Thursday, 28 October 2010

Happiness is.....................



and a papillon.

Now I just need to hitch up my jeans!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 21 October 2010

My Skywatch Friday photograph.

Like ripples in the sand!

(Perthshire, Scotland)

To see more "sky" photographs visit Skywatch Friday.

Wild autumn fruits.

This little robin, always taken here as a symbol of winter, sits surrounded by an, as yet, plentiful supply of food.

Top, rosehips (left) and elderberries.
Bottom, brambles (left) and hawthorn berries.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

My World--St Andrews for sea, history and learning

Although I was brought up within an hour's drive from St Andrews, we rarely visited. We didn't do seaside visits in those days. But I did know there was a beach there. In fact I have only been there four times in my life. The other thing I knew was that there was a famous university.
Last week-end we revisited the town, still almost the same distance from where I now live. I could have spent more time wandering among the old buildings and exploring the coastline and plan to return pretty soon.
It is of course world renowned for its links golf course and is one of the venues for "The Open", this year being one of these years.
To see places, all over the world, familiar to other bloggers click here.

Top left-the extensive stretch of beach, backed by dunes; top right-the cliffs below the town;

bottom left-the Sea Life Centre; bottom right- the small beach below the cliffs beside the Castle.

Some of the colleges of the university, which dates back to the mid fifteenth century.

Top left-one of the streets lined with old, stone town houses; top right- the archway at the port at the east end of the town; middle left- an old archway leading to a courtyard; middle right- the ruins of the cathedral; bottom left-the ruins of the Bishop's Castle; bottom right-detailed stone carving above the entrance to the Castle.

Top and bottom left- the golf course; top right- the well known view behind the last hole of the Old Course; bottom right-(click to enlarge to read the notice) part of the display in one of the many golf shops. I don't think we can afford to shop there.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 18 October 2010

Tina (Meerwings Painted Lady)

Tina, whom I own in partnership with her breeder (my friend Carole), came to live with me just under 3 years ago. She is the friendliest, best natured papillon I have known but rarely do I have a photo of her as she walks closely behind me most of the time we are out. She is the mother of Swallow and Maisie, both of whom have done well in showing.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Lucky omens.

Today I found these three 4- leaved clovers, all growing from the same joke this time!
Could this mean I am going to be VERY lucky at my next dog shows...or, even better,......................WIN THE LOTTERY (3 times over!!!)?
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 16 October 2010

A dangerous weapon?

In my youth this was chestnut time at school and any self respecting boy had a string of them ready to take on anyone with a rival chestnut. In some parts of UK they are referred to as "conkers" but we called them "chessies". Our farm grew no horse chestnut trees so forays had to be made to other parts to pick up our ammunition, raking around in the fallen leaves. There was much competition for a collection and usually the locals had cleaned up before we arrived.
Nights were spent with a hot knitting needle, poking a hole through the hard nut then threading them on to a long bootlace, knotted at the end.
In the playground two boys would challenge each other and the fight would start, one holding, at arm's length, the string with one of his prize collection dangling on the end. The opponent took careful aim and tried to hit this nut with his particular champion. They took turn about and whoever broke the other's chestnut was the winner and accorded his chestnut the title "bully 1"(if that was his first victory, or "bully 2" if the second and so on. If you broke a "bully 3"(or whatever) you could claim his victories as well....oh, yes, there were rules!
Nowadays many schools outlaw this game and children are forbidden to play as it is deemed too dangerous. I cannot remember many pupils being maimed or killed during this season!
And so now nobody wants my collection and there are chestnuts lying ready for the taking. I still cannot pass them by without picking them up and searching for more. My pockets are bulging everytime I return from a dog walk. Old habits die hard.
P.S........we don't eat horse chestnuts.

A chestnut lying hidden in the undergrowth under its parent tree.

Enlarge the photo to see large, ripe horse chestnuts, just waiting for a slight breeze to send them to the ground and burst open.

My collection in a crystal fruit bowl on the kitchen table! Does any small boy/girl want them?
Posted by Picasa

Friday, 15 October 2010

Dogs in the stubble field.

Yesterday I came home through the recently harvested wheat field with Tass, Tina and Maisie.
Here they are enjoying running down the combine tracks in the sunshine.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pictures from the Charity Clydesdale Show.

One interested spectator..and one not so interested!

Posted by Picasa

Yearling Clydesdales being shown.

2 year olds

and fully grown specimens.

There was even a junior handling class.

Posted by Picasa

In the afternoon there was a display of horse implements, many of which had be relegated to the scrapyard and now rescued and carefully restored by these enthusiasts. This is a single horse grubber (horse hoe).

A plough, pulled by a pair of Cldesdale crosses. Compare this to today's massive 5+ furrow tractor ploughs!

A box cart.(eat your heart out Charlton Heston!)

..and a flat harvest cart.

We had both these types of carts when I was young.

Posted by Picasa

Brother Ross with Amy pulling a double hopper potato planter.

Niece Alice with Stanley pulling a grass seed spinner.

Niece Shona with Jock pulling the single hopper potato planter..

..and a line up of all the implements on display.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 11 October 2010

A day at the ranch.

We heard from one of my brothers that there was to be a Clydesdale horse charity show on Saturday near Inchture, a village not far from Perth. There being no dog show that day for me we set off to have a look. It turned out to be held as a part of a Fun and Open Day at Teen Ranch, a place set up as if in the Wild West which caters for people, mainly youngsters I think (but not sure) interested in riding and pony trekking. I hadn't known of the existence of this place before then!

We paid our entrance money, were given a programme, and parked the car-where I promptly left the printed programme of events-and set off down the track to watch the Clydesdales. We didn't know, as I hadn't yet read the afore-mentioned programme, that there were lots of other things laid on for children..bouncy castle, face painting, archery, pony rides etc. and only later, once back home and reading the printed programme did we notice, along with the welcoming"Howdy!" this rather strange announcement....


(apologies, ferrets may not be able to come today)"...!!!!!

I, for one, was quite glad they had other things to do, but what a shame for all those wishing to play with a ferret!

A view down over the corral with the Clydesdale show field beyond.

mighty intres'ting, in Perth-shire!
More of the big horses later.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 7 October 2010

An Indian summer?

We shall have to wait and see but today was as warm as any we had earlier during our summer months. For the past fortnight the central heating had to be switched on and snow had been reported on some of the northern hills. Come to Scotland for a variety of weather in a very short space of time. Some say we can have four seasons in one day and I can vouch for that. No monotony here!

Signs of autumn are everywhere with lots of berries, leaves changing colour and some trees already pretty bare.
The rosehips are very plentiful this year. I just hope that we're not in for the same hard winter as last year, or is it a result of a very good, no! (not here anyway)

The oats (top) and wheat have now been combined and the straw either baled into big round bales or chopped behind the combine and scattered and already quite an acreage has been ploughed, sown and there are signs of next year's crops through the ground.

These photos were taken a few weeks ago before harvesting had taken place. Now we are walking between stubble fields, not a papillon's favourite playground, (especially a male !) as the legs are not long enough to clear the stiff stubble. This track is not used much by farm machinery and so there are very few puddles formed here. After weeks of heavy rain showers there is mud aplenty on those more frequently used. This has therefore been our usual walking route of late.

Posted by Picasa