MARTHA-ANN   71,002
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The vagaries of weather...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We can't win can we?

Remember all that snow, ice and frost which waterlogged all our gardens when it defrosted...we all said we don't need any more rain, but down it came!
That was back through February, since then...nothing!

It's been quite breezy and sometimes chilly lately, even overnight frosts and we've also had some good helpings of sunshine, but we've had no rain to speak of.
The weather men are saying it's been the driest March for fifty years and it's continued into April. Still no rain predicted for the coming week so we're having to water the garden night and morning.

The farmers are wishing it would rain as they've had nothing much except the odd light shower since the crops were planted which doesn't bode well for a good harvest.
I was speaking to one garrulous old boy the other day, praising the glorious weather...lol...I can't repeat what he called it, it certainly wasn't glorious!!

The spring flowers are very pretty but aren't lasting long, some are all leaf and no flower, and the trees are still pretty bare of leaf though the hedges seem to be greening up.

I planted all my seeds about a week ago, they germinated quickly and already they're right for pricking out into their next pots.
I've just spent a very enjoyable morning sitting in the sunshine underneath the beautiful blossoms of my Cheals weeping cherry and potted on around two hundred seedlings which I've loaded back into the greenhouse....still more to do!
They're flowers mostly, for my patio tubs, and veggie seedlings for the garden but none will be planted out until late May after all risk of frost has gone.





Part of a bough laden with blossom on my Cheals weeping cherry





Just a few of around two hundred seedlings I've pricked out this morning...these are french marigold 'tiger's eye'.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBHAPPY2B 4/22/2011 4:22PM

    I have missed chatting with you--I hope you get some rain soon! As for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA...it seems to rain every day! I am very chilly and waterlogged! But I am losing weight! So I am smiling anyways!

emoticon

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XME501 4/15/2011 10:52AM

    I think we are getting all the rain here in Oregon - Our river is back up - it is overcast and rained most of the night.

Miss Sunshine, your weeping cherry picture is just beautiful!! Hope you get some rain soon - wish I could send you some of ours.

emoticon

barb

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NEELOJ 4/14/2011 9:49AM

    Sorry your spring has not been the best. We have not had a lot of rain but we have had enough it seems.
So far this has been a beautiful Spring for Kansas. The flowers and shrubs have been full of blooms all over.
Keep those seedlings happy, it will rain soon I bet!!
JO

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SHELLYG2725 4/13/2011 7:42PM

    Sorry to hear about the lack of rain. I hope your spring gets better. We haven't started planting yet, but the April Showers to bring May Flowers are coming down regularly so far. I hope they head off our east coast and last for you. :)

I love the pictures. It looks a lot like my families plantings. Good Reminder of home. :)

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ECONLADY 4/13/2011 7:42PM

    The flowers are beautiful!

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KAT573 4/13/2011 1:08PM

    MARTHA ANN! these are lovely pictures! How do you 'prick' out seeds? just curious.
I hope yall get some RAIN soon tho!
Off I go to get some errands done and need to do weed spraying too, as well as potting up my tomato plants; grape tomatoes this time. already did the big beefsteaks; they have not sprouted yet tho;
xo

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MARTHA-ANN 4/13/2011 10:31AM

    From Yorkshire, we've had the odd light shower, but nothing much, could do with a good couple of days downpours!

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GERIKRAGH 4/13/2011 10:28AM

    Where are you from? I can't imagine anywhere in the US that it hasn't been raining!

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ALICIA214 4/13/2011 10:21AM

 

That is Mother Nature for you ,Unpredictable.

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Inspiration...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We've had some weird and wonderful weather just lately...lol...run the whole gamut from frost to fog.
Yesterday was a 'pea souper' of a day but last night it cleared and before we went to bed the change in temperature was apparent.
That sneaky old Jack frost came down and wrought his handiwork everywhere.
It was so frosty this morning that DH had pretty frost ferns across his car windshield.
We're back to fog, and cold wind with occasional rain today but last night inspired me to put pen to paper...hope you like it.


