Sunday, 28 April 2013

The best reality show...

Sketch 54 of 75 (still going!!)

Since moving up to the north of Scotland, our TV viewing has dropped considerably. The thing is, we've discovered the best reality show of all - our windows are our new flat screen TVs and the stars of the show that keep us fascinated for many hours are the many,varied animals that we share our garden and surrounding fields with.

We now spend so much time just staring out the window watching the lambs as they group together into little gangs, racing, skipping and jumping round the field before running up to the nearest sheep for a suckle. The sheep then sniff the lamb's behinds to ensure its her lamb she's giving her precious milk to and if it isn't, she unceremoniously head butts them out of the way.

Flopsy relaxing in the evening sun

Last Monday, the weather was really bad here, gale force winds and torrential rain and the poor little lambs were taking a right battering out in the elements. I'd been watching them through the rain spattered windows on and off throughout the day, wishing I could bring them all inside to the warmth, later in the evening I noticed that two little lambs who were curled up together had been in the same position for quite a while and even when other sheep came over to them, they didn't seem to be moving. S and I were there with binoculars trying to see through the windows which were still being hammered with rain.  

'Maaaa - where are you?'

I was so worried about them that I ended up phoning the farmer.  He arrived shortly after and straight away he said he had a sheep who was a really negligent mother and he bet it was her just leaving her lambs out in the cold. He walked over to the lambs, saw the mother who was mooching around nearby and said 'yep, that's her - she's a terrible mother' (how he knew one sheep from another when they weren't even marked we do not know!). He lifted the two wee lambs up. They were floppy and limp, still alive but only just.  He said they had hypothermia and took them off to put them in an incubator saying that they would be grand.



We felt so relieved we'd been nosy neighbours and called the farmer when we did or those little lambs would've been goners.  Of course, it's kind of bitter-sweet as in another 9 or 10 weeks they'll be send to slaughter anyway but hopefully, they'll at least get to enjoy another few weeks of innocently skipping around the fields before then. 



S has a book on garden birds and we've both turned into spotters, grabbing the book every time a new kind of bird stops by the feeding table. So far we've seen blue tits, great tits, coal tits, chaffinches, green finches and gold finches all of which, according to the book, don't live in the far north of Scotland!




We also have lots of pheasants pootling about in the fields by us. The males seems to have a whole harem of females and will chase other males away if they dare to come too close.  They often go tearing across the fields like road runner!



Phillip the Pheasant

About two weeks ago, a male pheasant was in the field by our garden while I was out there so I threw him a handful of bird seed to see what he would do.  He came over and ate it while I stood there.  He then started turning up at the same time every evening in the hope of another bite to eat and yesterday every time I took the dogs out to the garden he came waking up to the fence expectantly! He now turns up about 3 or 4 times a day with his harem of lady pheasants waiting for another meal!  He comes right up to the fence and even when our two dogs are there he's obviously bright enough to realise he's safe on the other side of and he just tucks into the bird seed, all the while making a wonderful soft, clucking cooing noise which we swear sounds like 'thank you'! He's now the subject of my next painting!



Phillip strutting his stuff

Some days I feel like I'm in a Disney film as I look out and there are lambs skipping, rabbits hopping, birds flitting from feeder to feeder, the tiny field mice sneaking a nut or two while the birds aren't looking and pheasants pecking for morsels.  All that's missing are the birds coming to tie a ribbon in my hair while we sing together a la Snow White!!


I'm linking up to Sunday Sketches hosted by Alexandra. Thanks for stopping by and all credit for these great photos goes to my lovely husband, S!


28 comments:

  1. great photos - you would be known as "twitchers" if you lived further south!

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  2. Sound like a good life. Thanks for shaaaaaring! Valerie

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  3. i'm so glad you were there to help the baby lambs! Your sketch is great this week! Happy SS!

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  4. amazing! thanks for sharing all the photos!!!
    cheers, dana

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  5. Such sweet stories about the creatures around you. Happy Sunday from me in sunny Southern California

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  6. Wow! What a marvelous spectacle it must be to look our your window. No wonder you are so inspired to do your marvelous animal artwork. Glad you saved those cute little lambs, even they can enjoy a joyous infant hood. Blessings!

