¶ AT DURRELL
At last a Rodrigues baby found her parent and was wrapped up tight, like the contents of a parcel – her own tiny wings clasped her mother’s body, and her mother’s wings completely enfolded her.
¶ In Mary's latest journal entry from her 2016 visit to Durrell Wildlife Park on Jersey, it's Gorilla family dynamics that take centre stage…
¶ In Durrell's Aye-Aye enclosure, a pale ghost moves through the dimly lit branches. It's Pan…
¶ Durrell's Giant Galapagos tortoises run about on a sunny spring day, showing a rapid turn of speed.
¶ Spring has begun, so the adders come out of hibernation and get to know each other. Read more
¶ The otter drama at Durrell in four episodes. Abbie faces bullying by a tight-knit family group. Will she make it?
Bahia shows her new cub the ropes at Durrell – he's cautious, but he learns quickly.
Read more about the new cub
The arrival of a new Andean bear cub at Durrell completely changes the dynamics of the First Impressions enclosure.
Read about the new cub
Bryn develops a terrific thirst out running, and he's selective about where he slakes it…
Find a favourite watering bowl…
¶ Bryn is learning about the varieties of stiles.
Find out what happens…
¶ Bryn can bring the ball back, but doesn’t always hand it over. It’s become much more fun to make me work for it.
Find out what happens…
¶ Bryn knows that he isn’t to go down a particular forbidden path that leads to a cottage just above the Helford shore. That's what makes it irresistible.
Find out what happens…
¶ Bryn admires the view from the ancient village of Chysauster, just as dogs have since the Roman era…
¶ Mary visited the wonderful Bird Tunnel at Durrell again this spring, and found the residents preoccupied with mating.
¶ All Mary's Border collies have been Beach Boys, but only Bryn has burst into song in his excitement at being near the beach.
¶ The latest venue in Time for Tea is the Potager Garden Café – at a repurposed Cornish garden centre in Constantine: not only lots of Mary's favourite chocolate cakes … but deckchairs sitting waiting on one lawn for newspaper readers or general snoozers.
¶ A new episode in TIRN'S STORY. Mary remembers blackberrying with Tirn on the Downs: he was happy to accept the odd berry, and took to helping himself off the bushes, plucking the fruit…
¶ The latest TIME FOR TEA: Cadgwith …sitting at one of the tables in the courtyard I could watch all the action without any effort. All I had to do was order my tea and chose my cakes…
¶ Bryn found waiting for his ball to be thrown quite frustrating, but worth it in the end…
¶ Bryn was wildly excited to be back in the New Forest for his second birthday.
¶ Tirn's latest favourite walk took him along the Lizard coast path from Kennack Sands to Coverack – three sandy beaches perfectly spaced to his requirements.
¶ A great gluten-free selection and a warm welcome awaits you at the Beggars’ Banquet Café in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Before we knew it the cake had been eaten…
¶ Beside the canal, what's Bryn pointing at with such great intent, one front paw raised, ready for action? The answer may surprise you.
¶ Mary recalls Tirn's favourite hillfort walk in the snow, when they ‘joined the group of shades, who knew what it was to find our way over the ancient routes in silent blinding whiteness…’
¶ Mary looks at the fascinating family life of orangutangs in her latest contribution to the Durrell's Creatures page, on Jiwa, a fast maturing young adult male.
¶ Garden visiting is not Bryn’s most favourite thing. But there are compensations … see how they make it worthwhile for him.
¶ Mary has spent hours watching the Orangutang families playing at Durrell Wildlife Park on Jersey. In her latest instalment of Durrell's Creatures, she watches two mothers looking after their babies.
¶ A regular favourite walk in the younger days of Tirn – Mary's old Border Collie – was over the one of the many Iron Age hill forts, where we often picnicked. Read the latest episode in Tirn's life and times.
¶ Mary enjoys a warm welcome and a delicious flapjack in the Walnut Tree tearoom and shop in Sixpenny Handley (‘6d Handley’ on the sign!) in deepest Dorset.
¶ Bryn, Mary's young border collie was immensely excited by his first experience of snow – a reminder of how much we all depend on our dogs' sense of direction to find the way in bad conditions…
¶ Mary has been watching the contrasting styles of Durrell's two Orang mothers in their wonderful enclosure.
¶ From his first experience as a six-months-old puppy Tirn – Mary's old Border Collie – loved the snow: whenever it fell, he would be panting and quivering with excitement.
¶ Mary was totally engrossed by Val McDermid's retelling of Northanger Abbey - fascinated at how she has transmuted both the characters and the plots into a modern setting.
¶ Mary watches the lemurs at Durrell break out screaming and screeching when they are disturbed – the eery sound of the deep forest.
¶ Mary takes tea at the delightful Rock Pool Café on her visit to Mousehole to see the famous Christmas lights.
¶ Bryn enjoys a seaside Christmas – racing about on the beach tires him out for an hour or two.
¶ Christmas with a puppy recalls for Mary her last collie’s first Christmas, when Tirn calmly accepted the tree, the ubiquitous treats and his titbits. It was an exhilarating and tiring day for the young puppy.
¶ Mary was very impressed by the first of veteran crime writer James Anderson’s Burford family mysteries, The Affair of the Bloodstained Egg Cosy – ‘I had no idea of the treat in store’, she writes in her latest library note.
