Monday, 10 March 2014
We uncovered the old sandstone trough, silted up in the brook when we moved down here. It used to feed a bricked pipe which provided the drinking water for the house. It now stands outside the back door. I plant it up with bulbs and things in the Autumn. This year there's an explosion of blue crocus which must have lain dormant in one corner of it and have suddenly appeared. I don't even remember planting them but they're a whole little bundle of joy.
It's been a bit of a hard one, this winter. We've managed to clear two bays of the tattered bits of plastic from the poly tunnel and it's already to go to the Recycle Centre tomorrow. Trying to free it from where we buried it all underneath waterlogged soil and stones has been hard graft to say the least. Not even sure whether I want to put another sheet over it, but then, the early veggies are something else. So maybe.
The weather's been lovely today. Clumps of wild daffodils are already in bud above the stream on the Mill Bank.
And you can see where the sheep have been through the barbed wire.
Just heard on tonight's news that UK's Kelly Gallagher's won gold in the Paralympics in Sochi. She is visually impaired and to rely on her team mate, Charlotte Evans to guide her down the slope. So much so that she was only able to distinguish Charlotte's orange jacket and hear her instructions through her headset - travelling at 92 km per minute, made it down to the bottom in 1 minute, 28.72 seconds. Can you imagine it! With all the other horrible news going on at the moment, I think it's just fantastic.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
I turned my head, looked up and there it was!
In the deep distant greyness of the sky,
A faint arc beyond the hill.
And then suddenly it became clearer, vibrant, stunning, beautiful.
Closer. So close.
And in that moment, I reached out my arms and touched a rainbow.
|And no-one else took any notice.|
Thursday, 13 February 2014
It was a wild one last night! In our thirty six years down here, I don't think I've ever experienced a storm like it. By four-o-clock in the afternoon, the wind was fairly raging and the rain was rattling down in stair rods. I did my best to mend a small rip in the newest poly tunnel but had to give in and dive for cover into the house.
One look through the bedroom window this morning and this is what greeted us - the 30 foot tunnel on the east side, next to the brook looked as if it had been slashed with a knife. The seventy footer one next to it was torn to shreds. Oh well - it did need a new cover - we'd been saying for ages. and it certainly does now.
Spent the afternoon, patching the smaller tunnel with Rhino tape. Brilliant stuff for holding it all together. It was just about in one piece again when I came in. I've got spring cabbage, leeks, onions, garlic and lettuce in there right now.
All my plants were in the disaster area, along with some broad beans, I'd sown in cardboard pots. I'd sown 6 rows of parsnips a couple of days ago. Also got beetroot, broccoli and cauliflowers growing - but they look as though they'd survived okay. It was a bit of a marathon, fleecing up as much as I could, so hope they make it through.
Anyway, the daffodil bulbs are are pushing their heads up where they can.
And the primroses starting to bud..
Good old hellebore flowering again amongst last year's windfall apples.
And Eric? ..... well he slept through the lot of it.
There's another front coming in tomorrow, so they tell us.
Friday, 31 January 2014
Three or four years ago, Tom wrote a blog on Starling Murmuration and posted this video.
A similar phenomena has happened at Westbury, Shropshire, this winter. Westbury is a small village four or five miles away from where I live.There is, as far as I know, no near nature conservation area to encourage them, but something must have attracted their attention. The starlings gather on the edge of dusk, thousands of them. The formations they make are beautiful and the bird song is amazing.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Heavy rain again last night, so much so that it woke me up. It was just like someone throwing buckets of water at the bedroom window. I lay there in the darkness, listening to the wind howling and waiting for the next deluge to hit the pane. There's something very comforting, being warm and dry snuggled under the covers and listening to it all going on out there. We have been fortunate that the inside of our house has not been flooded and I really feel for those people who have had to deal with water in their houses for the best part of a month - not good!
When the brook water rises, it carries all the brash and broken tree stumps from up stream and these get caught in the tunnels of the bridge under the road causing the minor or major mayhem according to the volume of water. The floods have been right up to the top of the posts. I can remember a huge tree stump a few years back, being lodged on the top wooden rail and the foot bridge from higher up being dragged across the road by the current.
Another brook which marks the English/Welsh border along the edge of our garden was in full throttle. It carries the water right from the top of the Long Mountain and gathers a massive force by the time it meets the other and reaches the bridge at the bottom of our road. There's an iron grid across this one to stop debris blocking a long black tunnel a bit further down. We've toyed with the idea of using the water for hydro-electric power. O/H built a water wheel some years back but with hardly a trickle in the summer months, we never got round to installing it.
A couple of weeks ago, another grid higher up got blocked and we woke up to find sheets of muddy water flooding poly tunnels, garden shed and His workshop - Yuk what a mess!
I sowed a few rows of beetroot at the end of last summer. Some of it's looking a bit poorly, but one little patch has survived, so not too bad.
I noticed today too, as I took my camera round, the pink flower bud of a bergenia plant was just starting to come out. Ragged primroses out in the front border and masses of red berries on the cotoneaster by the door.
Did you notice the catkins, 2nd picture down? They're early this year, everything is.
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
I found this on You Tube and I love his voice - Kurt Nilsen, Norway World Idol 2004
Nearly six months have gone by since we had our holiday. It cheers me up a bit, when the days are short and the weather's rough, to look back at some of the photos we took.
Our first stop off was in Norway, Kristiansand. A beautiful little harbour town. The sun was shining and wild flowers were out all along the path into the main street. What really struck me though was how the recession had hit over there as much or even more so than here. A lot of their economy depends on tourism - the shops were struggling - sales and slashed prices. A young woman was curled up against a concrete pillar, a small empty chipped pottery bowl by her feet. She was younger than my daughter. Her plight touched me. I tipped the meagre bits of Norwegian coinage I had in my purse into the bowl. Honestly, it was almost nothing. She reached out and held my hand for a few minutes and the communion of eyes said it all. It's winter in Norway now too. I can still picture her face. I hope she's OK.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
The sun shone a bit today. Actually it wan't too bad out at all. After days of battling through the floods and the quagmire, unblocking clogged up grids and attempting to tame a rampant brook we really felt like getting out and going somewhere. We went down to 'Coed-y-dinas' Agricultural Store just on the edge of Welshpool. All the Christmas glitz and the New Year celebrations well and truly packed away and the spades, forks, bags of compost, arrays of seed packets and chicken coops all there to tempt you to spend the last of your hard earned cash. Don't you feel so much better when the sun shines! Along with bags of coal for the Rayburn and a cylinder of gas for the Super Ser, I bought a huge bargain bag of daffodils for £2 - yeah, I know, they should have been planted last September/October, but £2 - two pounds - too cheap to leave there for that. I shall be planting bulbs in the mud tomorrow if it doesn't rain again.
D'you like that great big shovel they'd got outside the entrance? All I need now is to find the great big man to go with it and we'll get back on an even keel in no time at all.