Thursday, 10 February 2011

Spring?








Well no, maybe not; but there are a lot of spring-like signs today.

This morning, when the farmer went to feed up the heifers in the loose housing, there was an extra one - born overnight. Sadly a bull calf - these are pedigree Holstein cattle and of course heifers are what is needed to boost the herd. But doesn't mum look proud and what a smart little calf he is.

It is a glorious day with warm sunshine. The sky is the most beautiful shade of blue with white puffy clouds so Tess and I walk over to see a friend in the village. The fields are still very wet so wellies are the order of the day and they are not easy to walk in, but off we go. We sit in the garden and drink our fruit juice and marvel at the lovely mauve crocus which are all over the garden and which have opened their faces to the sun.

Along the wall a witch hazel (hammamelis mollis) is in full bloom and looks so lovely against the background of the stone wall. We get the distinct feeling that Spring is not so far away.

Coming back across the fields I spot a pair of white wild ducks but before I can get my camera out they have also spotted me and have flown. But luckily, just a little bit further downstream are another pair and although they watch us carefully, I am able to get quite close to them and photograph them.

Back at the farm the farmer is digging a drainage channel in a particularly wet gateway - the fields are the muddiest he can ever remember them. We watch him for a while and then - on our way up the yard - look over into the vegetable garden. Without saying a word, the farmer has dug it all over. There are still three rows of leeks to be eaten, but the rest of the garden is all ready to receive the Spring planting.

Back indoors a pineapple, coconut and banana smoothie revives me and a drink from her water bowl revives Tess - she to her bed for a rest and me to put on this blog.

14 comments:

Heather said...

That calf is a sturdy little fellow. Even if we get another wintry spell, there is definitely a feeling of spring in the air. Your veg. plot looks good and your restorative smoothie sounds very good. Thankyou for another lovely walk.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, I can see hints of spring with you
thank heavens
still in the deep freeze here
32'f the high today.......
your smoothie sounds delicious....

angryparsnip said...

How exciting to find an surprise in the barn this morning. What a proud mum watching you, very sweet.
Made my morning today.

cheers, parsnip

Jo said...

What a full day for all involved!

Another delightful post, Weaver. I love to see your village and its surroundings.

We are all in for a very soggy spring, I'm sure. Best get me some of your famous wellies!

Hugs to the less-than-desired-but-yet-smart new calf. What's to become of him?

patteran said...

Still no closer down here. Not a crocus in sight and only the odd patch of slightly embarrassed snowdrops, like early party guests. I thought you lot would still be deep under snow up there. Something's gone very wrong...

kameleonquilt said...

Looks very springlike to me :-)

steven said...

wow weaver when spring kicks in - even the earliest features - she kicks in with loads of events and work doesn't she!!! steven

Titus said...

Lovely post Weaver, I love newborn calves and the witch hazel is stunning!
Your crocuses are up? Snowdrops just coming into bloom here, and a very hard frost again tonight. But we had sunshine all day, and I, too, had a glorious walk - minus dog, as he was mountain-biking with husband in Ae Forest. I wish he had been digging my garden instead!

Pondside said...

The hints of spring are few and far between over here - but we'll follow you in a week or two.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments. Jo asks what is to become of the calf.
Farming is often a harsh world. In a dairy herd only the female calves are prized - they will grow up to be milkers eventually. Also with a breed like Holstein, which are thin and bony, there is not a lot of meat potential. There was a time when some farmers killed their male dairy calves at birth but I believe prices are a little better now. But with the big, beefy breeds like Belgian Blue and Aberdeen Angus there is not a lot of sale potential for a bull Holstein. Sadly there is no room for sentiment - profit margins are too low in farming these days. But having said that - stock are very well cared for and this little chap will no doubt have maybe three years of happy life before he ends up on somebody's plate. More so than lambs - many of whom are fattened quickly to be on the table for Easter/ a short life but a merry one (that's questionable).

Crafty Green Poet said...

not spring yet but yes lots of signs, I love witch hazel,

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

I can smell the fresh air just from the pictures - thanks for sharing with us
X

Vicki said...

As a new reader, I am so sorry. I remember this vividly. I too have experienced tragedy with the death of my son-in-law and my daughter was 5 months pregnant with her 5th child. You never forget. Be strong and know you do make a difference...

jeannette said...

That's how I remember the homes of my friends - on a farm always something exciting is going on!