Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog 26th Jan 2014

Every now and then Spud the dog, lets it be known he is in charge of his manor,  he does it in a subtle understated sort of way.

Our dear, kind neighbours (who lurk around this blog from time to time) also keep chickens, well they did, they are now, thanks Mr Fox down to a  solitary chicken and a cockerel.

HC

The cockerel is handsome and quite passive as cockerels go; but he is obviously missing having a full flock at his beck and call, so he and his lady pop over the lane to visit our girls.

Now Spud never, it seemed to us, pays a second glance to our chickens, he doesn’t chase or bother them what so ever. If they get in the way when he is chasing a ball he simply leaps straight over them. However Spud obviously does know what belongs and what doesn’t on his patch. Meeting the cockerel making advances on ‘his girls’ he politely but firmly showed him the gate. Here is Spud flushing him out from behind the oil tank. Spud flush

I love that classic Springer posture, paw in the air, ready to spring.

Spud also has a bit of a deal running on gravy bone  dog biscuits, that we keep in a pot on the kitchen work top out of Spuds reach. The cats however can and do reach them, fishing them out with their paws. They then take them down on to the floor to eat, they are allowed a third, then Spud, alerted by the distinctive sound of biscuit on pot, shows up and firmly takes the remaining two thirds for himself.  My biscuit thank you.

 

Here is Jammy, in a different pot a plant pot.

potted cat 

I long for the weather to stop raining and to get out and about with the camera. Sigh.


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Grab it while you can

An hour of sunshine this afternoon.

 

It showed off the hazel catkins to great effect

Hazel catkins_

and left me wondering why the are called catkins.

Hazel catkins 5

 

Jammy the kitten-cat chewed over the same question

Hazel catkins and cat

and wondered if it was because they match his eyes

Hazel catkins and cat 2

Cat eyes are amazing, Dodgers in this case.

Hazel catkins and cat 3

A little sun seemed to send the cats a bit giddy, they were all over the place.

cat oak

Spud  the dog will be along shortly.


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog December 8th 2013

Just in case you are wondering, we are still here: buffeted and battered by high winds and a world full of ‘stuff’. We’ve been doing many things, but little blog writing.

 

Spud the dog has been supervising the delivery of photovoltaic panels for the barn roof.

He’d have been on this truck given half a chance.

spud and PV

Hats off to the truck driver who managed to get his tuck down and, more challengingly,  back up the lane, he  was patience and professionalism, personified.

spud and PV 2

 

It’s been  Dodger the kitten-cat who has been having the adventures. He jumped up, on to my desk and singed his fur on a lit candle! There was a flash of flame, a puff of smoke and an awful smell*…

He didn’t seem to realise what was happening, I had to scoop him up, he was stood astride it!

Please note singed fur…

Dodger

He’s also had a sore eye and chunk taken out of his ear, there seems to be a territorial battle going on in the neighbourhood: it’s not easy being a kitten-cat.

 

* Yes I know the joke;

Q. ‘How do you make a cat go woof?’

A. ‘ You set him on fire’.


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Fish Supper

Given that the tea order maxed out at seven during the installation of the ground source heat pump, you’ll appreciate there has been more folk  milling around the place than usual. Which is probably how Dodger the kitten cat was spotted by one of the guys, nonchalantly strolling along by the pond, with a fish tail dangling out of his mouth, the tail was still flapping! Something we’d never seen before.

It seems, unbeknownst to us he is a bit of a fisherman, and that the biggest ones don’t always get away. 

fishing cat_

When I found a dead fish by the pond a few weeks ago, I’d blamed the heron (sorry heron) This is the closest I’ve got to catching Dodger in action.

 

fishing cat 2

There are a lot of fish in this pond, I’m not sure I could stop Dodger from his antics, and I suppose  he’s never going to manage as much carnage as mother nature did a few years ago.


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Wet Monday

We are adrift in a sea of mud. The captain has a chart and a compass, it will be OK*. It’s would be helpful if it stopped raining though.

 

Spud the dog loves mud.

Spud mud_

Jammy and Dodger the kitten cats are displaced, their usual home in the utility/porch is no more than a  muddy hole in the ground.

They’ve taken up squatters rights in Spuds bed, it’s  feline Yin and Yang

Feline Yin and Yang_

Occasionally they are willing to share (note Spud’s windfall apple)

IMG_7099

*I’ll save the full story of the ground source heat pump for later posts. 


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The Further Adventures of Spud the Dog, 12th May 2013

Poor Spud, he has sensitive skin

sensitive skin dog -1

After the first day that resembled spring, one which Spud spent charging around the field  overnight he developed a sore looking patch on his neck, about the size of a 50p piece, it was troubling him, it was obviously very itchy. So Mr Uphilldowndale took him off to the vets. Where they shaved the fur off around the patch, Mr Uhdd said Spuds skin coloured up and started to swell in a flash. Poor Spud.

Spud came home with steroid cream, antibiotics, a fish oil supplement for his food and an £80 bill.

Dodger the kitten-cat decided after that upset, what everyone needed was a nice cup of tea, so he put the kettle on.

watched pot-1

The kitten-cats have, by their measure a very productive week, amongst others, we’ve got up in the morning to find a dead jackdaw (I’d have liked to see how they got it through the cat flap!)

kitten cat carnage -1

and a poor shrew that ended up with its head stuck in the mop bucket, not a nice way to go.

IMG00486-20130509-1444

I can report Spud is looking much better and adores the fish oil on his food. We just hope that unlike me, Spud is not allergic t the antibiotics.

antibiotics reaction -1


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My What Big Teeth You’ve Got

Jammy the kitten-cat in the oak tree.

My What Big Teeth-1

I returned to the dentists this week, to tidy up some of the emergency work done during my weeks of toothache angst. I was a little concerned by my dentists obvious excitement about the ‘unusually long’ root to my tooth, the very tooth he was about to start root canal treatment on. He’d had to order up a new longer file especially for me*. Gulp, I was starting to wonder if I was in for some alternative  trepaning. But I needn’t have stressed, the whole procedure was much better than my previous experience, helped by a ‘raincoat for my teeth’.

As Spring unfurls, Jammy and Dodger have been enthralled by the upsurge of bird activity in the garden. The bird table is groaning under the strain

The Bird Watchers -1

Sadly I found the remains of a swallow in the porch this morning, the price we pay for employing these rodent killers…

*Yay for the NHS…

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