Saturday, 28 November 2009

Fancy a walk?
















It is a lovely day here - cold, still and sunny. For the past week it has been very windy and blustery showers, so today the contrast is quite marked. The farmer is shooting (well, beating as he is not a shooting man really) with our local syndicate, so Tess and I set off alone.


When I finish my lunch-time coffee and put my newspaper down, that is the signal for Tess to get up and look at me: "Are we going, then" I decide to go to the bathroom first - she comes with me - just in case I am pulling a fast one and not going to take her. Out of the landing window I spot a tiny wren on the wall, in full sunlight. Such shy little birds, who spend most of their lives in the hedge bottom scratching for grubs, this little chap is in fine feather and, close to, he is such a prettily marked bird, not the little brown job you imagine. So that is a good start.
A little way down the lane, after I have waited for Tess to poke her nose into a hole in the wall and shout, "Oi! I know you are in there!!" to the rabbits, a male bull finch flits silently across the lane in front of us.
What a splendid bird! His crimson breast is the nearest thing we have to the red cardinal in the US. If only they were not such secretive birds - they so rarely show themselves. This one, I guess, is after the last few honeysuckle berries in the hedge.
Today wildlife round here must be in a state of terror. In the fields to the left of the lane our syndicate are shooting. On the right of the lane our neighbouring farmer's syndicate is also shooting and he meets me as I come back. He is hitting the hedge with a stick to flush out any hiding pheasants. None come out and i am secretly glad. In the distance I get sight of our loval Hunt, who are in our area today looking for foxes. Again I am secretly hoping that all the shooting that has been going on since mid morning has warned the fox to lie low.
There is barely a leaf left on the trees after a week of gales. . I point the camera over the fields - the sheep graze in the Winter sunlight and the peaceful scene belies the shooting going on.
We come back through the front garden. There are still roses blooming and the purple hebe is putting out a few shoots of flowers. In the tubs by the back door the tete a tete daffodils are already poking through the gravel - a bit too early for my liking, they may get a nasty shock as a sprinkling of snow on high ground is forecast
I am in the middle of baking Christmas cakes for family and friends. One is just about ready to come out of the oven and one sits on the cooling rack. The smell is delicious - Christmas draws nearer - it will be December next week. Have a good weekend.

23 comments:

steven said...

hello weaver - the hoar frost photograph is beautiful. the trees look as if they're going to march right through the fence!!! keep warm! steven

Pondside said...

Good morning, Weaver. Your header photo is so pretty - when it is light here I think I'll see a similar scene.

Heather said...

That was a lovely walk Weaver. I saw a wren on our sundial today - they are such delightful little birds. It's lovely to walk round the garden at this time of year and find things still blooming. Your new seasonal header is beautiful. We haven't had any frost yet but there's plenty of time. Like yours, our weather today has been sunny, still, cold and crisp though clouds have returned now. I was woken at about 3am this morning by such a noisy and heavy hail storm.

jinksy said...

Mmm...I smell those hot cakes. Just what the doctor ordered to ward off hoar frost!

Susan said...

I always secretly urge the animals to hide too, during hunting season.
Thanks for the walk. Just what I needed today.

Leenie said...

Your new frosty header is a beauty. I am with you on siding with the creatures during hunting season. Some elk I saw in the dark of dawn were long gone by the time the sun was up enough for a photo. Not too early for sounds of shooting, though. The cakes sound delicious.

Totalfeckineejit said...

I love our walks , Weaver.I can't imagine what it feels like to point a gun at an animal and shoot it,I can't see how it would be a good feeling, nor chasing a terrified one.If I get to see a fox it is always a moment of baited breath magic.
Looking forward to all our winter walks, your new header is magnificent!

HelenMHunt said...

Love the new wintry photo on your blog.

Golden West said...

What a glorious day in the Dales, Weaver! You're the best "shot" of all today, taking such wonderful pictures - quite beautiful, really. Thanks for taking me along with you and Tess.

Bovey Belle said...

That wonderful photograph makes me shiver! The guys who have the shoot on Next Door's land were out after their pheasants today. Que all cats outside decided to come inside and who can blame them! It seems much colder today so I am guessing we will soon have our first frost.

Dick said...

Lovely photos and a vivid verbal picture alongside.

I've just returned from a walk with Reuben, Rosie and Maisie across the fields to the new house. As we approached the front door, a wren darted fearlessly across our path and watched us into the house from the laurel bush.

MarmaladeRose said...

Hmmm. I can smell that Christmas cake, it's making my tummy rumble. Think I really ought to make ours this week. (Been saying that for the last 3 weeks!)
Tess looks a bit 'Queen Victoria-ish' in that new photo, certainly posing.
Good to hear your getting back into the sewing habit. Love the book cover, very nice.

Arija said...

How delightfully peaceful your countryside and baking sound ,,, except for the male bonding banging away across the fields.
I love the thought of the aroma of baking in your house,the hoar frost on the trees and the earliest of earlies poking up their heads ahead of time, or are they predicting a mild winter?

Studio Sylvia said...

What a gorgeous photo of the hoar frost! Lovely descriptions conjure up beautiful images of your walk Weaver. Well if the men are making as much noise as I imagine, hopefully the wildlife has heeded the warning. Christmas cakes in the kitchen? delicious aromas which I can only drool over.

Penny said...

The new header is a beauty, andthe smell o baking, I love it but no one eats fuit cake in my family anymore.

ewix said...

This was a particularly lovely post, Weaver.
I was with you every step of the way. The birds, Tess and the rabbits.
So important that you record these things so precisely.
We never had a gun in the house and used to send for Tim from down the road if we had a rat....
Happy baking.

Elisabeth said...

It is a treat to wander with you through your house out into the fields, with Tess at your side, even against the horrible background blaring of those infernal guns. I hope they missed their mark.

But you, Weaver, never miss. And the images are so wonderful.

I love to see snow/frost covered trees at my desktop while outside my window a hot summer sun shines.

mansuetude said...

i feel a song in your writing voice, one can travel its rhythms quite lovely.

Cloudia said...

Enjoyed this walk so much that I feel like barking at a rabbit myself...



Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi everyone on this pouring wet morning - after yesterday's sunshine it has been wet all night, the river is over, we are cut off from our lunch date today and all the fields are flooded. Such is the temperament of British weather.
Glad you like the new header. It was taken last winter when we had several hoar frosts - they are quite rare here but when they occur they are magic.
Seven pheasants appeared under our pine trees during the shoot - at least they are learning to keep out of the way.
I am just donning wellies to go out and take a photograph so that on today's blog you can all see just how awful the weather is.
As usual, thank you for the comments.
Thanks poet for the compliment on the handwriting - not sure why I move away from the margin - there could be something psychological in it!

ChrisJ said...

What a beautiful photo of hoar frost! I certainly enjoyed your walk. Tess looks adorable enough to be hugged, but perhaps a bit too wriggly? I have never seen a bullfinch, tho I studied birds while at teacher's college near Bakewell. I had to learn most of the birds over again when we moved to the States. We don't have such a great variety in Southern Californis, but I imagine green and bushy places like Pennsylvania have more variety.

Pat Posner said...

Love the header photo, Weaver.

Tim & Ted and I enjoyed sharing your walk.

xxPat

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How I do hate hunting season. I shall never understand the "joy" of killing animals.

I do love the new photograph of the beauty Tess!!