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Thursday, 20 March 2014

fog and rolling horses

 I must have been writing these blogs for a year now because I seem to remember putting up a picture of the hellebores before. But they are so pretty floating in the water as you hardly see their little faces on the plant itself. Each year they increase in number but sad and inevitable is the fact that the pink ones increase and the startling yellow and delicate spotted white ones do not. Pink is the dominant gene.
 Also pink and smelling amazing is the Daphne odora which is right by the gate so that when you walk into the garden now you do not notice the headless mouse on the path because you are so intoxicated by the heady perfume of the daphne. Things are growing at an amazing rate. The air is filled with the scent of petrol as opposed to the sickening smell of the central heating oil running out as people take to their lawn mowers to clip and trim that grass into shape. This means the grass in the horse's field is growing too so no more hay.
The lime green of the euphorbias really brighten the garden

and the beautiful red of the new leaves on the rose bushes

 We've had a bit of all weather this week. Sun, rain. FOG! It's rugs on, rugs off, rugs on for those horses as it can't make up it's mind if its Summer, Spring or Winter again.
 Took the dogs for a walk in the horses field today and I realise what a policeman Beezle is. He doesn't like anything out of the ordinary. Harry (without the rug) decided what he really wanted was a nice roll in the dirt and Beezle couldn't stand it. What was a horse doing on the ground? They should be standing or trotting. He raced over to Harry barking like mad  Bark bark - which made Harry get up, flatten his ears and threaten Beezle with a hind hoof. You'd think he would have learnt by now.
About ten years ago he was kicked in the head by a horse because he chased it. He still has the scar and a centimetre higher he would have been dead. Bark bark.
And this morning when I was walking round the home field with them (listening to an I pod which my lovely girls had given me for Christmas with all the tunes they knew I liked on} I suddenly unexpectedly broke into a dance. Beezle was really cross at that. Bark Bark. Please stop making a fool of yourself Mum he was ordering. (I took no notice - Pixie just looked on bemused but then she's still on heat and dreaming of that wolfhound James from Crufts.}

Anyway back in the horse's field one of last year's swans veered off the river and found the one remaining tributary into the field. Pixie thought it would be funny to chase it till it reared up and hissed angrily at her. Beezle just watched smugly from the sidelines. As he and Heraclitus would say "One cannot step twice in the same river."


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbour and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

Monday, 10 March 2014

Best in show

Ricky- best in show
 I happened to watch the end of Crufts last night and am still amazed at the Best in Show- Ricky a standard poodle. His hair styles was so incredible it reminded me of something Madame Pompadour would have worn or been drawn by the Swiss artist Fussli. (1741 - 1825) Fussli was obsessed with hair styles.

a Fussli hairstyle
I love his work and I can't help thinking if he knew what was happening in the dog world now, he would have endless fun incorporating them in his paintings. I think there was no doubt, watching Ricky do his paces round the ring that he was nothing other than Best in Show. Whether or not he was best dog is another matter. He moved like a miniature show pony with his extraordinary pom poms bouncing all over the place like a bizarre piece of black topiary. It was fascinating to watch but hard to believe that he had come from a wolf - which indeed all dogs have originated from. I think a wolf might have felt a bit silly with all that fluffed up hair - you'd imagine their prey would just turn around and laugh at them.
Of course there isn't a class for wolves at Crufts - they're not recognised by the Kennel Club - but there was a magnificent wolfhound called James who could so easily have won.
A midsummer's night dream by Fussli

Pixie was very taken with the wolfhound James and has immediately come on heat.(She is a member of the Kennel club)

here comes my Best in Show - Beezle (along with Pixie of course}who is only a member of his own club. 

An earnest young man with headphones and carrying a large t.v. aerial appeared in the garden the other day. He was tracking the hedgehogs that they had fitted with GPS collars and announced that one of them - Shirley - was under the decking.(see above.) The other - Doris - was still asleep in the strawbales
but this is very exciting for us that Shirley has found a nice quiet safe place to set up home.

Spring has definitely arrived which is great news after all that rain and mud. The river is retreating in the horse's field and the swans have gone back to their own tributary. When I called in on them at the weekend - I discovered poor Trude (the beautiful Friesian) had got her rug clipped onto the fence half way down the field. Poor girl - I don't know how many hours she had been stuck like that and amazed the rug didn't break. She stood calmly by the fence but she had pulled it so tight it took a long time before I could unclip the clip. Where are wirecutters when you need them?
Then the next day I returned with the dogs and Pixie leapt out of the car followed by loud wailing as she had managed to get her back foot wrapped up in the seat belt and now had her body out of the car without her foot. Again she pulled so tight I couldn't easily untangle it. Poor girl- she was screaming in agony. Where are scissors when you need them? Ah -  I know the answer to both questions. I should have invested in that item in the Innovations catalogue that has a fold away tool set you can keep in your wallet. I shan't laugh at that catalogue again. It obviously has some very needy inventions.

And talking of hair cuts I've cut back the heavenly orange branches of the salix britzensis so that it'll do its amazing colour transformation next year. Now it is definitely not looking Best in Show in the garden.

Dogs and Wolves

by Sorley Maclean

Across eternity, across its snows
I see my unwritten poems,
I see the spoor of their paws dappling
the untroubled whiteness of the snow:
bristles raging, bloody-tongued,
lean greyhounds and wolves
leaping over the tops of the dykes,
running under the shade of the trees of the wilderness
taking the defile of narrow glens,
making for the steepness of windy mountains;
their baying yell shrieking
across the hard barrenness of the terrible times,
their everlasting barking in my ears,
their onrush seizing my mind:
career of wolves and eerie dogs
swift in pursuit of their quarry,
through the forests without veering,
over the mountain tops without sheering;
the mild mad dogs of poetry,
wolves in chase of beauty.
beauty of soul and face,
a white deer over hills and plains,
the deer of your gently beloved beauty,
a hunt without halt, without respite.