Monday, 16 February 2009

Oh the joys of no snow!




To see the dark green wet grass - somehow much darker than I remembered it -and to smell it faintly on the air - that is a joy today. Edward Thomas says it much better than I can:-
"The February air has all the sparkling purity of winter. It has, too, something of the mettle and gusto of Spring. The scent of young grass, uncontested by the scent of any flower or fruit, is sharp though faint, and thus the air is touched with Spring perfume. Now and then a blackbird flutes a stave or two, but the silence is mysteriously great."
That "mysteriously great" silence is around today in the fields, as though everything is waiting for the first sign of Spring.
Now that the snow has gone, the snowdrops mimic it with patches of pure white. The photograph is of the carpet of snowdrops at Nappa Hall, a fortified Manor House in the heart of Wensleydale.
Our neighbour is gearing up for lambing. He has separated the reds and the blues (first and second batches of lambers). The sheep with horns in the photograph are Swaledales; those with speckled faces are mules. First batch lambers will be taken inside to be fed and kept warm - lambing is only a few days away - expectancy is in the air there, too.
The first lesser celandines of Spring burst through the dead undergrowth on the edge of the wood. This is National Bird Box week so the farmer will be down there tomorrow putting up his two new nestboxes - one for blue tits and one for a robin. Who will decided to nest where we shall have to wait and see.

36 comments:

Mikes blog said...

Its always a magical time when the first snowdrops arrive, but the snow has not completely gone yet from the highest north faces of Dartmoor!

jinksy said...

Snow drops beat snow any day, that's for sure. Love the wooly jumpers, too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Let us hope, Mike, that the remaining snow isn't waiting for more to come. Nice of you to visit. Shall visit you shortly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Agree Jinksy. Yes the woolly jumpers are nice - but the sitting up all night when they are lambing is not so good!

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Yes, all our snow has gone now, so it is very green everywhere.

Now, for us townies, what are mule sheep??!!

Red Clover said...

Quite envious of your version of February. Here by the Rockies we are still experiencing the arrival of new snow, let alone the stuff still on the ground. I can't express how happy I am for you. Ha ha.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

The lambs! The lambs! That's what I remember most about the UK in springtime -- the little white lambs bouncing everywhere!

We still have snow, but the grass is valiantly poking through. Today, I shall make a point of breathing in the crisp February air and catching a hint of the fragrance of grass upon the breeze.

HelenMHunt said...

The sheep look pleased too.

EB said...

Those snowdrops are just amazing. I've never seen them growing like that :)

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Would you believe I have never seen snowdrops? The flowery white carpet in your first photo is beautiful! Here we have the beginning signs of spring - Bradford pear tree blossoms and cheerful daffodils. Wild birds are in abundance and fight for supremacy at the backyard feeder. The smaller finches are more common but they will defer to a cardinal any time. It is colder today than last week, but the warm sun feels so nice. Enjoy your lovely spring day, Weaver :)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Your February sounds more like our March, even though the ground is currently snow-free here. Still, as I look out the window, there are a few snowflakes blowing about, light and fluffy, and the temperature is only in the upper 20s F.

Those snowdrops look lovely.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I like the way you have those two photographs next to each other, because there are (artistically!) similarities between the clumps of snowdrops and the gathering of sheep.

I love what Edward Thomas says about the scent of young grass. And the 'mysteriously great' silence.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Derrick. Mules are cross-bred sheep - the cross being Swaledale and Blue-faced Leicester - bred really for meat - there is not a lot of meat on a Swaledale - they are really bred for the hard tough moorland - they become hefted.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Red Clover - I would think that it is worth the cold weather just to live within sight of the Rockies.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Kimber - spring and lambs go together - both in the fields and on a plate with mint sauce.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Helen I expact it is rather nice to go inside and be treated specially - they do seem to appreciate it.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Debra and EB - Glad you like the snowdrop pictures. Do you not have snowdrops in the US? Here they are very common, almost wild in some places. They are one of those plants that if they like where you put them they spread happily.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Scribe - glad you like the snowdrops. Our weather is very
erratic and cold weather is forecast for the end of this week.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Raph - I hadn't thought of the two p[hotographs like that until you pointed it out.
Mysteriously great silence is a lovely expression isn't it.

Heather said...

What a lovely sight that carpet of snowdrops is. Good luck with the lambing for the farmer and his sheep - there is something so appealing about lambs. (A black mark for the first person to think 'mint sauce'!!). It has felt like spring here today. We leave our nest boxes up all year round, but my husband takes them down briefly about now to clean them. We have seen birds coming and going from them all winter so I think they must use them for shelter in the cold weather.

willow said...

