Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Lambing Finished, Signs of Spring

This is often the scene at my backdoor, although maybe not always so tidy! With three generations living on the farm we have wellies of all sizes that are in constant use and there are always spare pairs floating around for visitors who have not come prepared for the mud of a working farm.

Easter, with its excess of chocolate, has come & gone and we are now making the most of the good weather. Lambing is over and so the ewes and their tiny bleating satellites are out in the fields on lovely fresh grass and basking in the sunshine. The eternal round of the seasons is always punctuated by certain aspects of farming and lambing is one of them. The high calls of lambs and the deep-throated replies of the mothers is as much an indication that spring is here as are the daffodils & primroses and the song of the blackbirds. This morning the sound of the sheep was accompanied by the thrumming of a woodpecker in a tree at the edge of the field and then the panicking call of a pair of mallard disturbed from their lazy stop-off on the pond. The mallard rest on that particular pond quite often but rarely nest there, though they do nest on a more hidden and less-visited pond elsewhere on the farm & sometime manage to rear a brood of ducklings. On yet another pond we usually have Canada geese nesting and hatching goslings but sadly the fox is too wily for them and they rarely survive to fly with the parent birds. We are now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first swallows...we usually see them about the 10th of April. With the hatching of the myriads of insects about to start as the weather warms up the swallows will be on their way to their abundant aerial larder and to give us their wondrous acrobatic displays as we, hopefully, sit out on balmy April evenings.

We drove over the hills to Brecon to visit family, on Easter Monday and were surprised to find snow had fallen within about 5 miles of the farm and once we got within sight of the great Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons there was a spectacular view of the peak covered in thick snow and gleaming like an alp in the far distance. Our 5yr old grand-daughter who was with us, was thrilled as she has never seen snow (at least that she can remember), even at great distance. It was the most important thing to remember to tell her parents about when we returned home!

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