Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

A quiet week, this morning's walk was slightly drizzly but sunny at the same time.  Yes it has been dry for a long time, the ground is rock hard and the river low, so rain would be welcome.  Fairly early, the tractor was just leaving the farm yard to plough the field, frightening the hare who stood in solitary splendour hardly visible against the reddish-brown earth.  The tractor made a straight line to the buzzard tree, and the buzzard watched its movement almost up to the tree and then flew away in long sweeping curves.  Lucy was also fascinated by the tractor and got left behind as she gazed with curiosity at this interloper into her world.  Rabbits galore bounded away from us. The  blossom of the wild cherry trees beside the road is out, small rather tasteless fruit later on.  Nelson's hens have been laying their eggs in the hedgerow, and he has acquired some goats, three kids and two nanny goats.
Everything bursts forth with a rampant eye for domination, there is blue in the painting as well, forget-me-nots, the small bugle and an escapee, grape hyancinth wanders illicitly along a bank.  Across on the other side the leaves of meadowsweet thrust through. Underfoot on the wide grassy swathes ground elder  and the great dock leaves, nettles, all 'thug' wild plants make their presence known.  A curse on the free use of nitrogen on our fields!
So to one plant whose name is intriguing.  Now is the time for dog mercury, (mercury perennis) a small unassuming plant that grows where old woodland was once, Grigson describes it as 'so country people called this gloomy crop-plant of damp woods and leaf moulds and dead twigs after boggarts and snakes'
Anything having the term 'dog' applied always means it is inferior or bad and so it is with this woodland plant.  'It is an emetic, and dangerously purgative, causing irritant and narcotic symptons'
So this boggart-flower, dog flower, snake's food, may have come from a German translation, all to do with Good King Henry, the plant of course, which Grigson goes on to elaborate.
And before I forget, which I did, the barn owl has been missing from Bridge Farm for a fortnight, but I did see one hunting by Salton lane a couple of days ago.  Also, spied two swallows in the sky diving over the fields, though not nesting yet at the church.

Albrecht Durer - Young Hare


And a Happy Easter to everyone, do not eat too much chocolate and definitely stay away from Dog Mercury if you do...


10 comments:

  1. You painted a lovely picture with your words. Happy Easter to you and yours.

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    1. Thank you, and a Happy Easter to you and yours. Spring unfolds with such rapidity that it is almost too quick to catch.

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  2. Thank you for that Durer hare - as you know, my favourite animal. I took Tess down the lane for a walk this afternoon and a hare loped in front of us for quite a long time before spotting us and darting off into a field. Beautiful. Lucky you seeing a swallow - none in our barn yet. How the farmer used to watch keenly for the first one.

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    1. Yes indeed I know you love them. Sad memories will always be interlaced with the happenings of the world around you Pat but you are doing splendidly. X

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  3. A delightful morning wander with the listing of all that is in bloom. Springtime is a recurring marvel.

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    1. Loved your posts of late Sharon, another different view of life, yet the flowers are similar, think we share the same latitude which perhaps would explain it.

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  4. What a beautiful, descriptive post. I felt like I was reading a famous novel. : ) Happy Easter to you and family. I hope you have a wonderful day. xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for that Wendy, and a Happy New Easter to you and your family, your little girl is absolutely gorgeous. And I am very envious of your photography skills.

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  5. I hope you have a very enjoyable Easter. We are "working"!, although I am looking on Monday as a day out as we are off on a buying spree to Malvern Fleamarket. If you are awake at 3.30 a.m., think of us, just getting up!!

    I loved your post, and whilst I know of Dog's Mercury as an old woodland relic, I didn't know why it had the prefix "Dog".

    I saw one Swallow when we were coming home from Hay on Friday, but our stable Swallows are still on the way (hopefully).

    I am taking such delight from the first Bluebells, and from the stippling of lightest limegreen along the undercanopy of woodland and vergeside trees. Such a little thing to bring such pleasure.

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  6. Hi Jennie, think you enjoy your 'work' but 3.30 is too early for me. Happy Easter to you and your family. We had a beautiful bluebell wood in Essex nearby, but haven't found one here yet.

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