March crept in gently with warm, sunny weather and a sneaking hint that Spring was on its way. True to the old adage it is going out like a lion as today is gusty and rainy. It is almost always true that old saying about March - "In like a lion and out like a lamb and vice versa.) However, the temperature is quite high and I am keeping a sharp eye on the marsh marigolds in the beck - they are heavily in bud and the first one to burst into bloom is always on the same plant at the foot of an alder tree. That first burst of pure gold heralds Spring for me. After that Winter has no chance against all the burgeoning plants.
Speaking of plants - trees actually - I read yesterday that the first trees to appear up here were probably Birch, followed by hazel, pine, elm, oak and alder.
Sadly all the elm trees - the quintessentially English tree - have perished, victims of the deadly Dutch Elm beetle. Here on the farm there are a lot of alders and they are lovely - beautiful shape in Winter, lovely red catkins in early Spring and then marvellous when in leaf.
We ate the spelt bread at tea time yesterday - it was delicious although I shall put alittle less honey in it next time as it was rather too sweet for my taste. One of my readers said in the comments that she had a recipe for bread raised with beer - I might try that one day when I feel a burst of enthusiasm coming on. But the mention of beer reminded me of an old Yorkshire rhyme. To non-Yorkshire readers it might be a bit hard to translate - but you should get the general idea:-
This verse is to be said when a man is sitting with a glass of beer in front of him and he is about to drink it:-
Oft times tha's made mi pawn mi clothes,
Oft times tha's made mi friends mi foes,
But now tha's here afore mi nose,
Up tha pops and down tha goes!
Have a nice day.