Hello, thank you for dropping in, especially if you have come here via Amy at Love Made My Home. It's been cold here this week, less than 10 degrees Celsius, and very wet, but it got a bit warmer yesterday, thank goodness. On the other hand, I was chatting to a farming friend yesterday and she said,
"A cold wet May makes a full bay."
I had never heard that expression before so I asked her what it meant. She told me that it means that if the weather in May is cold and wet, the grass will grow well and there will be a good hay harvest, enough to fill all the bays in the Dutch barn and so feed the animals through the winter. Thank you, Mary.
To be quite honest, I didn't expect to be blogging today, but I have had one of those days which takes you by surprise. I had promised to visit a rather lonely friend who lives over three miles away and as the bus service is expensive and infrequent, I have no choice but to cycle there. Now, as I have said before, three miles may not sound much but it's not flat around here and I, er, do not have a cyclist's physique. Frankly, it's a bit of a slog.
However, I really enjoyed the ride there (and I must be getting fitter because I get there a little quicker each time I go). The weather was just right for cycling - dry, overcast and mild - and the views are always lovely, even though the cycle path is by a busy road. Busy, that is, by Shropshire standards! Today it was the flowers which struck me. To me, May in the countryside is defined by three flowers: bluebells, cow parsley and hawthorn blossom. Here are the bluebells -
Now, I know that Blogland is awash with pictures of English bluebells at the moment and this one isn't brilliant, but it records what I saw today. I didn't actually go into the woods, I just parked my bike by the stone wall, leant over it and snapped what I could see, a lovely mist of blue drifting away in front of me. Next, the cow parsley -
Also called Queen Anne's Lace, this is one of the first wild flowers whose name I learnt. It is all along the verges and the hedgerows at the moment, romantic, frothy and delicate in its abundance. I love it. (Oh yeah, and I am on the cycle path and on the left you can see the aforementioned busy road. It did say that it's busy by Shropshire standards.) And here is the hawthorn -
There is lots of this in the hedges and they look absolutely glorious in full bloom. This is why the tree's other name is May!
But there were plenty of other flowers to be seen in the verges: red clover, plantain, buttercup, speedwell, common vetch. The closer I looked, the more I saw. Nature's jewels. I wish this were Six or Seven or Eight on Friday but it's not, it's Five, so I can't show you all of them. So I'll show you only this, the white deadnettle -
Don't worry, it doesn't sting. Do you know the Enid Blyton story called "A Fairy Secret"? The story explains that fairies keep their golden dancing slippers inside the flowers of this plant - if you lift up the top "lip" you can see them. It's true, give it a try next time you find a clump.
And finally, this last is not a flower, but a bird -
I think it's a kestrel and I was dead chuffed to capture it with my little point-and-click camera as it hovered over the field. Get me!
So there you are, five photos this Friday taken on a journey which turned out to be unexpectedly enjoyable. If you have time, you could hop over to Amy's blog and see who else is joining in today.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x