Moppet makes an appearance.

I don’t usually take my camera out with me when I am milking. Goats and delicate equipment tend not to mix awfully well. Those of you that keep goats will understand. But something today prompted me to take my (borrowed) camera with me.

My camera broke a while ago and I am currently using one that belongs to my parents, until I can afford to replace my one or find one on Freecycle/ Freegle that needs a home.

So anyway, I tucked it into my pocket, inside its protective case for extra protection, and carried on with my early morning rounds.

On my way back inside the cottage, with a pail full of frothy, creamy milk, I always throw a handful of grain into the pond for Mildred. She is the wild moorhen that has chosen to make a nest here.

You can read more about her nest making and egg laying here and here. She laid 6  eggs in total.

As I walked past  today and scattered her grain for her, she hopped off her nest to hide under the ivy until I had passed, as she always does,  and on doing so she revealed one newly hatched chick!! I have named it Moppet. The photo explains why. I am not sure that you could call it beautiful haha! But what a cutie!

See there was a reason I took my camera today!

It looks like there are only two more eggs left in her nest so maybe she discarded some or a rat took them?


Welcome to the world Moppet and welcome to Riverside.  xxx

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I love taking photos to share with you all.

Thank you x


Three chicks now spotted. …and an egg still to hatch!

(Some were hiding in the reeds)


A sneaky peek at Mildred the moorhen, sitting on her nest.

Not an awfully clear photo. Sorry.I didn’t want to get too close and disturb her.

She is sitting on a clutch of 6 eggs…and she appears to be getting used to our comings and goings and no longer dashes off when we go past her nest.


Mildred’s best nest and tantalising trout pouts….

Over the last few days I have been silently observing the comings and goings of a little female moorhen.

She has taken it upon herself to build a nest in amongst the small clump of yellow flag irises in my wildlife pond. This not only poses her the problem of how to go about doing this task and yet remain unseen, but it also means that she is quite a few metres away from the river that runs along one boundary here, her usual home, and the place she usually feeds.

But I have noticed that the duckweed we had in the pond is gradually disappearing, so I am guessing she has been eating that?

Her initial nest remains unfinished and is quite visible to passers-by. I thought she had abandoned the idea of raising her brood, especially as it is so very close to my cottage, but I was wrong.  Mildred, as she will now be known, has made a second nest underneath the overhanging ivy that tumbles down into the pond, on the side nearest to the cottage.


So it is with bated breath that I creep past every time I go out of the back gate and occasionally I just glimpse a little black feathered bottom disappearing into the hedgerow or under the ivy.

I shall keep you updated as to whether Mildred manages to hatch out any eggs.  Fingers crossed for her.

I will try my best to get some photos and may even set up my daughter’s camera trap this weekend.

The water level in the river here is quite low at the moment. My daughter and I took a stroll down to the little jetty today. It has been a gloriously sunny day and we sat watching the trout rise to catch flies. Their pouty little mouths come right out of the water and swiftly suck in the insects that fly too close to the water’s surface and in a split second the buzzing gnats and mosquitoes become trout dinner.

We have both rainbow and brown trout here. The rainbow trout seem to be the tamest and one bravely swam out from under the jetty whilst we were sitting there today. It’s spotted body was clearly visible and even the soft blush of pink on its sides could be seen! Beautiful!

Insect life is gradually increasing here at Riverside now that the weather has warmed up a bit. We spotted yet more butterflies today. Two peacock butterflies, a vibrant neon brimstone, a small white (in my greenhouse) and a red admiral…..and LOTS of bees, both honeybees and bumblebees, which REALLY made me smile!

Some thirsty honey bees had inadvertently fallen into the river and were floating on the surface,  as we sat watching the fish rise, and so my daughter hooked them out with her little net and laid them in the grass to dry out. They lived to see another day.


Through a child’s eyes…..

Do you remember when you were a small child, how you noticed the tiny cracks in the pavement or the scurrying tiny bright red spiders (Clover Mites) that ran over your garden walls in Summer time or the velvety deep green moss on the old shed roof or the fragile spider-webs with dew drops suspended on their delicate threads, like tiny crystal necklaces.

Can you remember that?

What happens to our  vision when we grow older? Do we stop looking ?…..or just stop seeing?

The next time you go for a walk, take the time to look at it all, as if  through a child’s eyes.

Get down low and look up through the trees.


See lacy branches in silhouette against a golden sunset sky.


Examine beautiful reflections in puddles.


Absorb the sunset or sunrise.


Investigate the papery texture of a silver birch’s bark.


Look for buds about to burst with life.


Get up close and personal with things on the ground.


Beautiful, Vibrant, Scarlet Elf Cup Fungi!

We all have the ability to get our childlike vision back, if we take the time. ..and what a great way to appreciate the wonders of nature all around us…..and to see them afresh and anew!


A carpet of delicate white snowdrops

REALLY LOOK!  But more importantly take time to actually see …

Today I was walking along the field path, heading towards the paddocks that I rent for our driving ponies and my daughter stopped me several times to show me things she had found. Her excited voice pointing out lots of wonderful things, that to her were worth stopping and truly looking at.

She absorbs her surroundings, her eyes are keen and constantly searching the environment for treasures and new discoveries…and what glorious things she saw !

Here are a few more photos of some of the things that we both discovered on our short walk today, a walk that we take every single day.

Yet still so much to see.


Fairy meeting place..


Contrasts! Soft and sharp!


Bracket fungus


Nature’s fabric designs


Nodding heads of snowdrops


A nest tucked away in a thorny hedgerow


The sun saying goodnight


Our ponies at the end of a beautiful day.

I hope you’ve enjoyed ‘seeing’ them!