Friday, 24 February 2012

Busy old fool...









As the great John Donne said,

Busy old fool, unruly Sun,
why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?

I don't know about you, but once the sun comes out this time of the year, my spirits lift.
There is a cold wind today but walking in the shelter of the hedge, the sun is warm on our backs and we know for sure that Spring is coming. It might still have a few battles with Winter to come, but another week and it will be March and then the battle should be almost over.

And as John (By Stargoose and Hanglands) was out in his garden photographing in his shirt sleeves then I am obviously not alone in thinking along these lines. So, not to be outdone, I went out in the garden with my camera, to see what was about. The results are quite good for February I think.

I found - purple species crocus, opening wide to the sun; my favouriute purple striped crocus - they are in a shady place so do not open to the sun, but they last longer; a white hellebore - I think it is Argutifolius - always out early but very prone to white fly as soon as it is warm enough for them to fly; aconites - which I did read somewhere do not actually have a flower - the yellow 'petals' are really sepals; primula wanda - I have had these for years and move them with me from house to house - they always come up with a good show; the Lenten rose - just out right, as Lent began this week; and last, but not least, Pulmonaria (Soldiers and Sailors) one of my all time favourite Spring flowers. If only it didn't have such ugly great leaves so prone to mildew later in the year.

Changing the subject entirely, somebody who reads my blog says they have not seen nor heard anything of my chickens lately, so I post a photograph of my cockerels. The news is not good I am afraid. They are magnificent birds. The farmer shut them up a couple of months ago in order to fatten them for the table but they are hardly eating anything, they have got very aggressive and attack him when he goes in to feed them and they are putting no weight on at all.
So what to do with them. Advertising them 'free to good homes' is to no avail. Nobody wants a cockerel. I can't let them out or they would fight for supremacy with their father, who is the most gentle, peaceful bird and wanders round the fields with his little flock all day. Their days seem to be numbered. For the farmer, the only solution is to kill them and bury them. It seems sad but it is only a matter of time before they begin fighting amongst themselves - they would now if there was a hen about, but luckily they can't see the hens from their cosy shed.

It looks as though I shall not be raising any more chicks this year. I love the whole thing but if we are always going to be left with cockerels which have to be put down then I don't really wish to do it any more.

Still Spring is on its way. Enjoy the flower photographs and if the sun is out where you live, enjoy that too.

15 comments:

Loren said...

Judging fromyour pictures, your definitiely ahead of us in the sun thing, even though our two climes seem remarkably similar.

I'm with you on taking ever possible opportunity to get out in the sunshine, though.

Beautiful flowers. I think I'll have to check the local parks for croci.

Heather said...

Lovely to see your spring flowers - I have similar ones apart from the aconites which don't want to stay in my garden. I did my first bit of gardening today and planted out some broad beans. After a damp and misty start yesterday was beautiful and today is following suit.
Sad about the cockerels and I can understand your feelings.

Bovey Belle said...

Ah, the perennial question, "what do we do with the cockerels?" We always had this problem too, and used to rear them until they were a reasonable size and they went into the stewpot. Sometimes we got given other folks' ones too. The barnyard types were usually worth eating (simmered v. slowly) but when a lovely old boy gave us a box of Transylvanian Turkey Necks, I'm afraid we let them loose to take their chances with Mr Fox! NOTHING on them to eat at all! When cockerels get aggressive, there's only one fate for them, unfortunately. We had one here, called "Grotty Cock" and named after one of the same name and disposition who used to terrorize a friend of ours on her Yorkshire farm. Her husband never really listened to her, until she was poorly and HE had to do the chickens. Grotty Cock lasted one day with him. . .

We are dry here, but NO sunshine, and temps. not noticably higher. A few crocus out in the garden, along with hellebores, snowdrops and lungwort.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The same sort of thing happened to my neighbour and she had to dispatch her cockerels as well. A most unpleasant business that left her quite sad.

Here, we haven't had much of a winter to speak of at all. A Spring thunderstorm is peppering our windows at the moment.... here in the month of February.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos! Spring is definitely on the way! Sorry about your cockerels!

Gerry Snape said...

ah the sad fate of roosters ...as my dad called them...they come to naught...else but the pot! Great flowers!

Dominic Rivron said...

I would gladly give a cockerel a good home - but I doubt my neighbours would appreciate it.

Dominic Rivron said...

Just read that you gave up Middlemarch half way through! I nearly did. The second half doesn't half get going again, though. The last third I found to be unputdownable, which is quite inconvenient when you're talking about a third of Middlemarch.

angryparsnip said...

Lovely garden flowers.

Sorry, I'm the one who asked about your chickens. Sad about your cockerels and all the trouble they are giving you. The last I heard about them you were thinking of fating them up for dinner during the long cold winter. I guess they didn't get fat and you really didn't seem to have a winter.
Goodness.

cheers, parsnip

George said...

Amazing photos for this time of the year. We've had a warm winter here in the U.S., but I've yet to see blossoms like these.

rkbsnana said...

Pretty flowers. Hmmm...no meat on the birds at all????

Pondside said...

Spring has gone underground over here in the past few days. Every day I do a round to see how far up the daffs and how fat the buds on the magnolia are.
Is there so little on the cockerels that they're not even good for soup? What a bother for you.

mrsnesbitt said...

Aye Pat - tis nicer weather and we are on our way! Dxxx

The Weaver of Grass said...

Today it is bitterly cold and I expect any of these Spring flowers feel like going back in again.

Tess Kincaid said...

Loveliness! Spring has not quite sprung in Central Ohio...