Wednesday 15 January 2014


Half way through today we will be half way through January.   We are also, according to the news this morning, half way through Winter.   Farmers usually say that the end of January marks half way through the time when they might need silage to feed their herd indoors.   If they are lucky then the ground is dry enough for the cattle to go out towards the end of April, but often it is far too wet.   When it is wet, to use the farmer's expression, the cows waste more than they eat by trampling the grass down.   All I know is that at present the cows in our loose housing seem to be going through the silage at quite a rate of knots.

So far this Winter we have been very lucky up here in North Yorkshire  as far as the weather is concerned.   I keep saying that we are getting through the Winter very nicely (I have not had my heavy Winter coat on once yet) but the farmer is much more cautious, insisting that we shouldn't count our chickens until they are hatched.

Certainly the birds are in no doubt about the state of things.   The temperature is forecast to reach ten degrees up here today and in the two and a half hours I have been up a robin outside the window has never stopped singing.   Blackbirds, European and British, are foraging in the hedge bottom and will soon begin to think about nesting if this weather continues.   Here is a question for you?  Do European blackbirds recognise the difference between themselves and their British cousins?   Might they pair up if the warm weather continues - and if they do, then when the European ones begin to go home, what happens to the pair that already have eggs if one is British and one European?   You see our so-called problems with Europeans coming here to work are not just limited to human beings are they?

My dear sister-in-law, the widow of my beloved brother, is 92 tomorrow and although suffering from dementia is happily living in a retirement home.  It is many years since I saw her but I always send her flowers on her birthday.   She may not know who they are from but I am sure they will give her pleasure.   Surely that is the case with all present giving - the pleasure the present gives to the recipient is the important thing.


Heather said...

We might be halfway through Winter according to the calendar but as far as I'm concerned we haven't had it yet. I don't want it halfway through March but there's nothing I can do about that - it'll come when it pleases. Hope the cows don't eat all the good stuff before they can be let out again - happy cows!
An aunt of mine had dementia and sadly knew none of her family but was happy in her care home, which must have given them some comfort. I'm sure your sister-in-law will love her flowers.

Anonymous said...

January is not my favorite month. My mom tells me not to wish the time away, but "COME ON SPRING!"
Sandy O'

Cro Magnon said...

Man-made counting, counts little with nature. She has a way of fooling us, then slapping us around the face with a few tons of snow (or other delights). I'm counting the days till May.

MorningAJ said...

I'm with Heather on this one! I don't want winter half way through March either. I wish it would just get on with it so we know where we are.

I agree about the birds though. There was a blackbird singing its heart out at the gym yesterday.

Rachel Phillips said...

When we were at school in the 1950s February was always the month we got snowed in most.

Twiggy said...

We went for a walk on Sunday and it is the first time this Winter that Twiglet wore his hat and gloves!! We have been pretty lucky up in the Pennines, we've had a bit of rain and high winds and that's it.... so far!!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

I heard on the news that it was 47 celsius / 117 fahrenheit at the Australian Open today. Yikes!
That Polar Vortex that came down into the US from the Arctic Circle sent our temps to -17c a week ago. Some were saying: see, there's no global warming. But while we were freezing, most of the rest of the globe was warmer than usual on average. I'd be happy for one more good snowfall before spring.

John Going Gently said...

Ever since I bought my first home... I always promised myself that I would always have a vase of flowers somewhere around.... And I always have

angryparsnip said...

Since my Birthday is in January I love this month.
We have not had our winter start yet, end of the month it should start. But since my roof is being repaired at this moment and will not be finished till Friday... no rain for me yet !
Please !

cheers, parsnip

Em Parkinson said...

Very good question about the Blackbirds and I have no idea. Pat - I have something I would like to send you; could you possibly send your address to me at Something nice I hope!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems we are all waiting for winter to arrive - waiting with bated breath too. Let's hope it never does - although icy cold fog is rolling around here today with only a watery sun now and again.
Thanks for calling.

Crafty Green Poet said...

That's an interesting question about the blackbirds, I would guess that the migratory instinct is hardwired so that the European birds know when to go back