge Cake, deer etc.   Rosie will go out of the back door a distance of about four feet, to the spot where I am required to place a dog bed in the position where it will catch the sun.  And Brythen will occasionally go out for just long enough to dig madly and destroy the lawn, then come gallumphing back in joyfully with muddy feet all over the carpet.Read more...Collapse )

Will Rosie Roo catch a rabbit and the other rabbits flee in terror?  Or will I come down one morning to find the rabbits have joined us inside the house and are all curled up with cats, lurchers etc, all together on the hearthrug...?  Who knows. 

'Tes praper warm in Plymouth.

We went shopping in Plymouth yesterday.  It was lunchtime by the time we got there, so we parked on the Barbican, right next to the harbour and went for lunch.  Pp had styled his facial hair in the manner of a star-fish.  I am not sure if this was some sort of celebration of Plymouth's maritime location or simply coincidence, but it did provoke some comment from passing strangers :-D
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We had a good view of the Mayflower Steps.  They aren't quite where the Mayflower sailed from to take the Pilgrims off to America in 1620: after all, this place was a busy industrial* harbour and working fishing port for hundreds of years, so it's been pretty extensively rebuilt since then.  I'm told that the actual Mayflower probably tied up off to the left of this photo, and that the quay and the steps are all newer. But obviously there is a demand for somewhere for people to go and stand and take photographs of each other celebrating, in some vague way, History, and therefore there is an archway and a sort of a little platform thing to stand on between a UK and a US flag.
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Some time ago I was exchanging comments with huinare about Huan, Hound of the Valar (who I now firmly see as a borzoi) and Sauron, and said that I thought that Sauron was the kind of person who carefully obeys a certain kind of rule, and reads manuals, and sticks within those parameters even when it would make more sense to creatively explore outside of them.

Hence Sauron and Morgoth's reaction to a wolfhound who cannot be slain, save by the greatest wolf that has ever walked the earth, which is basically :  We're Going To Need A Bigger Wolf.

I was thinking about that this morning  while making coffee, and particularly about orcs.  Orcs cannot abide the Sun. It's not just that they hate it,  it appears to be physically impossible for them to operate in sunlight for long.  Until Saruman got to work on them, at any rate.

But why?  Surely it is monstrously inconvenient to have a workforce and army that can only operate at night? Read more...Collapse )

Now I need to walk the dogs

Tragically it is very very hot, and  I have drunk too much beer so my dog walking is likely to be erratic.

But I typed this post eventually with all the letters in order so I think that proves I am now sober enough to be In Charge of Hounds.

Remains to be seen if I shall make it home or go to sleep in a hedge 

Emptying my camera card

I ran out of space on my camera memory card at the beach yesterday.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, since at the moment my camera is a bit crippled.  I dropped it on the path and the view-screen bit cracked.  It still works but it has a big starburst in one corner which does make it a bit hard  to focus.  I think it should be possible to remove the broken screen part of the device and replace it, but I haven't done anything about that yet.   Anyway, I have almost cleared out my camera card and here are a few shots from it.

A couple of weeks ago we went up onto Dartmoor, intending to have a cream tea at the Two Bridges Hotel.  But it was closed for a wedding.  So instead we parked at Pork Hill and walked up Cox Tor with the hounds.  Here is Pp when I made him look after all the hounds so I could take photos.  I suspect Pp of being secretly pleased I dropped my camera so there will be fewer moments like this one :-D
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We Went To See the Squirrel

Sometimes it seems like a good idea to go into town for a walk for a change.  Rosie likes these walks.  They are exciting, even though they aren't allowed off the lead.

The squirrels of Tavistock are many, fat and fearless.   The park is full of lime trees and at the moment they are in bloom, filling the park with scent and the sound of happy bees. 

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Although my family are from London, I myself have spent most of my life in the West.  Therefore, I, like my adopted people of the West, look upon London with doubtful and suspicious eyes.   I have to admit though, this description of it in 1192 does make it sound almost fun.  More braggarts than in the whole of France, indeed!


(via Dr Caitlin Green on Twitter, but so excellent I wanted to put it here so I can find it again) 

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Two peasant cottage interiors

I went rummaging around the internet to find peasant cottage interior paintings as art reference ideas.  These are the two I liked best:
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Lynx on the loose!

Police are searching for a Eurasian Lynx that escaped from Dartmoor Zoo overnight.  It had dug its way out of its enclosure after arriving yesterday.

I wonder if they will be able to find it, in this area of tangled woods, rivers, heathland and small meadows or if it will join the illicit beavers and Nobody Mention the wild boar as permanent residents.

That's assuming, of course, that we don't have lynx already.  I know the previous owner of the zoo was convinced that there were wild lynx in the area, but he was a bit nutty, so I'm not entirely convinced that the lynx he thought he had seen signs of weren't actually his own lynx who had popped out for a wander about before going home for lunch. :-D  On the other hand, the Legendary Dartmoor site has a very jolly list of big cat sightings on the moor, so who knows?  Maybe this one will join a breeding population.  After the Dangerous Wild Animals act in 1976, a number of cats of various kinds were released by private owners who were unable to meet the new license requirements, and some people think some of them have naturalised.

I just hope that if they do catch a lynx, it matches the description.  We had an incident a while ago with an escaped beaver, which when recaptured had apparently become several years younger and changed sex, which was just confusing for everyone :-D

I can live with wandering lynx, but I do hope they will keep a careful eye on the jaguar. 

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Wandering along the river

It was too hot to reallly walk properly again.  I should get into the habit of going later, but the dogs aren't keen on that.   I wished I'd worn waterproof shoes rather than wellies so I could go paddling properly  (It's not deep enough here to swim).  I waded in anyway and enjoyed the river.   Oh!  and I saw a slow-worm on my way down to the river, basking peacefully on the sandy path in the sunshine.  The dogs all assumed he was a twig and ignored him, but he did not wish to be photographed and made off when I got the camera out.
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