Sunday, 20 November 2011

Spring into Autumn

I've found myself looking back through past postings with regard to the weather. I had looked back in last years diary to see what I had written for the month of November, most of my inserts in the diary concern where I have been working, the hours put in etc but occasionally when the weather upsets me it gets noted. For November 2010 I have found entries which read "piss wet", "wild showers, very cold.", "atrocious day & and full of cold" (obviously feeling under the weather!), "crap day" and three entries which say "shit day".......Oh dear, November 2010 must have been a bit rough http://blog.tarset.co.uk/2010/11/optimism-waning-or-should-that-be.html This past posting probably says as much.

This year has been the absolute opposite, unbelievably so infact. Mild to the point of almost spring like, almost surreal but a pleasure none the less. I cannot recall when I last got wet, my diary tells me it was on the 18th October "piss wet" was the 17th "very windy, very cold, heavy showers" was the 18th - I recall now, that was the day I met my 'new' car and yup! it got quite wet in the afternoon. Was that really the last time I got a soaking? We have had some rain during the evening/nights but my memory fails me when I try to recall a wet day recently.

The following is a photographic journal of the past few days
 
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Gathering on Wednesday morning, probably the last ewes to be tailed ('bikini' lines trimmed to keep the tups happy) this year.
 
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Hard to believe we've had little rain when you see the clart (mud) in the sheep pens, for all the drier mild spell we've been experiencing the ground is saturated, well and truly squidgy everywhere and sheep pens which aren't concreted are a right slutter.
 
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Thursday saw dogs and I trying to hunt down some stray sheep, from right to left we have Glen, Moss and Kale looking like they feel a tad hot, all dogs are casting (moulting) their coats at the moment, the two which live outdoors in kennels are loosing their dense undercoats which I hope will grow in in time for winter.
 
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Gorse in flower on Friday
 
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and another flower in flower (I need to get a copy of the Tarset Flower book then I might be able to work out what flower this is) Added on 22/11 Thanks to Dafad I have received the following reply regarding the above flower "Shep's mystery plant is Stellaria palustris, The Marsh Stitchwort. It does not always have red anthers as there are many mutations. It should not normally flower now. It is on the rare side. It could be sub.species fennica but without the plant could not tell. It is a lovely perrenial and Shep should find it in the same place next year". Great help - thank you Dafads Dad.
 
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A heron, waiting patiently for fish to swim up or return back down to the sea.
 
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A dead sheep - not what you were expecting at all! Where there's live ones there's dead ones, just the same as people y'know. I was away assisting the shepherd from out bye to innoculate his hoggs which were away on winter keep. 406 went over there, there'll be at least one less coming back in the spring. Do you see what I see? Do you need a closer look?
 
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MAGGOTS! Could you believe it?
 
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And more being lain - good grief!
 
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More creepy crawly company in the sheep pens - a ladybird. What ever next?
 
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Gathering on Saturday, ready for putting tups out.
 
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The view on the way home on Saturday afternoon.
 
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Sunrise on Sunday (today), taken at 8.15am whilst gathering. How is it the saying goes? "Red sky in the morning - shepherds warning" Will the weather break? Of course it will, don't know when although rain is forecast for the coming week but hey! enjoy it whilst it lasts, the winter is shortening so to speak. Lets hope it doesn't do what it did last year. 24th November 2010 the diary read "snowy", the 25th said "snowed all day" by the 27th November my car couldn't travel in the snow and the diary entries became almost unrepeatable as time went on...

6 comments:

Dafad said...

Hi Shep,
I read this with interest last night, it got me trying to remember last November and I recalled early snow. It was confirmed by a farmer friend today (the one with the punk-pink lowlanders, now gone to market).
Yes we had snow this time last year too, which went on for months. My car didn't move from outside the door during much of December.
Here also, so many flowers blooming out of season, like primroses...??
I think your white flower may be either Greater or Marsh Stitchwort.
Unexpected rain this morning,
Mud splattered bog-trotter >:-(

Dafad said...

Just to confirm, I asked Dad who's a botanist to check out the flower.
It's Marsh Stitchwort.
Latin name, Stellaria palustris.
So there you go,now ye know.

Dafad said...

The botanist emailed me ...
"Shep's mystery plant is Stellaria palustris, The Marsh Stitchwort. It does not always have red anthers as there are many mutations. It should not normally flower now. It is on the rare side. It could be sub.species fennica but without the plant could not tell. It is a lovely perrenial and Shep should find it in the same place next year".
Dad.

Tarset Shepherd said...

Dafad! Thank you so much and your Dad of course, fascinating facts and to think them there flowers don't all have red anthers, guess I was lucky to find a really pretty one, and they're NOT meant to flower at this time of year...... By, it is strange, but a very interesting season. Have to say, haven't seen primroses yet but if I ever get the time I'm going to go where they flower in the spring and have a look. I see dunlop wellies are the chosen footware in Wales as well as Northumberland, a common denominator! Thanks again. Shep

George said...

Grand Picture of the Dogs

Tarset Shepherd said...

Thank you for that George, they can be photogenic at times.