Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hail to thee, blithe spirit!

The last few days have seemed almost as though winter was thinking of turning into spring.  There are daffodils in bloom, although there are still plenty yet to come, and with a fair amount of sun our crocuses - of which we have thousands in both back and front gardens - actually came fully into flower.  The flowers had been standing there looking very disconsolate and refusing to open up under the seemingly permanent gloom and cloud cover.  I have even started to clear the vegetable patch of weeds but I do find these days that after 20 or 30 minutes of digging, my back starts to remind me not to be over-ambitious so my horticultural efforts have to be reined in.  Still, it's a start - and maybe I have already cleared enough to grow a few peas.

The woodland paths in our local park have for weeks now been slippery and, at times, inches deep in mud but they had started to dry out.  Note that I wrote "had"; we probably didn't have more than a shower or two during the night, but those paths are slippery again this morning.  I have found that the fields up by the Chattri, and 39 Acres as well, have dried out nicely so yesterday I decided on a change of route.  I drove out to the back of Falmer to take the footpath up towards Plumpton Plain and Lewes - one of my favourite walks.  Unfortunately, that path was still extremely muddy in several places, not helped by the farmer driving his tractor over it as he flailed the hedgerows.  What did surprise me was that the field on practically the top of the hill was almost like a bog.  Given the height of the land comparative to its surroundings and the fact that the bedrock is permeable chalk with not a lot of soil on top, I did find this surprising.

What I found especially delightful was the sight and sound of a skylark, the first I have heard singing this year.

This is the view of St Mary's Farm from the approach to Balmer Down.


Jenny Woolf said...

Ah beautiful! And the light looks soft and lovely too. You are in a wonderful part of the country. I envy your crocus display. We just don't have the space to have a huge display of anything here.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Jenny, I do appreciate how lucky I am to live where I do, within striking distance of a vibrant city centre, the sea and the wonderful South Downs!