Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frogs, lambs and snowdrops

Has air got a colour?

Yes indeed. Of course it has. Today I breathed green - the colour of early spring - and how good it was.

Another fabulous day of wall-to-wall sunshine - far too good for March really - and the prospect of more to come. The Glam Ass says he feels as if he's caught the sun on the top of his head. (It did look a little pink.) Those of you who know the GA, and today's weather, will not be at all surprised.

We have frogs, doing what frogs abundance. A huge rudeness of spawn.
There are lambs too - here a muddled heap of orphans jostling for the sunniest spot in the barn over at Fir House. Can you make out which head or tail of belongs to which lamb? The numbering continues to mystify. This little creche had squiggles, lines, hearts and symbols in place of numerals - courtesy of a visiting Dutch vet on a work placement.
Perhaps she was just 'thinking outside the box' - after all, being orphaned, these little fellas didn't need pairing up with a mother and could just enjoy a bit of body art for its own sake.

We were over at Fir House to dig up snowdrops - with permission of course - to increase our own meagre planting. The farm at Fir House is probably as old as this over here at Lower House. The old house is now gone having been demolished post foot and mouth and replaced with a sturdy modern barn. There's not much left to suggest that someone once lived here ..... only a tumbledown outside toilet nearby, choked by twining briars, with a gaping door hanging askew and a busted seat over a chaos of muck and grassy dust. It stands - or stood - on the edge of a steep, tree-hung dingle (all the better to drain, erm, stuff away perhaps).  The precipitous dingle must have once been the farm's household midden where alongside all the regular garbage somebody must once have tossed a snowdrop bulb or two. They have since multiplied and now, at this time of year, are a white carpet of flowers which blooms largely unseen in this hidden spot. How many years did it take for them to grow like this? I really don't know. 100? 200 perhaps?

To reach the snowdrop clad bottom we must stumble down though the trash of ages; that's bottles, odd shoes, broken plates and crocks and all. I find myself getting distracted from the task in hand, ie getting snowdrops, and becoming more interested in bleach and shampoo bottles discarded circa 1975. The 'good stuff' I surmise, must be hidden deep....but then wonder if there is ever 'good stuff' to be found on a refuse heap. Good rubbish is something of an oxymoron.

Perhaps it would have been wiser to concentrate on the job in hand - there were many hazards; broken glass, spiky brambles and the vertiginous slope. But hey! we made it and the Glam Ass didn't curse too much as we skittered downwards. The snowdrops, which carpet the lower dingle's sides and bottom, were not too difficult to dig up, but carrying the heavy buckets up the dingle afterwards was v. hard work. Job done we struggled, puffing and panting, to the top, eventually flinging our buckets of snowdrops 'in the green' over a fence and following them out into the morning's sunshine. Phew.

The Glam Ass got busy planting and hopefully we'll see the results of his work in twelve months time. I'm struggling to get my head round planning for next spring when this one has not quite happened yet.
Here's the garden as of 23rd March 2011. Yep, mainly brown. However, the asparagus bed in the foreground has 3 spears appearing already - and no matter how many times we earth them up they strive ever upwards towards the sun. There are green things in the green house. Today I saw a bat. My heart beats a little faster at these signs of the year's unfolding.


Frances said...

Snowdrops are so beautiful and strong, and even amazing in their ability to show up while winter still cloaks us.

I am already looking forward to seeing what you will have in your garden ... maybe next February or early March?


Kirsty.a said...

I love snowdrops - always so brave when everything else is still bundled up in winter coats. you agrden may be brown but it is very neat.

rachel said...

Interesting to hear how refuse was disposed of, even recently - surely little excuse for dumping plastic bottles from 1975? But then I suppose we still do it, albeit on a grand (and official) scale, and call it landfill....

Fennie said...

Wonderful! there's excitement in rubbish dumps isn't there. I wonder why. The chaos of the past. Down at the Mill there's just such a midden into which have been discarded a large number of giant cans. Whatever did they hold. Food for a giant dog perhaps. One of my early memories was pulling apart a bonfire left by the former owners of the house we were moving into. I found a brass tube, burnt by the fire, and the end unscrewed. Inside was the most beautiful green silk fan, not even scorched.

Love that phrase 'a rudeness of spawn.' Oh, and your asparagus bed - a vegetable that so far as growing is concerned, has always escaped me.

Nikki-ann said...

Wonderful photos. I haven't seen frogspawn since I was a kid!

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