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


Animal Tales


Where would the media be without a tale or two about animals, where would this blog be come to that, Spud the dog and his adventures always seem popular.

A couple of stories have caught my eye in the last week or so. Ahaaaa! I thought,you read that first on Uphilldowndale.


First there were reports of peacocks fighting their own reflections, yes we’ve covered that.



Then there was a tractor driving sheep dog on the M74*, which caused only mayhem and not carnage, fortunately; and whilst the sheep dog featured here didn’t know about handbrakes,it did know how to ‘give it some welly’ 


The M74 has made it here before too.


Here are Spud and Dodger, its not news, because it happens on a regular basis, but it is usually entertaining.

Dodger the kitten cat,  claims ownership of Spud’s bed, Spud politely suggest he leaves.

spud bed

That doesn’t work, so he tries to squeeze him out.

spud bed 2

Nope, that’s not working, he tries pushing next.

spud bed 3

Eventually they agree to share.

spud bed 4


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.


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.


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.


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…


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’.


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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