Tuesday, 10 November 2015
It is still windy here this morning. As I am sure you remember from previous years, we have a huge rookery about half a mile further down the Lane and this time of the year, when the dawn coincides with my sitting up in bed drinking my morning cup of tea, I see thousands of them pass the window. Sometimes, depending upon the direction of the wind, they pass over the house rather than past the front windows, but this morning, with a strong West wind blowing, they were almost hitting the window in their frenzy to get to their feeding grounds (ploughed fields, grass fields,
anywhere where there are easy pickings). They pass in a huge wave which takes about a quarter of an hour to pass, and this morning the wind was so strong that it kept blowing them back - they were flying directly into it, so that they were swirl past, then swirl round and have another go. And it did strike me forcibly that their wings must have incredible strength. Correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure somebody will) but surely the larger the bird the greater the wind resistance. They were really struggling. No wonder they are such strong birds.
On a totally different subject - but still about the countryside - friend W has lent me a book - 'The Shepherd's Life - A Tale of the Lake District' by James Rebanks. It is unputdownable and should be compulsory reading for all school teachers who belittle children who wish to go into following their fathers into a farming life rather than going out into the wide world and 'making something of themselves'. Also, for the information it gives about farming sheep in this upland country. We live in the Yorkshire Dales but on the high ground life is much the same as the Lake District - the only difference being that the predominant sheep is the Swaledale and not the Herdwick. Do read it if you get a chance.
And on the subject of yesterday's blog about the weather - the river Ure did come up and cut off several people who had to be rescued from their cars (in Aysgarth and in Appersett) and apparently by this morning the Ouse in York, where all our water eventually goes, is eleven feet above normal. At present the wind has abated a little and it is not raining.
We have just crossed the River Ure at Ulshaw bridge on our way to the Feed Merchant at Masham and the farmer stopped so that I could take a couple of photographs of the Ure in flood for you to see.