Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

Frayed around the edges and over-sensitive for no good reason. Always the paradox of wanting to leave one place and be in another, and then the fret about doing it and what I might find when I arrive.

Work over the road going on apace. Winters Barn, sold at the end of last year together with the field it stands in, has been completely pulled down. The field is full of heavy machinery and the radio goes all day. A flock of sheep is grazing and they appear to be charmingly right in amongst all this but they aren’t. Closer inspection reveals an electric fence.

They’ve renamed the place and I disapprove. The old name was good and the new one inappropriate. Like the doubling in size of the cowsheds down the road, these changes make me feel sad. I liked what I’d found here – the remoteness and the dark skies. Now there is orange light on all night in one direction (why, do cows crave streetlight?) and soon there will be people over the road plus the additional traffic all this creates. It’s already a local rat run. You NIMBY incomer, I chastise myself. What makes you the arbiter of how things should be?

Nice things: Sunshine, birdsong, lambs bleating in the distance. Leaf buds bursting everywhere: hazel, beech, hawthorn and rowan. Blackthorn blossom, tiny flowers nestling among brutal thorns. Gorse now fully out and wafting coconut after months of being only half in bloom. Delicate little short-lived wildflowers crouching close to the ground, easily missed. A new fern stalk standing proud of the crushed fronds of last year’s dry remains, unfurling slowly as if stretching after winter’s long sleep.

And lazy, bad-tempered me, who didn’t bother to take a proper camera because it’s only a walk.

a wood tree branches against a blue sky and clouds wild flowers

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But wait, I still have some pictures to share of that pretty white stuff. It’s all melted and wet now but it was lovely while it lasted. It makes everything so… I don’t know … picturesque, somehow. Silly, isn’t it?

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Hamlet in the snow.

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blue sky with small white cloud

It’s been so very hot. Rising early before the heat of the day allows me a few hours’ activity but, even then, the effort dampens and frustrates my hair’s supposed straightness.

flower petals on garden table

The plants are exhausted and thirsty. Some buds simply dry before opening. Others flower but quickly lose their petals, dropping wherever, confetti-like

gravel and mauve flower petals

geranium petals in a pond

Yet others twine joyously around despite their yards of dry branches, as if to say: you can’t catch me…

clematis on a wall

The grass yellows. I leave it long to keep it damp and pathways are trodden into its margins by animals I never see.

Long grass in evening sunlight

When cars pass dust rises and coats the bins –dustbins – by the side of the road, just as its cousin, the mud, did a few months ago but now the ground is cracked and hard.

It is summer, at last.

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It’s too cold for May. Things growing are in suspended animation, biding their time, waiting for warmth and rain. Instead, it’s windy and grey. The chimney booms with the sound of the air rushing over the roof, birds rise up from the field behind the hedge, try to fly across the garden and are beaten back to where they started by sudden gusts. The sun emerges for a moment but is swiftly covered again by layers of lowering cloud. Rain threatens but does not fall. Shivering, I put on the heating and think of making a fire, feeling the tension as my body tries to ward off the cold. Like the flowers in bud, I’m waiting for a change.

poppy in bud

chives about to flower

Peony

Peony almost blooming

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I do love this garden in the Spring.

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It’s incredibly windy at the moment which makes doing any work outside rather difficult. My hair gets in the way of seeing anything, so it was very frustrating being up the ladder fixing the cooker hood vent’s gravity flaps, one of which had fallen off during the winter. I could tie it up, of course, but that thought only ever occurs to me when I’m already doing whatever I’m doing surrounded by swirling hair.

bluster

I cleaned the windows, which is no big deal except when some windows have got ridiculous amounts of security metalwork to dismount before you can get at the glass. It made me realise that there were two windows I’d never cleaned before – in four years! Slut.

I’m quite an anxious gardener, going around prodding and poking and wondering whether things are still alive after the winter. So it’s reassuring to go back to old pictures and think that the tree probably isn’t dead because it didn’t have any leaves the previous year at this time either. Here are the last five years. (They enlarge if you click them.)

In the evening, after my final bout of cleaning, we found a small frog that had somehow made its way inside and got itself attached to a ball of slut’s wool. I quickly rescued it from the cats, who were looking very interested, and put it out in the garden under the leaves growing around the pond. It was only when I came back in that I remembered that I should have kissed it first.

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Today was a horrible day. Fretful and loathe to get up, I lurked inside for as long as possible before I faced the damp outside.

misty weather on the hills

But eventually my aim to counteract the worrying that is going on in my head with some productive activity did win through. So, as well as food shopping and mending the garage light (changing the bulb – sometimes things are not as bad as I fear), I drove over to Triscombe in the heavy mist (ok, maybe it was low cloud) and bought some narcissi and grape hyacinths, anemones and aubretia to brighten up my dreary garden that just will not come into flower.

If you’re within reach, I can highly recommend them. Time has slightly stood still there and very lovely it is to and chat to Stuart about this and that, while you’re thinking about what to buy – even if it’s just bird seed.

rock plants in an enamel bowl in the garden

The birds here seem very hungry, so I stocked up with so much that it came in a sack!

female chaffinchThen I went in search of lambs. Now, rather oddly, I saw the first lamb out in the fields when I was out riding on New Year’s Day. That lamb must be quite senior now that the countryside is full of actual spring lambs.

two lambs suckling

Things have been very tough for sheep farmers this last year (and not so hot for the sheep either). Wet all last summer, so lots of them (the sheep) are lame with foot rotty problems – they’re limping about all over the place, their fleeces sodden and muddy. This one is quite clean, although not pink as those that graze the red earthed land around here often are.

sheep with full fleeceThe horrible, long winter had temperatures that were well below freezing at night for long spells, followed by a very cold spring which led to sheep being buried in snowdrifts and lambs dying as they were being born. Luckily, it wasn’t that cold down here in the south west, but spring is still being held in abeyance by the cold and it’s windy as hell, or I should say, as usual.

two lambs gambolling across a field

So, anyway, here are some lambs. They brought a smile to my face with their silly antics – one of the lambs below is standing on its mother.

a ewe with two lambs

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