Wednesday, 25 April 2012

It is Hey Ho The Wind and The Rain. And the rain it raineth every day

No real storms her as yet, though there are floods further west.

Blow winds and crack your cheeks
It isn't quite as bad as this looks yet, but the rain it doth indeed rain every day now.

Water running from a puddle on the road down onto our path

Climate change means increasing wild fluctuations in the weather world wide. In America there are far more twisters. No sooner has there been a drought declared in England than the heavens open and flash floods begin.

The last big drought year was 1976. It was brilliantly hot and sunny for my first wedding day. We bathed in the Cam afterwards. The day afterwards there was torrential rain. We escaped to France on honeymoon.

Today has been maybe the worst day of rain yet, with only a few moments of sunshine, long bursts of continuous rain and  a gentle drizzle almost all the time. It is much warmer however. There are no more hailstones.

Hail has been so frequent it has been difficult to tell what was ice droplets on the ground or fallen white petals from the black thorn bushes. No sign of May blossom though.

I like to be in the valley whatever the weather.

When it is wet the ducks come skimming across the surface of the grass only a few feet away.

I was just thinking I had not seen a heron for a while when one lifted out of the river just round the bend.

My camera was tucked away out of the rain, sadly.

Sophie and I disturbed a buzzard giving out a loud alarm call as it sped out of the wood low down. My camera shows no sign of it. Ah well. Shooting from the hip is usually no good.

I shot a skylark, singing to heaven above a large wheat field that runs down into the valley from East End.
I have seen or heard one a few times, but not often.

I have seen so many new things in this April Shower season. There are the first ducklings hiding under the overhanging tree roots on the river banks.

There are swans perched on nests.

I have heard but not seen the cuckoo three times in the last ten days.
They have become very rare, or so I am told.

Another bird that used to be very common, but which I saw for the first time in years this week, is the song thrush. Such a delight to see one on the edge of East End.

This tiny village is like a fossil from another age. It has small orchards with just a few trees, big gardens behind the houses, and beautifully kept front gardens facing the roads. In some places the road is just an unmade trackway, full of ruts and lumps of stone. It has one main street which passes from Stonesfield to the Witney road. But there is a warren of little streets at the back.

Brave picnickers.

This family came out after it had rained all day, diving that the evening would be dry. They cooked and ate by their open fire. They did take their rubbish home but they left broken bottles at the base of their fire. Will they return and take them away? Someone took one bag of rubbish away, the other day. I took another.

The Blackberry can create some wonderful water colour effects. I love this one of the meadow oak.

Dead magpie

Sophie and I keep finding dead animals. She was playing with a rabbits head two days ago. Today she found another dead cock pheasant. This magpie was found right on the path.

Buzzard shot from above

Heron making for the dead ash on the hillside

Rain threatens this farm over towards Charlbury

An unusual view right across the valley with a long lens from East End to Coombe

Garlic flowers

Wrapped around with barbed wire, morons leave their rubbish hanging on a post.
I took this one away

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