Monday, 27 January 2014

Sunny snowdrops

This morning there was a treat - sun! Something we haven't seen nearly enough of. There's been the odd couple of hours but then the grey skies have crept back and the rain has returned. Yesterday evening it bucketed down again for the umpteenth time. In fact, everything is so water-logged that the extra little streams and rivulets running off the fields have become semi-established.
View looking north


Our "ponds" haven't really gone away either. Sometimes they shrink a bit, at others they expand. Going out to the woodshed remains a squelchy affair. Doing any kind of work outside is on hold until things dry out at least a little. You can see in the photos that there are glints of the water in the grass. Here and there it is deep enough to reflect the sky. At the moment the "ponds" have shrunk a little, but much of the grass remains up to its tips in water.
Another view looking north over soggy grass
However, the snowdrops are out, the first little sign of Spring! Last year we took some photos of them on the 31st of January, so no difference there.
Snowdrops 2014
What is different this year is that we've had no snow or proper cold snap -- so far! We know February can still spring a nasty surprise, but by this time last year we'd had snowfall and frosts.
January 20th 2013
In fact, it has been so mild, albeit soggy, this winter that one of our window boxes from last summer is still going. The geraniums [or pelargoniums -- never know which is correct] have hung on and, although definitely somewhat moth-eaten around the edges, are still flowering away! To be fair the boxes are pushed up against a south-facing wall, which has helped.
27th January 2014
Here's hoping we don't have such a protracted wet chilly Spring as we did last year. We looked at the records and last year we were still lighting the wood burner long after we expected to. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the sunshine today. Sadly, we suspect the regular diet of grey and rain will be resumed tomorrow.

25 comments:

the fly in the web said...

When I was first in France Januaries were usually mild...followed by a cold snap in February.....but there was never so much rain as you have been having.
I used to look forward to the snowdrops too...

As to flowering plants, there was a corner house in the next village which always had a display of pelargoniums in all sorts of weathers - and then I passed by one day and found the answer to the mystery.
The owner covered them with fleece and then shut the shutters over them for the night...

rusty duck said...

The snowdrops are a lovely sight, but the weather here is dire too. It is far too wet to step out in the garden. And now they say it is going to get colder so I suppose the whole blooming lot will freeze solid.

GaynorB said...

Great to see the signs of spring. Fingers crossed for more...

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Our garden is a swamp!! Never the less I see we have some snow drop buds! Have a good day Diane

Pollygarter said...

I haven't glooped over to the spot where our snowdrops are yet... at least the cyclamen patch is looking good with lots of lovely leaves.

Aussie in France said...

So sorry we're missing them this year but we'll catch the daffodils instead when we go back to Blois mid-February to end of March.

wcs said...

It sure is a drag. I'd actually like a brief cold snap and maybe some snow as a change from this squishy muddy mess.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - well ours certainly aren't that pampered but what a good idea!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Rusty Duck - and as it has been so mild the wretched grass is growing!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - some of our early narcissus are in bud.... but they like the snowdrops can easily handle a cold snap if we get one.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - swamp is the right word for it!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Pauline - Our cyclamen are the same: nice carpet of healthy leaves -- the snowdrops poke up between them.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Aussie in France - Love it when the daffodils come out and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we don't get another chilly spring like last year. It never seemed to warm up!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Walt - absolutely!! I would rather have snow for a while. The light's brighter and it would put a temporary halt to the 'soup'.
Poor Callie must almost be wishing for webbed feet on her walks!

Vera said...

I found some wild flowers blooming yesterday, which quite lifted me up! But it does look like we are in for a similar pattern of weather to that which we had last year, so we are bracing ourselves for a series of flooding. Last serious flooding in our area was apparently in 1952, so I suppose we were overdue for another heavy dose of water on our land!

Jean said...

Same here!
Derbyshire is awash like everywhere else and so far we have only had one light sprinkling of snow and a couple of frosts.
I'm starting to think that a couple of inches of snow would be a welcome light relief and at least seem more like winter!

Tim said...

Sorry, we probably won't get a real cold snap...
and it is my fault!
I managed to get the whole of the potato bed dug so that the freeze could do the soil break up for me...
Sod's Law dictates, therefore, that this will not happen!!

Love the Snowdrop piccy...
but, are you sure that they aren't just coming up for air!?

Leon Sims said...

Your rain would have been very welcome here in Victoria as bushfires ravaged much wooded areas.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Vera - walking on our land is like walking on a very soggy sponge. The minute you put your foot down water oozes and you can feel the jelly-like quiver.

Hope you house stays safe and dry.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - personally I'd love some snow!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - we'll blame it on you then!
As for the snowdrops - more than likely.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Leon - If only it were possible to send all this excess water we have over to you.

Mary and Bill said...

We could use some of your rain. Our usual winter rains have not happened this year in Arizona.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Mary & Bill - welcome! :-)
It seems everywhere is out of balance. You'd be so welcome to some of our excess water, believe me!

Perpetua said...

Aren't these rare glimpses of sun and blue sky precious? We had one yesterday, but it's back to the same old wind and pouring rain today. :-( Your winter and ours are very similar, even to the mildness. I was reading recently that the water table is now so high in some parts of the UK that wells are overflowing!