Saturday, 16 June 2012

An Outing to Fountains Abbey

Our Dutch friends have been staying and we made a list of places to go - actually we made two lists - a wet weather list and a dry weather list. Luckily Thursday was a dry day, although rather cold, so we went to Fountains Abbey.

It is such a splendid building, dating back to 1132 when the order was started by a group of break-away monks. It stands in extensive and beautiful grounds and our friends were thrilled with the whole visit, not least because they say that with the Netherlands being such a small country with a large population, there is little room for extensive 'parks' like this one.

We had a bowl of soup in the splendid restaurant at lunch time and then in the afternoon we walked in Studley Water Gardens next door. More of that tomorrow. In the meantime, please enjoy enlarging and looking at the photographs above.

On the farm, life has gone on as normal. Poor Tess suffers from pollen allergy and has to have regular anti-histamine injections to keep it at bay. I had to take her again for another one yesterday before she chewed her feet off.

In the fields there is little hope of silaging yet as everywhere is so very wet. The grass is long but it is dying off at the roots because of the damp conditions. This dampness and long grass is not helping a lot of the birds, who have young to feed. Curlew, oyster-catcher, pheasant and partridge should have brought chicks off the nest by now (they are ground-nesters and nest in our fields) but it is a struggle for them to survive in the long wet grass and many will perish. This morning when the farmer walked the fields with our farm dog and Tess, he saw a wonderful silent barn owl swooping low over the grass in broad daylight - a sure sign that feeding at night is difficult. I do hope the barn owls find enough food (mainly field mice, voles and the like) to rear their young. They are such magical birds and deserve a future.

Our friends have just gone off on their journey home. They have been in Wales for ten days (in very wet weather) and have been here since Wednesday with their touring caravan. I must say that this kind of visitor makes it very easy because they pulled their caravan up onto the lawn by the side of the house, used our downstairs loo and wet room, so there are no bedrooms to clean after they have left. I enjoy cooking and did all the meals until last evening when they took us out for a meal - and delicious it was too.

Now we are 'back to normal' and I shall spend this afternoon with my feet up, reading the papers. We shall miss our friends for a few days as they are such good company and we love them dearly. Have a nice weekend.


Joanne Noragon said...

The abbey is magnificent. I need to do some research and see how those monks found the funds and the labor to take on such a structure.

Heather said...

Fountains Abbey must have been a magnificent building in it's heyday and is still magnificent in ruin.
Such a shame your visitors didn't have better weather for their tour of Britain. They were perfect guests by the sound of it, bringing their bedroom with them!
This awful weather is a worry for farmers and wildlife - I hope Mother Nature pulls her socks up soon.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Sounds like a wonderful visit with your friends. The outing to Fountains Abbey looked so atmospheric - I'm sure you all enjoyed it.

I'm so sorry about the weather. Everyone in the UK is talking about it this week. It sounds pretty dreadful.

Enjoy your day, reading!

Bovey Belle said...

Our Yorkshire-friends-in-Dorset always speak fondly of Fountains Abbey. It looks an amazing place to visit and I'm sure your guests loved it.

Wildlife must be struggling right now - on Springwatch they were talking of nests being destroyed by the weather and all sorts of birds calling for mates to start all over again.

Dartford Warbler said...

Fountains Abbey....your post has brought back lovely memories! A magnificent place.

A shame that your friends did not see Fountains against a backdrop of blue sky, but their visit to you sounds a happy one.

Arija said...

Now that is the way I too would like to welcome guests. No bed making, no extra washing and good company.

Sorry to hear about your sodden pastures and the effect they are having on bird life. I do hope they raise at least some offspring.

Hildred said...

Isn't it lovely when dear ones visit!!! We have had a week of family popping in and out, - especially the ones from the Chilcotin. Thank you for sharing your grand outing to Fountain Abbey, Pat.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Fountains Abbey has been on my list for some time and you've just nudged it a few notches up the ladder (if ladders have notches!).

Robin Mac said...

Oh how wonderful to see those lovely photos of Fountains Abbey, one of my very favourite places to visit in Yorkshire. I am glad your visitors saw it in good weather, I just hope the weather generally impproves for you all soon. Cheers

Acornmoon said...

Just a quick hello to let you know I am still reading your blog although I have been absent from the bloggersphere for a couple of weeks.