Thursday, 27 May 2010

Out and About (or Sheep with a Helmet)

Yesterday we had several hours of steady rain, the first in weeks, which is definitely good for the garden, but means I didn't get out to do any work; no doubt everything is growing fast now. So here are some local scenes instead. The cattle are back in the lower field by the river - they're young animals, so were quite curious as we passed by.
I've never noticed this big patch of wild garlic before, but it must have been there a long time and I just missed it. The wild garlic is flowering in the woodland right now.
The fields being left for hay are also ablaze with buttercups, cuckoo flowers (see previous post) and occasional other gems too.
And the hawthorn is starting to bloom, patchily for now - we can expect 3-4 weeks of flowers as the hawthorns take their turn. The trees generally are at their best now, with their new leaves in different shades of green. That is always hard to catch on a photo, but the trees behind this hawthorn are showing it well.
Hawthorn is so common, many people don't notice that the flowers are actually very beautiful, with pink anthers inside a white flower. The blossom is late this year, by about 2 weeks due to the cold spring.
By now you're probably wondering why the alternative title for this post is "sheep with a helmet". Here's why. I noticed this little chap from a distance, thought his face and head were unusually dark for this breed of sheep so had a closer look. Then I realised his head was a funny shape - if you look closely you'll see. So have you realised what that is? Yes, he was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time when his mother felt the call of nature, and crapped right on his head. She seemed completely unconcerned at this turn of events, and he was unphased too. I thought it would drop off as it dried, or he would rub it off on the wall or a fence post, but I passed him again yesterday and he was happily grazing with his dung helmet still fully attached. I've never seen anything quite like it!
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