A collection of words and images of life in Northumbria and beyond

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On The Move (again!)

You can now find me here http://www.jonstorey.com/

 

See you there.

Jon

Sooty and Duck-duck

Only the original three ducks have names, Boris, sister Doris and Duck-duck, mother of the ducklings. The exception is Sooty, one of the two ducks in the brood, and distinguished by her gorgeous black head.

These recent frosty mornings the ducks have taken to standing on the muck heap, presumably because it will be warm up there. Years ago I worked at a stud yard and every hard frosty morning after the yard work was done and our feet were frozen, we would climb the huge muck heap and dig holes to stand in. Bliss!!!

The Mole

This morning Jack appeared with a mole! Not entirely unusual, he sometimes finds moles that are dead and brings them home, and he is forever digging for them but he must have killed this one as it was still warm. What it was doing above ground, he hadn’t been digging today, is anyone’s guess, perhaps the field was too waterlogged?

Sadly these fascinating and beautiful animals do quite a lot of damage to grazing and grain fields and the tunnels can collapse and cause leg injuries to cattle and horses, their numbers have to be controlled.

For their size, the forefeet are enormously powerful. Their tiny teeth and surprisingly large fangs betray their carnivorous habits.

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Winter Cherry Leaf

Winter Cherry Leaf

There was a sharp sort of frost here over night, with bright sunshine most of the day.

The frosts are bringing the leaves down in clouds from our neighbour’s Horse Chestnut tree, they and this cherry leaf have turned beyond autumnal and, now a glorious winter colour. More tomorrow with the hard frost tonight, the animals water buckets are frozen already…….

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Autumn is Upon Us….

Autumn is Upon Us....

This lovely Horse Chestnut stands just below the cottage, next to the burn. Though badly damaged by a gale a couple of years ago, it is still nice to have so close.

I planted another at the top of the field a few years ago but it will be some time before it stands as grandly as this one.

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Post T’ai chi Snooze….

Post T'ai chi Snooze....

After a work out you can’t beat a snooze in the morning sun!

T’ai chi for Ducks….

It has been a lovely, bright frosty morning here in Darkest Northumberland.  The key to survival here in this “desolate wasteland” is health and fitness.

 

Every morning the ducklings undergo a rigorous regime of T’ai chi

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Though some are not taking the whole thing quite as seriously as they should!

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Heckling and sniggering is not constructive!

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Umbelliferae

Umbelliferae

Cow Parsley, Hogweed, Old Man’s Baccy or what have you? In a wonderful skeletal form at this time of year……

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Duckling!

Duckling!

It’s hard to believe that the ducklings are now seven weeks old, little bruisers, every one of them!

I think this one is a drake but still a little too early for my inexperienced eye……

Re-united!

Yet another flying vista to Newcastle this afternoon, this time to collect my SLR from the camera repair shop, (the nice people at APM Cameras Repairs). All up and running, in focus again!

Nice to be re-united but it has to be said that the little Lumix and newly acquired Lumia Windows Phone have been great.

Just had time to pay homage to the Apple Store and then take half a dozen shots with the Nikon on the way back to the car before rushing home to meet Helie off the school bus……

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Quite close enough to the hedonistic delights of The Gates for an old chap!

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Up-close and personal with the Chinese Gateway, much more civilised……

JACK MONROE:

COOK. CAMPAIGNER. GUARDIAN RECIPE COLUMNIST. RED MAGAZINE'S WOMAN OF THE YEAR. AUTHOR OF 'A GIRL CALLED JACK' & 'A YEAR IN 120 RECIPES'. COOKS, WRITES, GROWS SOME STUFF, EATS. TWITTER: @MSJACKMONROE

a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

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