Monday, February 25, 2013

In all of this.

First light. The old farmer pushes a wobbly wheelbarrow across the lane . For some reason all transactions with the old farmer are conducted at first light.  He's brought with him another 20 kilos of sunflower seeds . Food for the birds that throng the garden . At the rate we're going through it this will last less than a week .  '' Ca va M'Ongoose ? Anything else you need ? Just let me know ". He disappears, whistling, with his ten Euros.  Later this morning he'll drop off a bale of hay at the bottom of the cows field. Out of sight of the road and prying eyes.

Despite, or perhaps because of , the snow the garden is alive with squabbling blackcaps, twites, chiffchaffs and bullfinches. The proprietorial robin , chest puffed out, on the wellhead ; the inquisitive sparrow family foraging in the rose border.  A huge Green Woodpecker dangles uncertainly from the bird feeder by the kitchen window. This is the first of these I've seen. It's size takes me by surprise. More like an exotic pigeon than the dainty black, white and red woodpeckers we usually see. The smaller birds line the branches waiting more or less patiently for this oversized visitor to go. There is something unspeakably joyous in all of this.


  1. Wow, the transformative effects of snow never fail to thrill.

    So the birds too have heard about the excellent food to be had at a certain rickety old farmhouse.

  2. I'm sure the cows thank you. The birds too. And me for a blog that I enjoy.

  3. Your photos are lovely, Angus, in particular the one of your home. I find bird watching while it's snowing rather comforting as is knowing the cows have a meal.

    Enjoy your day!

  4. Gorgeous photos!! I never noticed a palm tree before - I didn't think one would grow where it snows.

  5. Oh I love the old farmer and you Angus and the Font.....thank goodness for your kind hearts and blessed spirit. The cows will be okay and I can shed a tear of happiness. Bless you Angus.
    Seems as if the birds know where the PARTY!! is at in deepest France profonde. I feed the birds here too, and I think Brownie deliberately leaves a few grains of his food back just for them too.

  6. Beautiful view of the farmhouse through the snowy filigree. The white stuff arrived right on cue. I was beginning to get far too jealous of your spring weather. Your garden resembles ours now.

  7. Late snowfalls always seem to bring a lot of birds out of the woodwork, so to speak!

    I'm glad the cows will eat well today! :)

  8. A yard full of wild birds is heaven. Amazing snow photos, especially the palm tree. Gonna google that green woodpecker!

  9. oh! bless that dear old farmer!
    beautiful pictures. I can literally feel the fresh cold quiet air.
    I truly wish I were not so sensitive to animals. it does my hypertension no good.
    I know they are suffering all over this world. it still always upsets me so.
    thank you for letting us know they're at least being helped now. I remember you helping them before.
    hugs dear lad,
    tammy j

  10. Pictures of the birds and birdfeeder please! Carrie

  11. yesterday we traveled over a high country road...early....we saw a flock of about thirty lapwings flying together..en masse....the ground frosty and bare..the most magical sight ..we stopped and watched their graceful flight spellbound...your word joyous...correct for yours and my birds..xx Kay

  12. We don't know who you are or what wonderful things you have accomplished , but we are very proud to know you for your kind hearts and the concern you have always shown for less fortunate animals and humans. God bless you.
    Have you, indeed, checked to see if the old farmer held up his part of the bargain?
    Might have gotten cold feet at the end, you know.

    Your house looks absolutely magical blanketed in snow. One of your loveliest photo's ever ( the Boyz not included).

  13. The birds are all happy, happy, they have food and are rejoicing in the "first snow". Glad to hear that the cows are getting some grub. I'd be happy to chip in for a few more bales of hay....without prying eyes of course!