Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. John Lubbock
I was rather mortified to find that it is two months since I last posted (I would have guessed at half of that), but in truth, I just haven’t had much to say or to show you. Consequently, the photographs I’ll post in the gallery below will span a few weeks and several trips out and are rather a haphazard collection. I’ll also add a second gallery of recent work, just to prove that I have been getting on with something.
My husband was taken rather poorly in July with what we initially thought was a severe tummy bug, but at the point where he erupted in a violent full-body rash (you’d think he’d been paint balling naked, his opponent armed with red paint – and no, I have no idea how that scenario might even arise either), I decided that it was rather more than someone just passing on undesirable germs, so called the doctor. Through a bit of detective work, we speculated that it was possibly a severe allergic reaction to a portion of ice cream he’d eaten, containing chopped pecan nuts. Thankfully, the suggested hay fever meds caused the rash to retreat very rapidly and subsequent blood testing confirmed a severe allergic reaction to nuts. Rather odd, when he’d both tolerated and regularly enjoyed nuts for over half a century.
So until he can have proper testing and can learn more (the waiting list is lengthy), we’re now manic label readers. I already read everything for myself, as a diabetic who eats reduced carbs, but it’s surprising just how many seemingly unlikely products we ate regularly are now on the banned list. Not only is our own supply cupboard looking very different, but it makes eating out, both commercially and in other people’s houses, a rather risky experience, especially when foods that have the potential to prove dangerous might seemingly have little outwardly to do with nuts (meats can be fried in nut oils, sauces thickened with nut flour, added vegetable protein and vegetable oils in recipes can be derived from peanut etc. etc.). I can’t even begin to imagine what a minefield it must be to parents of youngsters with similar dangerous allergies.
As he already has several chronic and serious health issues, the severity of his body’s reaction to that very small amount of nuts has had a detrimental impact on his overall health, although thankfully he’s now showing considerable improvement. Consequently, our weekends have been spent trying to recharge the batteries and return him to previous health levels, so we’ve made a point of getting out at any opportunity to visit favourite quiet places.
We might not go far or do much when we get there, but making a point of going out, even if you only sit and read for an hour and listen to birds and the breeze through the trees, enforces a detachment from real life for a while and removes you from temptation to just get on with chores. The investment of time, we feel, is very well worth doing in this regard. I’m certain that our policy of doing this regularly has paid dividends in his recovery and certainly does me good too.
Roe deer bucks – 2 for the price of 1:
Hence we found ourselves on Saturday afternoon, sat in the car to shelter from the very stiff winds and intermittent rain, with our books and flask of coffee, just enjoying the peace and watching a group of bunnies chasing each other through the grass. There was a moment when one running shape registered as odd until my brain put it together and I realised that this was no bunny, but a roe deer, somewhat further away. It ran the full width of the field in front of us, stopped and ate for a few minutes and then ran towards us diagonally and disappeared into the trees edging the field.
I was struggling to get decent photos through the slope of the car windscreen, but was able to get out of the car fairly invisibly as there was a sign nearby that I was able to walk in line with and hide behind to get some better photos. It was a considerable distance, so the shots are significant crops (see below), but you get the idea. I’d managed to remain unseen by it until two cars tried to pass in the single track road and one revved in frustration and this got the deer’s attention, at which time it must have seen me as it is looking straight at me in the photograph.
A few moments after it disappeared into the trees, we spotted what we thought was the same deer a few yards from where I’d first photographed it, but it couldn’t have got there in the time, or without us seeing it, so we were a little perplexed. It followed exactly the same route over the field and disappeared into the trees at the very same spot. I took some more photos through the open car window and it was only when reviewing these later that I could see that it wasn’t the same deer at all. The first roe deer buck looks to be about 2 or 3 years old with 2 tines or points on his antlers, where the second buck not only has three tines on his antlers, suggesting he’s probably a year or so older, but he only had one antler, his left one being missing.
It was odd that they’d followed the same route across the field, both into view and again out of it, but as it is their rutting season, I wonder if the older male was following the scent of his younger rival, with a view to demonstrating his greater status – and perhaps that’s why he only has one remaining antler, maybe he’s already put it to good use.
Just to prove that I haven’t been entirely sat on my bottom drinking coffee and gawping, these are some of the new designs added to the shop recently.