Permitted Daily Exercise!

Well! Can you believe what’s going on? It seems we suddenly have a whole new vocabulary – lockdown, sheltering in place, social distancing..etc. It’s all a bit of a shock isn’t it?  I don’t know about you but I’m finding it better to keep away from social media and to stop constantly listening to the news.

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The view from here….

So I thought as I’m lucky enough to live in this lovely place, I’d share some stuff from my local rambles.  I might share some old photos as well, seeing as I haven’t been here for a while. And I might even share some other stuff….I’ll see.

Down the road is a field that is more often than not, flooded. Geese and seagulls love it, occasionally an oyster catcher drops by, and quite often the lapwings feed there:

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Lapwings on a local piece of wetland

There’s a flock of lapwings always gliding around a bit further away at the top of the hill – such a lovely sound they make when they’re together in the air. I guess these are the same ones come down for lunch – but who knows? They may not be. A group of lapwings is actually called a Deceit – A Deceit of Lapwings. I looked it up – it comes from the birds’ use of diversionary tactics when they have young in the nest. There’s even a poem called ‘A Deceit of Lapwings’ by David Underdown (https://www.davidunderdown.co.uk/a-deceit-of-lapwings).

I love lapwings, I love the way they swoop and ‘rollercoaster’ in the sky and when they’re on the ground they’re so funny and proud with their crested heads bobbing about. And their song which you can hear on the RSPB website is very distinctive, they are sometimes known as peewits because of their call. (https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/lapwing/).

Lapwings are on the red list – their numbers were noticed to have declined significantly in the early 1900s due to their eggs being collected for food. The Lapwing Act in 1926 helped them to recover a bit but by the 1940s changes in farming practices caused them to decline again. Cultivation of arable land adds to nesting failures and crop growth shortens the nesting season.

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To be honest we didn’t actually see any Lapwings today on our walk, except in the far distance swooping over their usual field. We did see yellowhammers, skylarks, and a buzzard. It was a good day for a stroll – no wind.  It’s windy here on most days so its lovely to be able to get out without being blown along or dodging falling branches!

There are plenty of lambs about now of course, we have some in the field next door, six black and white lambs born to Zwartble ewes:

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Today we walked past these amazing rams:

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I think these might be Valais Blacknose sheep originating from the Swiss mountains. I’ve no idea why they are wearing coats though – maybe to keep their fleeces clean?

We saw some miniature Shetland ponies, including this little one, separated from her friends because she has laminitis – caused by eating too much and getting too fat!

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We caused a good deal of excitement walking past a field of horses – they came running over obviously expecting a snack – sadly we only brought chocolate flapjacks along and we’d already eaten them!

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Not so many Spring flowers to be seen here yet – but we spotted some Lesser Celandine, a type of buttercup. It grows anywhere but you shouldn’t think that because of that you can ignore it – its really important for early feeding for many insects and an important source of pollen and nectar. I spotted three bumble bees buzzing around today looking for food so these plants might be common but they are important.

And of course there are daffodils everywhere and continuing the yellow theme, the gorse is in flower!

I can’t leave out the lichen and mosses! We saw these in the woods…

And the views…

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Looking across to The Cheviot Hills

 

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Sweethope Hill

 

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Not sure what this building is…….

Stay safe everyone – I may be back soon!

Meanwhile here’s what Mr RR has been up to:IMG_2722

and yet another started but not finished thing by me! 😊

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10 thoughts on “Permitted Daily Exercise!

  1. Nick Major April 5, 2020 / 8:00 pm

    Thanks for your post. I was just out yesterday watching our pair of lapwing – ours are only summer migrants and they’ve only arrived in the last few days. I have been trying to think of a way to describe their flight. Rollercoaster is the perfect description.

    We were outside all day today: gardening and planting. Rowan was moving ‘compost worms’ from the compost to the garden. I also fixed the gate to the chicken field – they were getting underneath. I drilled in the last screw and thought I’d won, but then a chicken came sauntering along, inspected my handiwork on the gate, and promptly hopped over the style. I nearly strangled it.

    We also planted some apple trees and plum trees. I refused to take part in the strawberry planting, however, and told Joe that it was too early to plant out strawberries (my book says June). Joe said he had a dream about strawberries last night so he was planting them out today. Still, Rowan enjoyed planting them. He’s a baby goat today, which makes a change from a baby rabbit….

    Nx

    *Freelance Literary Journalist. Work Published in The Herald, The National, Scottish Review of Books and Literary Review. *

    *Tel. 07758613509. * *Garvald Home Farm, Dolphinton, West Linton, EH46 7HJ. *

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  2. ricketyrambler April 5, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    Hello! Thanks for your comment….and for letting us know about your day. You obviously have very intelligent chickens at your place! I should point out that the ‘rollercoaster’ description wasn’t mine originally but was taken from the poem I mentioned – tis good though!
    I’m glad to hear that Rowan is helping the worms to get their daily exercise! 🙂

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  3. Jean Francis April 5, 2020 / 8:29 pm

    Thank you for the post, I always enjoy reading them and looking at your lovely photos. Best wishes, Jean

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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    • ricketyrambler April 6, 2020 / 11:03 am

      Hi Jean, lovely to hear from you and thanks for reading my blog! I hope you are all well down there in sunny Cornwall. xx

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  4. Suzy Becker April 5, 2020 / 9:48 pm

    Love your descriptions and your photos as always and glad you are back (I hope) as have missed these walks. I learnt on my seaweed foraging day that gorse flowers are delicious in a salad and I would like to live in that little building. Xxx

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    • ricketyrambler April 6, 2020 / 11:08 am

      Thanks Suzy B! Yes, I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall once gathering gorse flowers to make wine! He found it really difficult to collect them through the thorns and you had to gather an awful lot to make wine! I may try them in a salad though. The little building is apparently an old water pumping station which used to pump water down to the farm. I’ll take a walk up to it one day and get some photos of the inside – I’m sure it could be converted into an eco-friendly dwelling….then I could come and see you every day – from a safe social distance of course 🙄 xxx

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  5. Juliette Britton April 8, 2020 / 7:52 pm

    Mr RR kindly forwarded your blog which I enjoyed- not envious at all of your lovely walk when we are fast running out of local walk variations ourselves during lockdown!
    I enjoyed the virtual experience of listening to a lapwing – even my Pilates class is virtual these days – the plus side of new technology I guess! Your handiwork is impressive also – you must share the finished lapwing!
    I look forward to seeing your future walks and hope you all have a good Easter despite the circumstances- I must try to walk more and eat less chocolate eggs or I will suffer laminitis too! Jxx

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    • ricketyrambler April 9, 2020 / 8:23 am

      Hi Juliette, thanks for reading. I know we’re so lucky to be here in the country – at least we can walk out of the door in any direction and not have to worry about social distancing! Although I’ve noticed I’m seeing more and more people I’ve never met before jogging, walking or horse riding – where are they usually? Don’t know! Apart from daily exercise my life seems to revolve around technology at the moment which leaves little time for crafts – but if I ever finish the lapwing I will definitely share on here! Jx

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  6. Steve Oliver April 9, 2020 / 6:48 am

    Nice to hear from the Rickety Rambler again. Wish I was up in Scotland with you – a change of scenery would be good at the moment. I’ve walked round my local park so many times I know every bird and blade of grass but alas no Lapwings!
    Happy Easter to everyone – hope the sun keeps shining on you!

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    • ricketyrambler April 9, 2020 / 8:28 am

      Hi Steve! Thanks for reading, wish you were here too – although I have to tell you the sun is definitely not shining today! It’s a grey misty drizzly day here. Happy Easter to you too…..Jxx

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