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.