All posts by Stephen Cullen

This Blog is a record of my love of the countryside, all things in it, especially old tractors, growing good food, drinking good tea and taking time out to enjoy life.

Spring Equinox

It is the spring equinox today; and although I have heard the blackbirds sing for a short time, it is the first time this year that I have seen them take up the highest part of the land, (tv aerial) and begin their song in earnest.

It is probably in rejoice that the snow has finally departed, and the first really warm day of the year has warmed their feathers.

An Odd End To The Fishing Season

It was an odd end to the fishing season this year. With the river high and coloured I ended up at a pond. Which at this time of year is not on my agenda, but it still meant that I was fishing.

Very lucky with the weather too. Rain was forecast, and although I did get light showers, the worst held off until the evening where upon it came down in rods.

Now the season is over I can look forward to spring and planting up of the allotment. Oh, and of course, the beginning of a fresh new fishing season in June.

And So It Continues

This batch of snow has meant that we could not get the car out of our street, and the first year in many when I didn’t own a 4×4. Subsequently, I have not managed to get to the allotment for some time now. Concerned with the amount of snowfall, I was conscious that the greenhouse roof might not be able to withstand all that snow, and collapse under the weight.

There was only one option – walk! It is a fifteen minute drive to my allotment, so I had quite a walk ahead of me in some really quite bad weather. Naturally, I took a flask of tea that would be me reward once I arrived. The snow was quite deep in a number of places and was almost as deep as the height of my flask; and far deeper than that where the snow had drifted.

I need not have worried,  when I arrived at the allotment I found that the wind had probably kept most of the greenhouse roof clear. There was very little weight on it, I was very relieved,. A couple of sweeps from a broom took off most of the ice and snow. Although the thermometer in the greenhouse stood just above freezing, it seemed really warm inside. So much so that I had to take my jacket off while enjoying my reward of hot tea ahead of my long walk back home.

The Beast From The East

It never ceases to amaze that the first flake of snow arriving in London, spark off an apocalyptic panic and the UK transport network comes to a halt.

What does not come to a halt however, is the wildlife at this time of year. The extra cold has brought on extra feeding of the garden birds.

I have not seen a Chaffinch for years, and here are a male and a female sharing a horde of sunflower seeds.

It has been cold, and the weather out at sea so bad that we have also had seagulls in the garden.

Good to see the Blackbirds. I look forward to the next few weeks when the weather may start to warm up slightly and the Blackbirds begin their spring song.

A Cold Snap On It’s Way

It recently dawned on me that it was August 2017 the last time I managed to go fishing, what with work commitments and one thing and another.

Setting my sites on a trip before the final day of the course fishing season, I was to be disappointed  that the Wessex river I so much like to fish was in flood. Second to this, I was unable to secure accommodation for the couple of days as the kids were on their term holidays and everywhere was booked up.

Keeping an eye on the weather forecast and keeping in contact with the river bailiff, I was pleased to see that their was to be a rise in temperature and that the river had fallen and was just about fishable.

Accommodation booked, I was on my way.

A great couple of days were spent with mixed results but managing to catch some lovely Dace and some great Roach, the final cast on my last day producing a Roach of 1lb 9oz, not a monster these days but certainly the biggest Roach I have ever caught.

On top of this great trip, I managed to christen a new float and three new reels.

One Hungry Corvid

With another downfall of snow, a bemused blue tit looks down in wonder as to what has happened with the cage feeder? It does not take long before the culprit re-emerges. A hungry corvid dangles precariously from the feeder. I would have thought that this bird would be happier feeding on the ground? There was plenty of spilt seeds on the lawn, but this one was adamant it wanted what was in that cage.

I recently managed to buy an old wire window box which I painted up and installed a few lavender plants that will look nice in the coming summer.

The snow did not last long today and melted as quickly as it arrived. We are still in for a very cold week. The birds will be thankful of anything extra us ‘gardeners’ put out for them.