Friday, 17 May 2013

Do you ever wonder just who's watching who.................

It's strange that a significant number of my posts lately have involved Harvey and today is no exception.

We were in the playing field at Hanningfield this morning, Harvey with his prized tennis ball and me lobbing it around whenever he brought it back to me.  After a short time I became aware of being watched, you know that strange sensation when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and you shiver for no apparent reason?  Anyway turning round I met the eyes of more than a dozen sheep, sitting for all the world like they were watching a game of tennis.  To understand how funny this looked you have to imagine a steep slope on the outside of the reservoir which the sheep walk up and down with apparently effortless grace.  Further imagine then them sitting, almost dog like, with feet lower than their heads, their heads turning this way and that as Harvey chased after his ball.  We were quite obviously their entertainment for the morning!

After a time they broke up, presumably bored with our antics and began feeding again but not before they'd made me laugh!

It wasn't long before I heard a plaintive baa coming from one of the smaller lambs, it had clearly lost it's mother and although not in full panic mode, it's tremulous voice rose several octaves as I stood watching it.

Thankfully in the distance I heard a resounding reply and the lamb started to trot towards it, all the time calling and waiting for a response.  It was about 10 feet away from a ewe and clearly mistook her for Mum, barreling into her side in search of food but receiving a tidy smack from the irritated sheep as opposed the tasty lunchtime treat she had been expecting.

However, that notwithstanding, the lamb continued on it's way, it's mother's tone becoming more strident the longer it took and it was with some relief that they were finally reunited, the lamb's tiny tail wagging happily for all it was worth at finally finding the milky bar she had been searching for.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Meet the girls..............

It wasn't us - honest!!

Loved this photo of them taken earlier today.

Keira, is a stunning Hovawart, a breed originally from Germany and reared as estate guard dogs; they are still relatively uncommon in the UK.  Poppy  is a sweet Border Collie, who up until coming to live with her present owners, had a very sad & neglectful life.  She is still nervous of people but gains a lot of confidence from her larger friend and to be honest who wouldn't!

I've been walking them around a large field, and since I've been letting them off lead they have taken to exploring everything within reach.  A rotten tree is the latest on their lists of 'things to see' - it has presumably come down in the heavy winds we've had over the last week as it was in situ this time last week.
Today however it has fallen and lies broken and a very obvious playground for two inquisitive dogs!
Poppy in particular took great delight in clambering over and through it, all the while watching to see if Keira was impressed enough to do the same - which she wasn't!
She pretended an interest for half a nano second before trundling off to find something more interesting to take her fancy.

Monday, 13 May 2013

All in a day's work......................

Harvey & I have been walking past a small herd of young bulls for about a month or so now.  
This produces much curiosity on their behalf and absolutely none on Harveys!

Each time we pass they come across the field and stand as near to the fence as they can inviting him to partake in a 'getting to know you session', their broad noses huffing lightly in his direction, but he, in true Labrador style seems to have nothing but contempt for them, his only real concern, where his yellow tennis ball might be.

I truthfully acknowledge that throwing tennis balls is not a skill I've acquired over the years and would even go so far as to say my interest is negligible.
Harvey on the other hand is a dab hand at chasing and catching..............well until today that is!
The throw started well enough and I still maintain that had it not been for a sudden gust of wind carrying it off course, it would have been one of my better throws. But that aside, it took off pretty smartly and after flying through the air for a second or two, took a side curve and landed about 6 feet away.
Yes you've got the field with the bullocks.

Harvey looked from me to the ball and back again in complete disbelief and then just stood there glaring (if a dog can).  The occupants of the field looked almost as dumbstruck as I felt, and Harvey, patience not being one of his strong suits, decided that since I was clearly addled and not doing anything, he had better attempt a rescue of his own.  Striding purposefully to the gate he squeezed his head through only to be brought up short by the confines of the five bars he then found himself in.  As if losing the ball wasn't bad enough, I now had a labrador stuck fast in the gate!

This time luck was on my side and after a bit of cursing from both us I managed to gently wriggle his head back under the bar and it came free with a resounding pop.  Of course the young bulls thought it highly entertaining but Harvey was still minus his ball.

A long piece of wood was the next obvious choice but of course trying to wrangle it between the bullocks was a bit off-putting and logic told me it wasn't going to reach anyway so I abandoned that as a bad idea and decided to take Harvey back to the van for another ball and come back once I had his attention again.
To say he sulked on the way back would be an understatement!

Anyway back at the field my luck was finally in, the farmer was delivering a bale of hay on the opposite side  and whilst the cattle's attention was diverted, I nipped over the gate myself and retrieved said ball.

Harvey's joy was unsurpassed, not only was his best ball back in his possession, he now also had a spare!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Home for the summer.............

Yesterday was very windy, with white powder puff clouds scudding across an increasingly gloomy sky and Harvey and I set out determined that we would complete our walk before the heavens opened & drenched us for the umpteenth time this year.

We were walking briskly round one of our usual routes when a patch of cornflower blue sky appeared above us, ever so slowing edging out the grey and moments later the sun made a welcome appearance, shining brightly down, bringing with it a warmth that surprised me if not him, as he had sidled off very carefully into the shade of a tree and was laying there panting, his tennis ball clamped firmly in his jaws.

Not being too proud to take my cue from him, I joined him and and stood watching as the grey was encompassed almost entirely with blue and with it the sight of four small black dots wheeling this way and that above us.

The Swallows are back....................& hopefully with them, summer is on it's way!

As we continued our walk, the small number were joined by others, darting this way and that feasting on what I can only say has been a swarm of mosquitoes that have haunted Hanningfield in the past couple of weeks.  They have been everywhere, in the grass, trees and more strangely on the outside walls of buildings in their hundreds.

What a meal to come home to!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Isn't the rain wonderful...........

I had to laugh this morning.  It's been the first rainy day for a while (& I never thought I'd say that after the winter we've had) and my attention was drawn to two wood pigeons on top of the shed.
They were large and very handsome, obviously well fed and although I know some people don't like them, I've always enjoyed their antics and gentle cooing.  It makes me realise summer is truly on it's way!

The rain shower was light and both birds were perched on the apex of the shed, turning this way and that, stretching out one wing and then the other, obviously enjoying their first shower for a while.  They're either  mated or the intention is there as they were quite intent on watching each other, so much so that one almost fell as he did an extravagant pirouette in an effort to impress his intended!  She on the other hand looked almost bored and turned her back on him as if to say 'Is that the best you can do'?
We women are so hard to please sometimes.........