Back to the birds.

Its been a while, but now the ravenous winged insects have died down I am once again trudging along the gravelly paths to sit in the hides of my local nature reserve.  And boy have I missed it.

So without further ado a few of my latest snaps. One of the most difficult of all of the birds to photograph at this reserve, a cetti’s warbler. It has taken on nearly a mythical status, mainly because it is so noisy and so you always know it is around and so quick. By the time one has focussed their camera onto the area it might be hidden in the reeds,  it has gone.  I think this is my best yet.  A reed bunting enjoying a wonderful feast of seeds.Along with a black bird gorging on the hawthorn berries.A water rail popped out just for a second.And I saw a heron lifting off.And two cormorants watching the low flying aircraft.

It was a wonderful day in bright winter sunshine, cold and bright, just the way I like it.

Going plant based.

I have flirted with vegetarianism since I was 15, having long spells, the longest was three years where I’ve stopped eating meat. It was only from bringing up two stocky lads and a hubby who were confirmed carnivores that has interrupted me drifting back into it full time.  In the meantime I have  been flirting with lots of meatless Mondays along with high carb, low fat plant based meals and many vegan dishes have all been consumed with gusto.

I am into week two of a completely vegan diet. I won’t ever say I’ll become completely vegan, (although never say never!) I love to knit with wool and wear leather shoes, I think both of those occupations would prevent one from wearing the vegan hat, let alone some vegans feel that pet ownership is the wrong way to go, but I can honestly say I love the plant based diet and feel very happy in that space at the moment.

Hubby is quite happy to trundle along with his omnivore diet and cherry pick my plant based delights, some how my coconut yoghurt, medjool dates and Vego chocolate and hazelnut bar (have you tried them, they are delicious!) have all happily disappeared into his tum.  It has got to the point that I know that I am going to have to share, so even though hubby was eating a beef sandwich for his lunch I made enough Sushi for two – we scoffed the lot it was delicious. I followed Yo Sushi’s recipe for dressing the rice, although I do tend to be a bit heavier handed on the vinegar than they are and made my sushi with cucumber, red pepper and spring onions, with the usual dipping sauce of wasabi, light soy and pickled ginger.  I can see it becoming a regular lunch time dish, bearing in mind its the second time I’ve made it in two weeks, so it must be good.

My plan is to keep to plant based for two months and then have a think about where I am, it will be interesting to find out.


Our New Baby.

I am so sorry about the lack of posting on the blog, but truth be told, mostly we have been shattered – but in a good way.  It has been fifteen years since we have had a new baby in the house and although the memory comes back as to what needs doing, we are a bit older and stamina is not what it was, which all sounds rather grand doesn’t it, especially when it is only a puppy. But a puppy it is, may I introduce Rupert, our Whippet puppy who brings us much joy. This is Rupert, a week older than when he joined us and finding his feet in the business of running and sprinting. He is such a happy fellow, eats like a pig, sleeps as much as possible, possibly the best companion one could ever wish for, apart from that mad half hour a few times a day where you have to watch everything… its manic, but we do love him so., especially then. It is lovely to have a dog about the place again, it has been such a long time and hubby seems completely energised by it. And who wouldn’t be by such a pretty and loving dog. This time we are crate training, something I have always steered clear off, but as I said that was fifteen years ago, this time with Rupert, first night in his crate, with a big fluffy feather filled pillow, our new to us puppy fell fast asleep in his crate and didn’t wake until 8.30 a.m. and was clean, (our golden retriever eight week old  on the first night fifteen years ago seemed to poop out a whole puppies worth) we took this as a sign and I have to say he has been a dream boat. The only trouble I have had was when I moved his crate from the kitchen to the hall, the kitchen being an icebox in the winter and the hall being the cozy centre of the home, Rupert was a little bit distressed, it has to be said, so I sat with him, for an hour and chatted away, as you do, and then he stretched out and fell fast asleep until the next morning. We’ve just had November the fifth, he slept right through, so pleased he did, we know too well how distressed a dog can get.  Welcome to our new member of our family, we do love him so. (not sure the cats do! )