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  7. Oh I am certainly jealous! What beautiful scenery you have. I see other apartment buildings, some rabbits, and a few crows and magpies. All blehhhh. hahaha. Maybe some Starlings (annoying).

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  8. Amazing Sketching.
    Anyways, Here's my artwork for this week.
    http://ashbeezone.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/the-fighter/
    !! Happy Sundays !!

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  9. Cute and sweet sketch and love your pics! Aw I want to look at lambs, too!!! :) Good for you saving the poor creatures! <3

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  10. I loved reading this post. It sounds like such an amazing place to live. Please tell your husband how much I enjoyed his pictures.

    I also loved looking at your gallery. Your work is beautiful.

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  11. Wow! Been having blog problems ~ hope they are resolved ~ Lovely photos and art work and great post!

    You can now comment on my blog without G+

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  12. Adorable little lambs! well done for saving them, male pheasants are beautiful birds, looking forward to seeing your painting, so few people paint them.

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  13. Loving all your wonderful photographs and the beautiful sketch Nic. You are living a terrific life style now and I envy you. Hugs Annette x

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  14. Lovely drawing of the blue tit, I still remember them with fondness from when I was living in the UK. I loved their antics how they could eat upside down. Those photos are awesome. Sounds you got the ideal life.

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  15. lovely sketch and post! Wonderful photos and look forward to seeing the pheasant!

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  16. Wow, I love all the nature and really enjoyed your stories and photos! Sweet bird drawing and I look forward to seeing your pheasant drawing!

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  17. Hello, how great to come upon you here, I've loved visiting your blog and getting all your stories, you live in such a beautiful place, so wild and free, and all those sweet lambs, sheep and birds, such a pleasure to share life with them. You sound so very happy and I love your sweet bird sketch too, it's been such a pleasure visiting you.

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  18. it does sound magnificently Disney... I think I would be glued to the windows watching the show... and they are wonderful photos and your bird sketch is fab... so much inspiration for you right on your doorstep must be great... I am loving getting the glimpse into your world... xx

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  19. Nature is much better than TV well daytime TV, if I have a free day I love to sit and watch the birds and all the visitors to our back yard.
    Merle......

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  20. What a lovely story -- so glad you called the farmer! I don't guess you'll ever suffer from nature deficit disorder now that you live in heaven. I always thought the world could be a bit of heaven if only we learned how to get along -- sounds like you're getting along quite well. Thanks for sharing your window views. Can't wait to see the Philip painting.

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  21. wonderful bird sketch. I adored your story about the poor little lambs. Thank goodness you saved them! And I laughed at your description of you as snow white! Can't wait to see your pheasant painting.

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  22. It sounds like you live in heaven! No wonder you don't watch TV - I wouldn't either! And how lovely that you saved those little lambs from dying in the cold...
    We had a pheasant that used to wander in our garden twice a day to eat the bird food which had fallen from the bird table, but since we got the puppy we don't see him anymore which is a shame.
    Anyway - speaking of birds, your sketch is gorgeous!! :0)

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  23. love that blue tit! And do you see a lot out of your windows! I get excited if I spot a cardinal! We're actually pretty lucky, there's a park nearby that has quite a lot of wildlife if you pay attention. But, no sheep watching! :)

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  24. I'm really struggling to catch up, Nic; great post! oh.... and.. Hi!

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  25. Isn't it wonderful to live among all these beautiful creatures?That lamb looks so adorable. Love your bird sketch.
    Susan

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  26. Thank goodness you noticed those lambs! Your photographs are wonderful and the close ups of birds and pheasant wonderful. I'm having problems catching up with your blog at the moment. My sidebar icons should update but I know of two blogs, yours and another, which haven't for some reason that is quite beyond me. Anyways, I'll keep an eye on it and hope it will resolve itself.

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  27. Great photos, love those lambs too. Your sketches are excellent. You sound like you are really happy in life, that is definitely a very good thing. Thanks. Happy PPF!

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  28. Sounds glorious. I used to do that with birds in our yard, years ago...but your views are wonderful and the lambs face looks like the little toy poodle we babysit several times a year and love!! So sweet. Sad about the sheep going to slaughter...won't be me eating the little lambys...

    Great sketch and photos!!

    Hugs Giggles

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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