Sheep raising and lambing are all so fascinating to me! I love it when you post pics and tell about it.

elizabethm said...

I adore snowdrops. I am trying to grow sheets of snowdrops like those in your photographs but am only achieving little rivulets so far!

Dragonstar said...

I love the way your photos mimic the departed snow. Those snowdrops are spectacular.

Mistlethrush said...

Your year is so much more in tune with the seasons than most.

I think I'll try an owl box this year - but I expect the squirrels will claim it. Like they claimed the great tit box by gnawing the opening.

BarbaraS said...

You're right, the green always does seem greener after snow - absence makes us yearn for it, I think. These are great photos, and although I don't always get to comment, I love reading what you write about farming, sheep and the country - it's my upbringing coming out in me :)

Country Girl said...

The snowdrops are lovely! And today I could almost smell the earth. It's still cold here but it's nice in the sunshine.

Hildred said...

Lovely photos. Although we had different breeds the sheep remind me of feeding time inspections when we tried to pick out which ewes we would be keeping company with that night, to play midwife if necessary and to welcome the little lambs.

The whiteness in our meadow today comes from freshly fallen snow......

The Weaver of Grass said...

Good point about cleaning out nestboxes Heather - they often contain a dead chick or two from the previous year.

Abe Lincoln said...

I can't help but think of the title of another blog I saw this morning that only had two sheep. It was called, "Winter Woolies." You have many more than two but the name came to mind almost immediately.


Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Poet in Residence said...

That's a lovely are of woodland. I've just got in from the Vienna Woods. About 8" snow on the trails. Lovely to walk on. Like cushioning in your shoes! Some places in the woods had more than 12" snowfall yesterday.
I saw my first 2009 lamb about 3 days ago. Just the one. I expect they've now taken it inside.

Ian said...

I was recommended to you by Goings on at Mad Bush Farm in NZ. The moment I landed I fell in love.

You can see a post about you at http://farmblogs.blogspot.com/2009/02/goings-on-at-mad-bush-farm_17.html


Farm Blogs From Around the World is a place to to gather in one place the best farm blogs from around the world. Recommended farm blogs are asked to send a brief email (to info AT ianwalthew.com) about their farm/smallholding and their blog, and to include their own recommended farm blogs. I then make a posting. If it gets any more complicated that that, then....well, the idea is that it doesn't get much more complicated than that.

I would very much appreciate it if you could please consider:

a) sending me some text about your blog and activities (including acreage and crops/livestock/fibres etc. to help like minded souls find you.)

b) writing to me with your (up to) Top 5 farm recommendations - not currently listed on my blog; particularly from countries not yet represented or under represented. I am particularly interested in blogs from the UK, New Zealand, South America, Asia and Africa at the moment. The proper name of the blog, the exact url, the location and one sentence on why you like it is perfect, but if pressed for time, just the links. U.S blogs are fine, but we have a lot and I am trying really hard to find good bloggers in different parts of the world, but if your list is all-American, no drama.

c) send me permission to use up to 5 photos from your site for a one off usage so that with your text I can make a posting about you;

d) add a link on your website, if that's possible, to www.farmblogs.blogspot.com; and if you can find a moment even make a posting about www.farmblogs.blogspot.com and how this blog is growing organically across the world from other farming bloggers. (Because you have been recommended in this way you are already on the blog roll for the U.K.)

I know this is a drag but a lot of people are finding that my blog is driving traffic to them and are finding it a great source of quality blogs about farming/gardening/smallholding so I hope you can find a moment to drop me a line.

I very much hope to hear from you, and thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this. When you do I'll get you up and running as soon as possible.

With kind regards,

Ian

www.farmblogs.blogspot.com
www.ianwalthew.com

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, the snowdrops! So pretty, like lace on the ground. Although we are still cold, and a bit dreary, here..there is just a whisper of Spring...every now and then.

I can't wait to see the lambs!!

Robyn said...

A carpet of snowdrops! That IS amazing.

Woman in a Window said...

Love the juxtaposition of these two shots.

BT said...

Oh those snow drops are gorgeous. We have just a few and I love them. I'm looking at a goldfinch on the nuts from the window.

Love the information on the sheep too.

Bdogs said...

I'm way behind in my reading this week, but I love the "mysteriously great" silence. It fairly thrums with expectancy. And I didn't know that robins like nestboxes. Not many nest around here, I expect.