Sitting pretty

Tilly considers a bowl of strongly scented sweet peas a poor substitute for the fragrance of fox but is prepared to tolerate them near her for a few minutes. These are traditional varieties of sweet pea so their scent is amazing.

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Time for a snooze

Tilly the terrier shows her exhaustion after a car journey.

MUCH as she loves a car trip, Tilly finds the whole business of navigating extremely tiring.

There are all those pedestrians and motorcyclists to be warned away, as well as a couple of long walks when she reaches her destination.

A 60-mile journey combined with interesting walks with dozens of new smells to investigate mean that she has to concentrate on recovering when she reaches home.

She is not interested in birdsong, whereas the Happy Moonraker is enjoying the sound of swallows and martins since their return from Africa for the summer months.

While she was dozing, Tilly completely missed the fox as it strolled through the bluebells outside the kitchen. This is another through-the-glass photo.

A walk in the woods

Winter sunset across the pond: I just love the reflection, the trees looking like lace.

Winter sunset across the pond: I just love the reflection, the trees looking like lace.

IT takes a certain determination to overlook the grey skies and rain and try to have a busy day. The Happy Moonraker’s first thought is to curl up under the duvet and forget trying to do anything useful.

Tilly the terrier doesn’t seem to notice weather. One day is like any other to her: food, walk, run, food, walk, run, doze, bark, sleep, and then more of the same.

If we’ve managed to pick a time when it is not raining, we have had more lovely walks in the beech woods.

Tilly and the two dogs she knows best, Budleigh and Rosie, know exactly where to go. Tilly ignores them both and refuses to play but the others romp and run and make sure they get as muddy as possible.

Budleigh is an enthusiastic Labrador and Rosie is a high-speed lurcher.

A female roe deer suddenly saw us as we turned a corner on the edge of the wood. Then she was off, through the young crop of oilseed rape.

A female roe deer suddenly saw us as we turned a corner on the edge of the wood. Then she was off, through the young crop of oilseed rape.

Tilly investigates quietly, sniffing and sometimes digging, but she is never far from me. Everything changes, though, if she spots a squirrel. Then all hell breaks loose. That’s when she sounds like a pack of feral terriers.

These pretty fungi (see below) were in the beech woods, just by the path.

These pretty fungi (see below) were in the beech woods, just by the path.

I did well to photograph the little red mushrooms without Tilly’s snout dominating the shot. She was fascinated. According to an identification website, they are called Elf Cups (Sarcoscypha coccinea) and are quite common, although I have never seen them before. They are described as edible but I think I’ll give them a miss.

 

How to get warm but stay cool

COLD mornings and cold nights mean that you have to move a little faster. You certainly don’t have to resort to dressing your terrier in a knitted coat, however pretty it may be.

I almost sensed Tilly’s contempt as we walked past this terrier waiting for its owner outside M&S.

A well-dressed terrier on a cold morning. Or a dog-owner going a little OTT when it comes to the care of a hairy animal.

A well-dressed terrier on a cold morning. Or a dog-owner going a little OTT when it comes to the care of a hairy animal.

Tilly’s predecessor in The Happy Moonraker’s life, Herbert, was once given an attractive subtly coloured, hand-knitted coat but fortunately he never had to wear it because it was much too small.

Herbert the Jack Russell demonstrating that the coat he was given by a well-wisher was much too small.

Herbert the Jack Russell demonstrating that the coat he was given by a well-wisher was much too small.

More sights of Exmoor

Here are a few more photos from that memorable holiday on Exmoor. (See posting below)

The tiny church of St Beuno, high up in the woods at Culbone.

The tiny church of St Beuno, high up in the woods at Culbone.

Lynmouth: the river and its water spout.

Lynmouth: the river and its water spout.

A collection of interesting road signs at Oareford.

A collection of interesting road signs at Oareford.

Lorna Doone’s statue at Dulverton.

Lorna Doone’s statue at Dulverton.

The Royal Mail van passes St Brendan’s Church, Brendon.

The Royal Mail van passes St Brendan’s Church, Brendon.

Tilly enjoyed exploring Exmoor.

Tilly enjoyed exploring Exmoor.

Two of my favourite things

Wilma wi sweet peas 7 16

Tilly the terrier takes care not to disturb a pot of highly scented sweet peas which the Happy Moonraker placed next to her for the photograph. The sweet peas bloomed really late this year but they continue to provide dozens of flowers at regular intervals. Once the stems get shorter that’s a sure sign they are finishing. One of those sad signs that summer is disappearing too quickly.