Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow, Crocs and Narcissism.

This morning the residents of Seaton awoke to a light covering of snow, a pretty rare occurrence in these parts as a rule. Later in the morning it began to snow some more and seeing as driving was inadvisable I had to put a few chores that I had planned on hold. Shame! Instead I went out to play! I decided to go and have a look around on Seaton Marshes. I only took my bins and the trusty old S3 along, but couldn't use them much of the time due to near blizzard conditions. I was particularly hoping to see a Water Rail up close because in freezing conditions they frequent the ditches near the Seaton Marshes car park, where the water seldom freezes totally (probably something to do with the sewage works?). Unfortunately they weren't there today but there were quite a few birds around, the ditches themselves were alive with Meadow Pipits and the frozen marshes inbetween were covered in Snipe, Fieldfares, Redwings, Lapwings a few Skylarks and a couple of Golden Plovers. Here are a few shonky photos I took.

Snow covered Seaton Marshes with Seaton in the background.
I counted 87 Snipe here with binoculars alone so there must have been many more than that.

Here's a couple of them, it's not nice to see birds struggling to fine food in the snow.
I hope it doesn't last too long this year.

A Miffed Mallard.

A Stoical Stonechat.

A very unusual thing happened during my walk. My feet remained WARM, yes, unbelievably for the first time ever I was out walking in snow, for two hours and my feet were as warm as toast! I suffer from circulation trouble and normally I have cold feet throughout the winter, even indoors. Why were my feet warm today? Crocs, that's why, fantastic, brilliant Crocs! Crocs shoes have been around for a few years now and I've always thought they were horrible and couldn't understand why they were so popular. I still think they look hideous but boy are they comfortable and practical. I got mine you may remember, when I had abused my poor feet into a state of blisters and bruised toenails whilst on the Scillies last October. I just bought the comfiest looking shoes I could see in the shop and have never looked back. The fur lined Crocs mammoth shoes were primarily designed as a slipper, but I've worn mine outside in rain, ice and now snow, they're impervious to it all. I've walked long distances in them too, a couple of miles up onto Dartmoor and back to not see a Black-throated Thrush springs to mind for some masochistic reason. They are the perfect example of 'don't knock it 'til you've tried it' and 'looks aren't everything'.

There they are, bless 'em!
What they lack in looks they make up for in every other way. I love 'em!
In fact I've just acquired a second pair.

This morning I was reading some comments on Gavin's blog and one by Andrew Cunningham got me thinking a bit. He had commented that people who write blogs are narcissistic."Am I narcissistic?" I thought. "Perhaps just a little bit?" No definitely not, DEFINITELY! Gav was a little more charitable saying that a lot of bloggers were not narcissistic, just average to hopeless!! I wondered where I'd fit on that scale (not being narcissistic), and decided that 'hopelessly average' would be about right. Why do I blog though? I would be a liar if I said that I'd  keep on blogging if NOBODY read it, coz I wouldn't. It is nice to know that people enjoy reading your blogging efforts even if it's just a handful of them. I know I have a small number of regular readers because I have Stat Counter (and I can count) A few of them ( the one's I really like ;-)) take the time to comment too, which does give me encouragement. I  mainly write though because I enjoy doing it (most of the time). I get precious little opportunity to write anything these days, or exercise my brain much, working in the Co-op deli an' all! ( note to self - look for new job). It just gives me something to do of an evening especially since giving up the old goggle box two years ago. That's my excuse anyway. It's also a convenient outlet for publishing the hundreds of photos I take, what else can I do with them? Rhetorical question, do NOT answer!

Oh almost forgot! (I didn't really) This afternoon I couldn't be bothered to make my way over to Seaton Hole to see a probable Black-necked Grebe that Ian M had found, because I was slobbing out in front of the fire after my earlier walk. Big mistake! It was only a SMEW! A very rare bird on patch. I got the car out and 'sped' over there. I was too late. Bums!
Finally, we are very lucky to live where we do at the moment, right next to the harbour. Here's a photo of the view from my bedroom window this morning.

Axmouth Harbour and Haven Cliff with a dusting of snow.
  A splendid view indeed, almost as nice as looking in the mirror!  ;-)


Gavin Haig said...

...or the surface of a limpid pool. ;o)

As you are no doubt aware, I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and you've just helped me with another reason to carry on: Brain exercise!

My 'average to hopeless' comment was a bit harsh, and I guess that personal taste plays a huge part. One man's 'hopeless' is another's 'genius'...possibly. I look forward eagerly to new posts on many blogs - yours included.

Another note to self: 'Always go for 'probables''!! ;o)

Dean said...

Another great post, Karen.
I`m with Gavin, on the "thoroughly enjoying your blog" department. Yeh, keep at it girl.

"Crocs", so that`s what them monstrosities are called ;-)

Fst0pped said...

You also have at least one lurker :-p

The whole blogging community (in my case particularly the London birding blog scene) has become an enjoyable part of birdwatching for me. I started my blog shortly after picking up the hobby because a mate had one and it looked like fun to write and I haven't looked back.

rebecca said...

Lovely pictures! And i have to say i love Crocs too! I have the exact same pair and i've been wearing them in the snow! People say i'm mad but i don't care! They are so comfy!

Backward Birder said...

Long time lurker, first time commenter...

Blogs like yours [and Gavin's and Steve's - I think of you as the 'Backwater Three'] are what has encouraged me to venture forth and unleash my thoughts upon the world - don't you go anywhere!

Hmm, fur-lined Crocs? Didn't know they did those - they certainly look comfy. I've always been one for function over form [as anyone who's seen me in my birding getups will testify - once they stop sniggering!], so more power to your tarsals! ;)

Smew....... Smew........ Oh deary me.......
Just had a thought - if it was the Chew bird, maybe it'll keep going and head to the Exe, and [dare to say it] stay put? ::Looks to the heavens:: Oh please, please.......

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks for comments fellow bloggers and ex-lurkers :-)

Backward Birder - I also hope the Smew shows up on the Exe (well if not back on our patch obviously ;-))Then I'll be able to pop over there and get it on my Devon list at least. Gutted to have dipped it here :-(

Wilma said...

I am sitting here with my croc-clad feet propped up in front of me. The crocs are just like yours and I bought them after reading about your emergency purchase. :-) So, obviously you blog to educate the masses that read your posts!