¶ NATURE BLOG Thursday 27 November 2014: The beech cathedral at Selborne has gone…
¶ The fate of her favourite Totnes bookshop – Belle, Book and Castle – hangs in the balance, as its founder has died; on a recent visit, Mary found it just as interesting as ever.
¶ The close view Durrell provides of their fascinating fruit bats gives Mary an insight into their ingenuity and intelligence.
¶ Mary recalls a private moment with Gina, Durrell's orangutan matriarch, who died in August aged 51 and who will be much missed.
¶ Tirn, Mary's old Border Collie, merely tolerated her enjoyment of garden-visiting – until he spotted the fish in the lakes.
¶ Mary enjoys a classic farmhouse tea at Higher Venton Farm, Widecombe a real find at Beatrice Chase's Dartmoor home.
¶ Mary is finds that the brilliant plumage and varied songs of the inhabitants of Durrell Wildlife's bird tunnel richly deserve their name – Jewels of the Forest.
¶ In a quiet north Hampshire valley, Mary finds The Tea Cosy, a refreshing new tea room at Hurstbourne Tarrant, just right after a hot summer walk.
¶ Mary vividly evokes the otter community 'swimming up as a compact fleet to inspect their visitors or moving in line about their own business' in her latest section on Jersey's Durrell Wildlife Park.
¶ For Tirn, as Mary recalls in the latest chapter of her Border Collies page, ‘a walk was always so much more than a trip from one point to another. It was an exploration, a recapping, an adventure, a pleasure to be enjoyed at every moment…’ Savour the moment with them.
¶ Mary enjoys the lush setting of the tearoom at The Garden House, Buckland Monachorum, on the western edge of Dartmoor. The cakes are tempting and a hummingbird hawkmoth rounds off the summer's afternoon.
¶ Mary meets Bahia and Quechua, young Andean bears at Durrell Wildlife Park on Jersey, who have taken over the Living Rainforest enclosure from Barbara and Wolfgang, who died last year within a few weeks of each other.
¶ Chasing a cat out of the garden, Tirn has a lucky escape in the latest episode of Mary Tant and her Border Collie
¶ Bryn, Mary's nine-month-old Border Collie puppy, adds the Lizard to his list of exciting places to visit.
¶ Mary finds the welcome at the Porthmellin Tearoom in Mullion Cove on the Lizard is just as friendly as ever.
¶ The latest in Mary's Library is an appreciation of A A Milne's sole 1920s detective story, written before his attention turned to Winnie the Pooh. Mary would like to have met his hero again, with his period catch-phrases: ‘I say, what fun’.
¶ Mary Tant enjoys David Suchet's autobiography/biography of Poirot and salutes the work that went into his painstaking recreation of Agatha Christie's detective.
¶ Mary recalls Tirn's dog friends in the latest episode on her Border Collie page.
¶ Mary discusses her favourite Ngaio Marsh mysteries in the latest addition to her library.
¶ Mary visits Oliver's for coffee in Sherborne, Dorset.
¶ Now on the Border Collie page – Tirn and his toys.
¶ Tirn, her Border Collie, puts Mary through her paces and stimulates the other dogs when he goes to intermediate dog training.
¶ Mary visits Holne Community Tearooms in the heart of Dartmoor.
¶ Mary's Border Collie, Tirn, attends his first puppy-training class.
¶ Mary's Time for Tea enjoys the luxury of tea at Lainston House Hotel, Sparsholt, Hampshire.
¶ Mary reviews James Runcie's first Grantchester mystery, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death.
¶ In the latest instalment of his story, Tirn – Mary Tant's border collie – explores his new home.
¶ Mary says goodbye to Barbara Mertz, American Grand Master of Crime, lover of Egypt and Britain, gardens and cats.
¶ Mary Tant's border collie comes home in the latest stage of her border collie saga.
¶ Mary reviews the historical detective stories of Ellis Peters in Mary Tant's library.
¶ The latest Rossington novel – The Gathering Storm –
has now been published and is available from your local independent bookshop.
¶ Tirn, Mary Tant's tricolour border collie, has just turned sixteen. In Mary Tant and her border collie, she tells his story.
¶ Mary visits Agatha Christie's Greenway and starts a new section on her favourite authors' places.
¶ Wolfgang – Durrell's male Andean bear – has died. Memories of Wolfie start Mary Tant's new section on Durrell's Creatures.
¶ Time for Tea visits The Courtyard Café in Alresford, Hampshire.
¶ Mary Tant's Library – review of Gladys Mitchell's books.
¶ Mary Tant's Christmas Page starts with West Green Christmas Fayre, Hartley Wintney. Features 25 entries…
¶ Time for Tea – Willow café, Lyndhurst, Hampshire.
¶ Mary Tant's third Rossington classic crime mystery – Friends… and a Foe – is available as a Kindle.
¶ Mary Tant's Library now carries a review of the reissued titles by The Detection Club, classic mysteries written collectively by the greats of the 1930s.
¶ See Mary Tant's Time for Tea for a review of the Primrose Tearooms, Lustleigh, Devon. They're an ideal place to aim for when out walking. Actually, an ideal place to aim for when out driving too… Read more
¶ In April 2012 Threshold published the latest mystery in the Rossington series Don’t Come Back, set in a remote moorland hamlet over the New Year. Lucy and her friends find themselves enmeshed in a conflict between tradition, family loyalties and new ways of thinking, in which the unpredictable weather plays a significant part.
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