Wednesday 18 January 2017

First Snowdrops, Frog Spawn, Shed Building

The first signs of a new year starting off the cycle of flowers is when the first snowdrops appear, this particular clump growing in a corner of the garden is always the first to show its drooping modest white bells. Which one of the galanthus family it is I do not know. It has much larger flowers than the ones that have grown in the undisturbed corners of hedgerows and fields for centuries and it will some time yet before any of these appear in their silvery drifts. The daffodils are shooting up and some are even showing signs of buds forming rapidly day by day.
Another sign of spring on its way is the clumps of some very early frog spawn that I found yesterday down by one of the ponds.
Whether it will survive to the tadpole stage depends on the weather, if we get a frost it will be done for I think.

The new year sees a continuation of the shed building which seems to a constant activity here. Farmers never have enough sheds. The current project involves putting a roof over a space between an old stone barn and the new cubicle shed behind it to create a useful space big enough for the Farmer to store his stacks of sawn timber as his current store is to be demolished to make way for a new milking parlour sometime later in the year. The farm echoes to the eldritch shriek of the angle grinder as it trims the roofing roofing sheets to size and then the thump and bang as they are manhandled into place followed by the drone of the cordless drill which is so reminiscent of a dental drill. All this audio pollution comes in fits and starts, between the noises the birds can be heard tuning up for their spring choruses. This morning I stood and listened to a thrush high up in an ash tree practising its scales...glorious!