Morning light.

Last evening when I went to bed the moon was clear and bright.
The stars peeped down a-twinkling within the velvet night.
At sunrise when I woke and rose, the curtains opening wide,
The windowpanes were pearl, opaque. I couldn't see outside.

A tracery of leafy shapes the windowpanes adorn.
Jack Frost had been and drawn them there. Then vanished with the dawn.
Each windowpane's a beauteous sight
Of ferns and leaves and diffused light.
His ice creations, fragile patterns, delicate, a filament of grace.
Filigrees of snowy white, intricate as lace.

I've been to many galleries, the paintings there to see.
By famous artists, world renowned for their expertise.
But Jack Frost surely must compare with every one of these.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ECONLADY 3/30/2011 12:43AM

    I have never lived in an area that snows, so I enjoyed the beautiful imagery.

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SHELLYG2725 3/18/2011 1:50PM

    Very Nice! I can picture the frosted windowpanes.

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NEELOJ 3/17/2011 11:22PM

    Love it!!! You do such great work in so many areas!!

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MOM2ACAT 3/17/2011 3:33PM

    Beautiful!

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The snowdrop walk

Friday, February 11, 2011

Each year a large stately home near us has a 'snowdrop walk' where you can meander through their grounds and woodland and take in the views of snowdrops as far as the eye can see.

We've done this walk many times now and the snowdrops increase with every passing year. They carpet the woodland floor and the formal garden's shrubbery with a blanket of white.

Yesterday a good friend and I followed the meandering path through the woods enjoying the sight and getting some welcome fresh air.
It was so beautiful after the long hard, icy winter we've endured, those little tiny pristine white flowers bringing us a promise of spring.

I wrote this poem a few years ago and thought you might like to read it, there are some pictures I took yesterday to go with it.


Heralds of Spring:

In the middle of winter the first shoot appears.
Lancing the ground like tiny, green spears.
Daily they're growing, pushing up through the mud.
And safe in the middle, a delicate bud.
The stalk elongates, the bud bows..so polite
To hang almost shyly 'til the time is just right
For the flower to open, so white and pristine.
The edges are picoted a delicate green.
Blown by the north wind, they curtsy and dance.
The heralds of springtime, the snowdrops all prance.




Carpeting the woodland floor



Covering a bank



As far as the eye can see



The star of the show...galanthus or snowdrop

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TECHGIRL22 3/1/2011 5:21PM

    Beautiful poem and pics. Thaks for sharing. You're lucky to be able to walk there!

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TJCADDO 2/17/2011 6:14PM

    You're poetry is incredible. I never knew what a snowdrop looked like before now. I guess our version of early spring flowers are the daffodils, crocus and tulips. This is close to the time of year when they bloom here.

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ONESPOTLEFT 2/15/2011 6:42AM

    what a great poem, thank you for sharing the visual delight of the photos and the poem inspired me to hope of spring.

I do have some flowers but not snowdrops and I have been clearing the garden beds and spied lots of green nubs of tulips, daffodils, and even crocus. But so far it has only been the mini daffodils that have bloomed

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OUTDOORGIRL69 2/11/2011 9:05PM

    The pictures are beautiful and the poem is emoticon

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NEELOJ 2/11/2011 1:22PM

    Wonderful poem and photos!!
Thanks for sharing both!!

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MARILYN1260 2/11/2011 8:32AM

    Hello Martha-Ann, thanks so much for sharing your poem (you're so talented) and pictures of the snowdrops. How nice to get a glimpse of Spring!

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'February Fill Dyke'

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Well! another month is upon us...February.

My Dad always called it February Fill Dyke, meaning rain...lots of it...and it's raining today, pouring down just for you Dad....it'll probably be fine later on though!

