The MacMoos have multiplied. They seem to have taken over the town. At the moment we have three in the Cutlins meadow near our house. But yesterday when we walked over to the petrol station supermarket at the other end of Wenlock, we found the field opposite was brimming with them. Must remember to take my camera the next time I go shopping. I’m not sure why they are so smile-inducing, only that they are. Such placid, shaggy souls.
When we walked into town yesterday down the Cutlins path we pleased to see members of the McMoo clan back in the meadow. And a little family group by the looks of it – daddy, mummy and junior McMoo.
And the parents all but canoodling while offspring was exploring the peripheries of the town’s electricity substation.
On the return trip, shopping accomplished, we found the local jackdaws had discovered the McMoos too. They were busy plucking the bull’s winter coat for a spot of nest building material.
It’s been Michaelmas madness over in the guerrilla garden. November today and these stalwart daisies are still going strong, the late flowering white ones being especially vigorous. I rather hated them when they were inside the garden. They wanted to take over, and when they weren’t doing that, they flopped everywhere. But now set free along the field boundary, they have come into their own: pale drifts that seem faintly luminous in the autumn light.
There have been all sorts of other unlikely hangers on. Cosmos for one. And then a couple of weeks ago the shrubby convolvulus sprouted a host of buds, and now they’re popping open, each day several new silvery white flowers with pale pink stripes. They’ve not been put off by days of downpours, gusty winds or early morning frost. The perennial sunflower Helianthus Silver Queen, with her tall sprays of lemony flowers, has been putting on a show too. She seems to think October is her month to bloom.
Out around the town the lime trees are turning to gold and beginning to shed their leaves. England tends not to go in for spectacular vistas of autumn colour – more a case of subtle fading through many shades of rust and amber. But this year the Coxes apple tree in the garden made some very red apples – good enough for wicked queens to entrap the likes of Snow White. They weren’t many though and now they’ve mostly been eaten in a Tarte Tatin.
It doesn’t take much to keep us Farrells amused, or should that be amoosed. Anyway, since the highland cattle took up residence in the Cutlins meadow, it has added a whole new dimension to popping to the High Street for some milk. I can report that Mammy and infant MacMoo who featured in earlier posts, have been moved to pastures new, and now we have only four junior MacMoos with whom to pass the time of day. But they are pretty obliging when it comes to a photo shoot, although all in all, they would much rather eat hay. Just like us, then, it seems they are easily pleased.
For the month of March Becky asks us to show her spiky, however we find it. The only rule: the photo must be square. To join in, follow the link:
The last day of February, and we had been promised a change in the weather, an elemental side-swipe from the Atlantic bringing an end to our surprise spring fling and our ‘nearly 10 degrees warmer than usual’. So I thought I’d better get this written yesterday as a small celebration of a final perfect day (cue Lou Reed). At lunchtime the errand of posting a letter turned into a full-scale ramble around the town. It had to be done. The sun was hot, the air still, and the lane to Downs Mill beckoned. But first there were the highland cattle to commune with, and bees and tortoiseshell butterflies in the Cutlins cherry blossom, and on the lane past the priory ruins there were sunny banks of violets and celandines, while in the parkland fields on either hand, sheep-mothers-to-be were quietly grazing, waiting for lambs to happen.
Here, then, are some scenes from my perfect Much Wenlock day. Thank you, beneficent nature entities, and especially for all those happy humming bees in the cherry tree.
And now for the ‘aaah’ moment:
P.S. The weather people were right. We woke to rain on the skylight and grey skies and February more as we know it.
One of the very best things about living in a rural town like Much Wenlock is that you can be setting off for the shops to buy ordinary stuff like a local newspaper or half a dozen eggs, and come upon small happenings of one sort or another. So here we are. As we slipped and slid down the muddy path that brings you first to the Priory ruins, and thence to the town centre, we met up with a new batch of Highland Cattle recently ensconced in the Cutlins meadow. Teenage moos, I should think. Not fully grown anyway. They were certainly most curious, and so posed nicely to have their photos taken. Or at least two of them did. The third was too busy eating breakfast.
Yum! Lovely crunchy hay. So important to keep well stoked up in this cold snap.
Six Word Saturday Pop over to Debbie’s at Travel With Intent for some truly striking photos.
To my eye these Highland Cattle definitely have a frayed look. Their shaggy coats are of course designed to fend off the bitter rain-filled gales of their West of Scotland homeland. They are also one of Britain’s oldest breeds, and all-round tough guys. They are long-lived; they thrive on the poorest grazing, and cows produce up to 15 calves in their lifetime. This sturdy durability also explains why the breed has been exported world-wide – even to the barren uplands of the Andes. This bunch, however, is having a very cushy life in Much Wenlock, both weather- and food-wise. It’s nice to come upon them on our walks around the town’s surrounding fields. You never know where they will be next, which is a cause of much a-moos-ement on the part of the Team Leader aka Graham, who has formed a deep affection for the great, hairy beasties. (We simple souls are easily pleased out here in the shires.)
For more info: The Highland Cattle Society