I can't believe it - this morning at six o'clock the sky was an uninterrupted blue and the sun was shining fit to burst. I couldn't resist getting up and taking this shot of our Rowan Tree just coming into blossom. Now, as I write this at a quarter past three in the afternoon
, it is still a lovely sunny day. Proper Summer weather. Quite unsettling.
On my walk down the Lane after lunch every bird in the vicinity was singing (male birds of course - females were far too busy doing chores of one sort or another). The air was full of bird song. Dare I say it, but after one hundred yards of edge-to-edge chaffinch the song does get just a little bit boring. But I am sure you will agree that the sound of Summer is that of bird song.
On the subject of the smell of Summer it is a different story. Round here in farming country don't imagine that the over-riding smell of Summer is blossom, roses, Summery smells. Today there is only one smell around here and I can tell you it is very powerful.
Farm yard manure. Every farmer hereabouts is busy cleaning out his Winter housing and piling FYM in a field ready to mature and then spread around. Don't get me wrong - I rather like the smell of manure - it is certainly preferable to the smell of pigs for example. I am just telling you that it is 'that time of year'.
It is also time for the Appleby Horse Fair. At this time of the year Appleby in Cumbria sees the arrival of the travelling community from all over Europe and many of them take quite a long time getting here. Some folk come with horseboxes and lorries, others travel at least part of the way in a traditional covered gypsy caravan. One family of travellers always stay for a couple of days on the Car Park of our local Auction Mart. They bring their horse box for the horses and a lorry for carrying the traditional covered caravan. I think that from here onwards they travel in the 'proper' way, clip-clopping along the road in the horse-drawn vehicle. They are a lovely sight - a bit of a hazard to traffic but no more so than the hundreds of motor cyclists we get tearing through here at the weekends. And for my money - keeping such a tradition alive is very important. I would love to go and see it all - it is not all that far from here - maybe forty five miles or so - but the thousands who go clog up the place so much, both with their paraffinalia and also with their activities - riding up and down the main street, washing their horses in the river etc. that I think it is probably more prudent to stay away.
But sufficient to say - it is that time of year again. Sorry to say that two of the photographs have appeared too early but Blogger decided to put them there and who am I to argue with that (i.e. I don't know how to move them to anywhere else!)