Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Forgot the camera!

Sod's law, of course, but today I had to go to Ripon to the hairdresser and I forgot to take the camera. Of course, there were so many things I wanted to photograph - so shall have to describe them to you instead.

The Dales is grassland country, just as the 'crop' is sheep, other than a dairy farm here and there. But as soon as one starts off towards Ripon then things change and the land becomes much more arable. Arable land in this area at present, means mostly one thing - Oil Seed Rape. You either love it or you hate it.

On the whole, a bright yellow field (which is how they are at present) is a lovely, sunny sight but you can have too much of a good thing and there is certainly nothing subtle about the colour. As I drove towards Ripon I passed field after field of the stuff and I must say that it did finally become a bit of a strain on the eyes.

But, of course, the bees love it. Coming as it does between the end of the blackthorn and the early blossom and the beginning of the May blossom and the apple blossom this crop provides a real magnet for bees. Some people absolutely love rape honey and others hate it. So the choice is yours.

I came back a different way from Ripon because I suddenly remembered something about this time of the year. In one of the villages my different route passes through, there is a row of bungalows for the elderly and each year the front gardens are a delight.

This year was no exception. There were grape hyacinths, paper-white narcissi, red tulips, forsythia, long-stemmed polyanthus, primroses and best of all - wallflowers - all growing in a mish mash in the gardens. There were old men out in the sunshine with their hoes, dabbling around the plants and loosening the weeds - it was a delight. I couldn't resist stopping at one garden and getting out to tell the old man just how lovely his garden looked. I told him how wallflowers always reminded me of my parents. Wallflowers have such a distinctive smell and the minute I stepped outside the car I could smell them. My mother loved them and at this time of the year she had a glass vase of them on the dining table all the time - an integral part of my childhood and a smell that takes me back instantly and nostalgically.

I arrived home to find a lovely book on the table - a present for Easter from a friend - thank you M for the lovely thought. The book is 'Unwrecked England' by Caandida Lycett Green - looks lovely so I shall post on it in a day or two.

On the journey I passed a field of fascinating and quite foreign sheep, so my next job is to search the internet to see if I can find out what they are. If I am successful I shall be back.

Meanwhile, that beautiful sunshine has given way to a heavy April shower - but then April showers bring forth sweet May flowers - or so they say.


Heather said...

Such a lovely post Pat, even if you did forget your camera. Your words describe the scenes so well and I could picture it all clearly.
Looking forward to your future posts about the book and the 'foreign' sheep.

angryparsnip said...

So enjoyed your trip today. I envy your drives around the villages where you live.
I know I am looking through tourist eyes and having read James Herriot's books. But you always make it sound so lovely.
I am so happy that on my two trips to the UK I was able to drive though your area. Quite close to where you live !

cheers, parsnip

MorningAJ said...

I hate it when the rape comes out. It triggers my asthma and some days I can hardly breathe - if it's dry and sunny.

I love Ripon - though I've not been for a good few years now. I must make the effort to get up there more often.

Rachel said...

Rape always gets the blame but lots of other things are coming out in flower too so it is not just the rape.

John Gray said...

another nice post has a rhythm all of its own

H said...

I do enjoy the look of oilseed rape (and I even like the smell) but it plays havoc with my younger son's hayfever, so I'm having to whisper :)

BilboWaggins said...

I've only been to Ripon a couple of times (when travelling south to meet friends and got to the point when I couldn't stand the roadworks on the A1(M) anymore!_

Lovely place, has a wonderful 'feel' about it.

Oilseed rape always makes me feel dreadful too - thick headache and sneezing, yuk.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for visiting. Sorry but I can't find the breed of sheep anywhere.

Rachel said...

Rape well and truly gets the blame then.

Ask Adam, he will know the breed of sheep.

Hildred and Charles said...

What a nice post, Pat. Would love to have been with you to see the village gardens.

Tom Stephenson said...

Have you deleted our comments about your hat, Weaver, or is my machine playing up again?