It set me thinking, Dad had lots of little sayings about the weather, comes of being country born and bred and working on a farm from the age of twelve.
Living in the country then meant a lot different way of life than it does today and the seasons were marked by weather lore...little sayings to remember when things bloomed, when to do certain jobs and how to tell if the day would be wet or dry ready for working in the fields.

My Dad worked his way up to be a ploughman, tilling the land with his huge, gentle shire horses. Walking miles each day up and down the furrows taking in the scenery, watching insect, animal and bird behaviour, learning the little tell tales signs of the nuances of our weather.

He tried to teach us some of what he knew, we spent many wonderfully happy hours with him, walking the fields or helping him garden, learning about nature and the way of the year.
Times had changed though, the tractors were a force to be reckoned with and the trusty shires became redundant, surplus to requirements.
Dad loved horses all his life and even when he joined the army he was in the Horse Guards, and still working with his favourite companion.

I thought this morning of my Dad's little sayings and reminisced nicely for half an hour so I thought I'd share some of them with you.
You probably have your own memories and sayings but these are what I remember and a little poem he taught us too.

Whether the weather be hot,
Or whether the weather be not,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not!

Another favourite was the Poem of the Months.
I think it's words are a bit different to the Sara Coleridge one, maybe through passing it down by word of mouth.

January brings the snow
Makes our feet and fingers glow.

February brings the rain
Thaws the frozen lakes again.

March brings breezes sharp and shrill
Shakes the dancing daffodil.

April brings the primrose sweet
Scatters daisies at our feet.

May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.

June brings tulips, lillies, roses
Fills the children's hands with posies.

Hot July brings cooling showers
Apricots and gillyflowers.

August brings the sheaves of corn
Then the harvest home is borne.

Warm September brings the fruit
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.

Brown October brings the pheasant
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.

Dull November brings the blast
Then the leaves go whistling past.

Chill December brings the sleet
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.

He always quoted 'Red sky at night, shepherds delight, red sky in a morning, shepherds warning' which my Mam always changed from shepherd to sailor as she was from a fishing family...lol... it foretold whether the weather would be good or bad.

'Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in.
Onion skins thick and tough, coming winter cold and rough'.
This speaks for itself and he was usually right.

'Oak before ash, we're in for a splash
Ash before oak, we're in for a soak'.
This refers to the leaves of the trees appearing and what the weather will be like through summer from their emergence in spring.

'Rain before seven, fine before eleven'.
This was very often true and helped when we wanted to go somewhere...well! it shut us up if he told us that...lol...

'Mares' tails and mackeral sky
Not long wet and not long dry'.
Based on the clouds it foretold a showery patch.

He taught us to look at certain flowers too, most of them close their petals to protect their pollen as the humidity rises so we used to say 'Pimpernel, pimpernel tell me true, whether the weather be fine or no'.
We never picked then, we could only observe.
The pimpernel is known as The Ploughman's Weatherglass.

'Beware the blackthorn winter' and 'Ne'er cast a clout 'til may is out' were another couple of favourites meaning rain and cold.
The blackthorn flowers first on bare stems and the March weather makes it bloom early but it can often be followed by rain and sleet and the 'may' or hawthorne tells us cold spells can be expected still in the month of May hence you don't get into your summer gear until after then.


Just some of the many sayings he had...a true countryman.
I miss you Dad. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TJCADDO 2/1/2011 11:26AM

    Now I know why you grow such a lovely garden.

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NEELOJ 2/1/2011 9:25AM

    LOVE this blog!!!
Most of these I have not heard of but the Red Sky my dad said too but it was with the "saliors" like your mom said.
My dad was a farmer too and always watched the sky.

This poem, from the local newspaper, was sent to my mother, by my father, before they were married. Sometime before 1932.
My father had written the following on the newsprint:
"I thought you would like to read this.
I don't think it helps much.
But it is true."
--------------------
The Weather
Just take the weather as it comes, and never make a fuss:
Don't you suppose the good Lord knows just what is best for us?
Then, don't find fault on summer days because it is too hot;
Make up your mind to take what comes---you'll find it helps a lot.

