It seems that Spring has passed this place by.
Posts were almost written (as I gazed politely at the blank bit of wall above the heads of those sitting across from me on the daily commute) but the moment passed before any were committed to the page. Days passed, weeks passed, the wind howled across the barren terrain, and dry bones rattled….
Then: a week of glorious sun – and the first tomato fruits and chillis (seems really early, anyone else got any?) have finally prompted a quick Spring recap. In between the commuting there’s been some sowing and growing, bracketed by a few out-of-town escapes going back to my roots.
Lambs are obviously crucial for Spring.
The greedy gal above is one of four sock lambs (lambs that need bottle-feeding) that my parents have taken on. My first visit back to the ranch coincided with the time they still needed feeding four times a day. I dodged the 6am feed but loved the others – I’m fascinated by the stillness of the end latched on to the bottle with focused intent, whilst the other, tailed, end wriggles for all it’s worth. A nice feeling of natural cycles too – my father will retire from his desk-bound job soon and the lambs are part of the plan – just as when I was growing up my grandfather kept Welsh Mountain sheep in his retirement.
Welsh Mountains are beautiful hardy black sheep, with the wriggliest most engaging lambs I’ve ever seen. And good eating too, though I was blissfully unaware of this part of the equation for more years than I should admit to. It took me until a few years after the sheepskin rug arrived to finally twig… which is pretty dim (deliberately oblivious?) for a country-bred girl.
Now I’m very aware these girls will be on the plate soon enough – and I hope I’ll tuck in consciously.
The little one in the picture looks particularly challenging for me to chew on – especially as the face she’s pulling is one I’m often caught with when concentrating. Or at least when I’m concentrating, but not concentrating on not making the face that I get teased for making when I’m concentrating…
But four weeks later, they’re a sturdy bunch, and I’m starting to ready the thyme sprigs and roast garlic. Since starting to write this I’ve also (virtually) visited Otter Farm where Mark has posted about devouring his adorable pigs. As a once-vegetarian, now occasional meat-eater, I refer you there for a “I eat meat now, but not all meat” rationale I feel pretty okay with.
While two months have slid past in my life, a great tit has made its nest…worked tirelessly to feed its chicks…then one dawn “like that...(puff)…he was gone.”
Half a lifetime gone in a couple of visits to my own home-nest.
Meanwhile, my own garden is in pretty good nick: blooming, shooting, sprouting, blossoming and swelling with abandon. I’ll tell myself, and the next person who finds him or herself here after searching for “mouse squashed in hole” (how many of you are there out there?) about it soon.