Thursday 30 April 2020

Avoiding the Showers

Fortunately by the time I set out for a walk yesterday the rain had briefly stopped and the strong breeze had dried everything off. Farmer Daughter had not been so lucky earlier in the day. She had decided to cycle to the Post Office which is several miles away and was caught in a hail storm!
This photo shows the beginning of my regular circuit which I walk with Poppy particularly when I am short of time.

It leads out to some arable feeds where she can run around. The potato ground is on the right here. Not a brilliant photo but it shows that the rain has encouraged the growth of grass and weeds. The trick now is to get out there and spray off the weeds before the seed potatoes begin to shoot.

I usually cut through this short patch of woodland. There is a public path through it. It's not easy to see because the rain and wind has blown the cow parsley over.

I think this is Blackthorn in flower.

Poppy definitely enjoyed the long cow parsley.

This ash tree in an arable field frequently appears on my blog.

Then it was out across the sheep field with the neighboiur's dairy cows behind. You can also see the Mendips on the sky line.

The horses happily graze alongside the sheep.

A lovely old oak tree in the corner of the field.

The next field is also lined with trees just coming into leaf.

There is also quite a lot of gorse in the hedge dating back to when both of these fields were originally scrub land. They were reclaimed by Farmer Husband's parents.

Finally it's back across another sheep field.

The farm house and a cup of tea are now in sight.

Wednesday 29 April 2020

A Rain Refresh

The weather is something that as a nation we have a reputation for talking about quite a lot. It is certainly preferable to the other topic of conversation which we are all currently talking about at. Well I am currently sitting in our lovely Breakfast Room as it gradually becomes dark. The wind is whistling around and the rain is pattering on the windows. What a difference to just a few days ago! 
It has been raining on and off for the last two days which quite honestly we need. The garden and the fields are looking much better for it. I did manage to get out for a walk late afternoon in the dry. Everywhere was looking suitably refreshed.

Suddenly there is an array of different greens. The wild garlic is still everywhere and the bluebells too.

There are more Cow Slips out in Holey Ground.

This Red Campion was looking particularly bright and breezy.

A walk around the farm is definitely a real tonic and I hope you will find it so too.

Tuesday 21 April 2020

A Close Up Look at Spring

It ia lovely to see so many different flowers as Spring progresses. I have remembered to take my camera with me on a few walks and particularly to take my telephoto lens so I now have a few photos to share with you to help raise your spirits.
Wild garlic or Ramsoms as it is also known grows profusely in our woods. It has a very distinctive onion smell which is particularly evident as you step on the leaves as you walk through it. I remember as a child picking some to add to my flower press for my pressed flower collection. It nearly stank the whole house out! 

The leaves are currently popular to eat in salads. A local vegetable box delivery service were adding them to their boxes. I have a pretty good idea what Farmer Husband would say if I added garlic leaves to his dinner plate!

Then there are of course lots of bluebells, hopefully only the English Bluebell and not the Spanish variety which is infiltrating a lot of woodland.

The beautiful delicate wood anemone which is found in many ancient woodlands. Not the easiest to photograph.

Damper darker parts of the woodland have a variety of different ferns emerging.

I have recently mentioned the cowslip which favours unfertilised, undisturbed meadowland. It grows liberally in our field called Holey Ground, name because of it's many dips from past surface quarrying, not a religious connotation. This pasture is on part of the farm that is not cut or grazed until later summer to encourage the growth of wild flowers and grasses. It is consequently a haven for butterflies in the summer.

There quite a lot of violets around. These are more than likely the Common Dog Violet again very small and tricky to photograph. These were fortunately on a sunny bank so easy to capture.

Just Emerging

Outside my kitchen window on the wall we have an old stone trough which we have planted with Alpines and succulents. I showed some photos of some of the plants in this post from last year. It is looking a little sparse at the moment but everything is just beginning to wake up.

The flowers are really quite small. A few gentian flowers emerging.

I had forgotten until I saw on my old blog post that I bought this pink one in Cornwall last year I think at Trerice House. 

There are some house leeks that are struggling along and then a couple more succulents. This yellow one is grown from a piece of a plant in an arrangement that my younger daughter was given in a graduation present.

I'm hoping for a lot more growth over the summer.

Monday 20 April 2020

Me on Monday: Gratitude

It's a long time since I have participated in Me on Monday which was originally created by the lovely Sian who sadly no longer blogs. Does anyone know how she and her family are? I am finding that little things matter a lot at the moment. Imagine my elation to succeed at obtaining a Click and Collect slot by staying up to midnight and sitting on an online queue until the slots suddenly appeared. It did take two midnight attempts before I got one though. Farmer Husband didn't seem so overjoyed when I immediately woke him to tell him the exciting news!
Such happenings are soon trivialised when you are again faced with the terrible news of the daily deaths. It has become more of a reality as two acquaintances have now lost a parent. One lost her mum after she fell at home, was admitted to hospital and contracted the virus. The other her dad who was admitted after catching Covid in his care home. Sad days.

How lucky I am to have this fantastic outlook above to bring consolation at such times.

Look at the beautiful blossom on this Katy apple tree planted the year our oldest daughter was born.

The bees are constantly at work on the blossom so fingers crossed for a good crop. 

I have one bit of cheering news to tell you. Yesterday we heard the cuckoo calling. He was calling on and off all day. This is particularly special because we have not heard him for several years. Could this be because of the  peace and quiet without constant planes taking off? 

Saturday 18 April 2020

Bluebells Emerging

Who would have thought that after all the rain we had all winter we would be wanting some more? The warm dry spell we have been having has given the opportunity to get a lot of field work done including planting Spring barley and the seed potatoes. The ground had become very dry and those crops needed a good soaking to start growing. The last 48 hours of rain have been perfect and we will now be happy with some more sunshine!
Yesterday I snatched a walk between showers and decided to head for the bluebell wood. All was very fresh and moist in the woods. I wish you could hear the birds singing against a background of quiet. We normally have a fairly constant noise of airplanes from the airport but all is currently silent which is one benefit of the current situation.

You can see that a lot of the wood is becoming dominated by wild garlic which is pretty in itself but I would rather have bluebells. Poppy as always was my companion. I don't let her off her lead in the woods because she gets rather excited by all the smells and tends to run further away from me than I like. I don't approve of her chasing deer which can be hiding amongst the trees.

I found a few bluebells out as I climbed out of the wood. I shall have to make another trip here.


There's a few violets too. Such a gorgeous colour and so delicate too.

I will bring you back for another visit soon.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Easter Sunday Walk

Easter Sunday is normally like for many a busy family day for us. This year we had a quiet Sunday lunch just for the two of us thinking of all our family doing a similar thing in their own homes. The weather was beautiful and we even had our meal outside. 

Later in the afternoon we took a quiet walk around the farm. Some of the trees are beginning to green up and some daffodils are hanging on.

A lot of the hens were out making the most of the sunshine.

Most of the sheep are now out in the fields with their lambs, always a lovely sight to see.

Our skies are remarkably clear at the moment. There is less pollution without all of the transport and no vapour trails from aircraft. It is also remarkably quiet. No hum from the airport and no planes arriving or departing.

We have one field which is left undisturbed at this time of year. No grazing until late summer and no fertiliser. This gives wild flowers the chance to flourish. Cowslips are particularly found of this kind of environment.

The quarry still has a lot of primroses out which make a wonderful display.

Then it was back to the farm for a cuppa and a bit of Simnel cake. A smaller version of my normal cake and with a lack of chicks which I hadn't even thought of in my frantic supermarket dashes so Snowdog had to stand in as a lamb!