You can't improve on things, you know, no matter how you fret;
Fussing won't make a hot day cool or make a dry spell wet;
In fact, the more you fuss, the more unhappy you will be,
And nobody'll admire you---take that, now, straight from me.

We need all sorts of weather, and we're going to get it too;
The program won't be changed at all, not even to please you.
So make the best of what you have and do not fret and fuss,
And you can make a humid day seem quite salubrious.
---Somerville Journal

Your blog made me think of this that I have in a scrapbook...
JO

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DOLLBABE56 2/1/2011 7:10AM

    Oh Marth-Ann! Thank you so much for this blog. It does remind me of my mom and dad's sayings very much.

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ONESPOTLEFT 2/1/2011 6:37AM

    I love this poem but in zone 7 where I am the flowers are already coming along nicely emoticon



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very rewarding...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Well, a week has gone by since I re-committed to Spark and this morning I've lost 2lbs. which is brilliant but it certainly hasn't been easy, in fact it's been quite an eventful week one way or another.

I've had a tight chest and no voice for over a week, it's not too bad and my voice is returning...if I don't talk too much...lol..

We went walking and birdwatching last Monday and I pulled a calf muscle...or so I thought...but it's turned out to be sciatica and by heck is it painful.
I have a 'bad' right leg due to arthritis in my knee and ankle which is a constant ache and the sciatica is in my 'good' left leg so I'm limping big time!

I've also had a Gilberts flare-up which makes me very achey and lethargic.

DH, trying to be helpful...bless! brought fish & chips for tea one night and yesterday we had a pizza. It was difficult, I didn't want to upset him...lol...but I did enjoy them!
He's promised no more being helpful...food wise anyway!

I'm getting there slowly so the 2lbs loss is a very nice surprise as I didn't think I'd have done very well as I haven't exercised at all, apart from the one birdwatching walk, and have been 'resting' all week!

Anyway it's taken me up to ninety pounds lost and it's reward time once again as I give myself a little incentive every ten pounds lost.
Not sure where or when I'll be able to get something as I'm not going far yet but I have seen a little bendable lamp in a sale which I'd quite like for next to the computer...I'm going to ring and send DH for it! emoticon


it's now later tonight, he went and got it for me, here it is!
It's a pretty shade of lilacy blue.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOW2DAY 1/14/2011 9:40AM

    Congrats on being MOD and losing.

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GOLDFISHLIZ 1/14/2011 4:31AM

    Poor you! There are some horrible chest infections around, so I hope you soon feel better from that, as well as the sciatica.
Well done on choosing such a brilliant reward - long lasting, and a reminder of your achievements!
emoticon emoticon

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MARTHA-ANN 1/14/2011 4:03AM

    Thanks everyone, the breathing turned into a chest infection which is now being treated and the sciatica is easing slowly.
I've begun to exercise again...albeit very gingerly...but I'm getting there.
Thanks for all the good wishes, goodies etc...you're all awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PMCFARM 1/12/2011 5:40PM

  emoticon

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ONESPOTLEFT 1/12/2011 6:44AM

    You are doing a marvelous job and I hope you are feeling better quick as a wink



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NEELOJ 1/10/2011 9:01PM

    You are doing great!! It gets hard but just keep at it.
I hope you will be feeling better soon so you can enjoy the weight loss!!
Love your lamp!!

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CELLOPLAYER1 1/10/2011 8:48PM

    emoticon

Congrats on the weight loss and hitting 90 lbs.

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MOM2ACAT 1/10/2011 3:23PM

    I have sciatica too, so I know how painful it is; hope you are feeling better soon!
Way to go on the pounds lost! Enjoy your reward!

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LOOZINITNOW 1/10/2011 8:01AM

    emoticon on the loss and enjoy treating yourself to a reward!

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SUZIEQS65 1/10/2011 6:53AM

    Way to go! You should be very proud of yourself - despite your injuries making a 2lb loss is great!

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