Saturday, 10 December 2011

Cruel weather.







It looks deceptively pleasant outside; the sun in shining and the wind has almost died down. As the farmer is out shooting today I had no option but to take Tess for her after-lunch walk. I do like to do this anyway but if the weather is particularly foul I do chicken out and let the farmer take her.

Well wrapped-up we sallied forth. As we closed the back door a fine sleet began to fall and the sun popped behind a cloud for a little rest. As we reached the end of the drive I realised that that gentle breeze was actually a cruel, cutting wind and as it came from the North West it was making a brisk cut down the lane. This was not actually noticeable until I turned round to come home and it was directly in my face. I'll tell you this for nothing - it certainly made me walk more quickly!

Now home again, I must say I feel much better for that walk both mentally and physically - in fact I feel almost saintly.

As usual several pheasants are wandering about under our trees - hope they stay there to escape from the guns. There are also a dozen cock blackbirds at the bird table - they only come in when the weather is really cold, preferring to scratch about in the hedge bottom for most of their food. Outside the gate the cotoneaster horizontalis is still laden with tiny red bead-like berries. The blackbirds love these but seem to leave them until quite late in the Winter, then descend and eat the lot in a day.

Yesterday we went to our feed merchants and I was hoping for photographs of some of the flood damage but on the whole it had disappeared without trace. Both the Ure and the Cover had been over the day before but as you will see from my photographs, although they are full, they are certainly no longer in flood.

What did make me laugh was that as we passed a spot where our local beck had flooded the water had gone but the wild ducks had taken it over and were having a whale of a time wallowing, paddling up and down and making such a racket. There are still some Limousine cattle in the same field - they wered ignoring the ducks and getting on with eating.

I say they are wild ducks, but this is something of a misnomer. They are bred for shooting and wander about the fields in huge numbers and are very slow to take off and fly. As long as they stay on the ground or on the water they are safe from the guns. If I could I would go down there before the shooting season starts to give them a few lessons.

The photograph across the fields was taken to show you the barn where the shooters would be having their lunch as I walked (the farmer was having pork and chutney slice, cheese sandwiches, crisps and a banana; a flask of coffee had just a smidgin of whisky in it - last time I overdid the whisky and he had a job to get back home after the shooting finished!!)

The barn they use for lunch is the second highest - almost in the centre of the shot and almost hidden by trees. In there they sit on straw bales and discuss the local gossip! No high-flown putting the world to rights with this lot - euro crisis or no euro crisis. Keep warm.

19 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr! Poor Freida jumped to attention every time I open the cupboard door thinking we are going for a walk - but I am keeping warm inside!

Dxx

steven said...

i had a friend from near where you live who used to describe winds like that as "lazy winds - they went through you instead of around you." steven

Elizabeth said...

So glad you feel saintly!!!

Gerry Snape said...

wonderful newsy post Pat. It's cold here as well but I'm sure it's colder over with you.i remember living in Folkestone years ago and no matter which road you walked down the wind always attacked you from the front!
Keep warm!

Heather said...

That sky looks full of cold and wet stuff. Very brave of you to venture out and I'm sure Tess appreciated it. I love the racket that ducks make and always think they sound as if one of them is telling risque jokes which provokes a dirty laugh or two.
Hope the farmer got home safely again!!
Put another log in the log-burner!

Linda Sue said...

"Bred for shooting" Sounds like a title to a most harrowing tale. I lived in the Kent country side in my youth- the winters were exaggerated- I lost my footing a lot! Stay warm and bundled! a little whiskey can be helpful- we soaked our figs in brandy for our morning muesli, kept us going until tea.

angryparsnip said...

Goodness, sounds so cold. So glad the damage was not bad.
I always wonder how the birds keep warm in winter. I am so daft that I want to build little home filled with bedding for them to stay warm. Especially the Hummingbirds.

We are back to our more typical early winter weather today 64/34 with the sun out and shinning bright.

How are the chickens ?

cheers, parsnip

MorningAJ said...

It's slightly worrying that people with loaded guns are drinking whisky......

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I love this kind of weather to be out walking. Especially when I can come home to a warm fire, a good meal and, yes, a tot of whisky.

Rubye Jack said...

You have such really beautiful country where you live. I enjoyed this post and the pictures. Everything seems to be its place and that is relaxing to me.

Titus said...

Lovely ruminations on the day, and nature, Weaver. I was out cutting greenery for the Church decorations this morning, and yes, the wind and the sleet were freezing! I had that, 'I think my fingers are going to drop off' moment. Over and over again.
And yes, the photographs are very deceptive. It looks like a beautiful day!

Tom Stephenson said...

100 MPH winds on the way for next week - whoopee!!!!!!!!!!!

Dartford Warbler said...

Good to hear that your part of the Dales escaped the worst of the damage.

I met the same biting, Arctic wind when I walked the dog on Wednesday. A real, face numbing cold up on the heather moor behind the house. It felt like a Yorkshire winter walk rather than one in the usually mild New Forest.

They are culling deer around here now. It is that time of year. I know it has to be done but I hate to hear the gunshots and know that another beautiful creature has met its end.

Tess Kincaid said...

I always enjoy seeing your little spot of the world...

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I simply could not believe the photographs I saw on the BBC of the weather Britain has been experiencing. And even before the official start of winter! You three stay warm. And let Tess sleep on your feet! That's what Edward does and I highly recommend it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Warmer, but wet this morning - therefore raw. I am putting my post on early because it is Sunday and the farmer will be in for the day shortly. The snooker final is on later - he loves that - and then there is the Strictly results show - plus Country File - our only day of viewing really. Keep warm and thanks for the comments.

Bovey Belle said...

Brrr. I noticed the wind direction when we were in town yesterday and wished I'd got my gloves in my pocket.

I had to smile at the picture you painted of your husband and his mates, catching up on the gossip as they had their lunch. (Sounds like you spoiled him!) When you live in a rural area, what we read about politics in the papers seems to have little bearing on the "real" world which we inhabit. I guess they feel the same about us - outside the M25 us lot just don't exist!

Everything Changes said...

"LIKE"

Dave King said...

Stunning pics. A really enjoyable post.