Friday, December 6, 2013

Dark and Raining, Raining and Dark

Rain began sometime during Wednesday night. I could hear it being blown against the house--then silence, then more rain.
There was a let-up mid-morning when I pulled on my stout boots [Thank You J. for some pricey and substantial  foot gear!] and a rain coat. Days of being mostly inside while we endured coughs and colds had me longing to stretch my legs and spend time outdoors.

I was saddened to read via Dartford Warbler's blog, of the New Forest ponies who have recently died due to over indulgence in acorns.
Needing a destination for my walk, I decided to trudge up the road to observe this year's crop of acorns from the oaks that grow between the roadway and the creek bank.
I don't know what would be considered a bumper crop, but there were heaps of brown nuts, many crushed by passing cars.

I walked along to where a hay field opens up and the creek takes a deep bend away from the road.
At the far edge of the meadow, close again to the creek bank, I was surprised to find several clumps of yucca.

It is nearly impossible to take a picture of the creek that doesn't include trash.
You can see white plastic carrier bags caught on twigs.
All along our road is a constantly renewed litter of aluminum drink cans, styrofoam cups bearing the logos of several fast food 'joints' in town; chip bags, candy wrappers, flimsy cardboard boxes which have held McDonalds' meals, all hurled onto the verge.
I had read the UK Daily Mail's article re the wild ponies before leaving the house and found much to ponder.
It seems that a small intake of the acorns along with their usual diet of forage wouldn't pose a threat to the life and health of equines, but it has been observed that once they have a 'taste' for the acorns they 'hoover' them down in lethal quantities.
Looking at the litter of junk food containers cluttering our country landscape, it seems to me that the same problem exists for humans who have too long consumed preservative/spice/sugar/synthetic flavoring laden 'snacks' in lieu of sensible meals.
I wonder if its a stretch to connect those who are careless of good nutrition with those who care nothing for the environment?

There was no lessening of grey skies all day, nor has there been today.
More of the dull rainy weather is predicted through Monday.
J. always tracking weather on the doplar map, feels that we may be within a small area that will not be visited by snow and ice from the storm trawling its way across the country.

I recall wondering about these spiny trees last winter.
The closest identification I got was some variety of locust.
Wouldn't they look fitting as background for a film with a 'dark and stormy night' theme?

Outbuildings on the abandoned farmstead next door.
There are many such in the area, weathering quietly, sagging, eventually falling over in weed-covered heaps.

The one building still in use next door is a tobacco barn.
Rain started again soon after I returned to the house.
Today the dooryard is dappled with puddles; the north windows stream with droplets of rain.
Charlie and the two long-haired boy cats, Bobby and Nellie, insist on going out in the wet.They plod through the tall grass on their hunting routes, returning drenched with bits of twigs and burrs tangled in their sopping fur. I tease out the largest burrs, use the cat brush to tug through knots of wet hair and grappling stickles.
The cats collapse on the beds [the quilts covered in shabby blankets] and once dried and fluffed demand to go out again and repeat the cycle.
Our small house seems more than usually cluttered. I've done the basics of kitchen and bathroom cleaning, kept up with laundry using the electric dryer; I rummaged an apple pie from the depths of the freezer and popped it in the oven.  The house is taking on the scent of buttery pastry and spiced fruit.
A beef roast is thawing in the sink.  In the morning it will go into the crock pot with a surround of onion, carrots and potatoes, garlic, a bay leaf. 
Quilting projects tease at the back of my mind. Perhaps on Sunday I will make a fire downstairs, listen to my CD's of Celtic Christmas music, do some machine piecing.
For now--J. is working in his shop, so the house is quiet.  Smoke billows from the chimney, swirls down toward the wet ground. 
I suspect I will succumb to the lure of my rocking chair, another mug of tea, a book or my hand sewing.
It doesn't seem a day for turning my world upside-down.


  1. You have a gift for setting an atmosphere for your readers, I can imagine it all exactly as you describe, the smell of woodsmoke and the crockpot, the warmth of the tea between my hands, the gentle creak of the rocking chair and the crackle of the fire. It's all just perfect.

  2. Kath; This is indeed as good as it gets for a stretch of drab December weather.
    Wood for the fire, the aroma of comfort food, tea, and cats for companionship!

  3. I can imagine your wet walk too, followed by the welcome of a warm house and the smell of a baking apple pie. Good to know that you are feeling better.
    It looks as though you have a bumper crop of acorns too!

  4. DW; It wasn't a day for an ambitious agenda!
    I'm glad the local oaks aren't near our horse pasture.

  5. Your posts take your readers right along with you on whatever journey you are on, inside or out. I love visiting here and reading about you life.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  6. Rainey; My readers would have needed their boots and warm coats today to keep me company outside. I did my chores with no lingering. It was a day to cherish being indoors.

  7. I agree with the others - you create a wonderful atmosphere and I feel I am right alongside you on your walk, or settling down the other side of the fire in a rocking chair of my own!

    1. Jennie; You likewise have a talent for descriptive prose. It must be that we are lovers of detail.Would love to have your company on the other side of the fire. Tea--sewing--cats--conversation. Come on over!

  8. Isn't it nice to find an apple pie in the freezer? I can imagine how wonderful it tasted.

    1. Lillian; A pie in the freezer gives me a sense of security! It works for unexpected company, a church dinner when I'm short of time, or simply, as in this instance, to liven up a dull day!

  9. I like your analogy of the horses/acorns and people/junk food. I'm amazed by the trash I see on the side of the road, we've been teaching people not to do this for nearly 70 years and it seems to have made no difference. I once got onto my sister for throwing something out her car window and she said it would give someone a job, just makes me sick.

    1. Janet; We live on a rural country road--the amount of trash is amazing--and so is the idea that the folks who continually toss it out must never go on home to a meal of real food!

  10. You made it sound idyllic sitting in front of the fire but I guess the weather must make you feel a little low sometimes. I know it does me if we get long spells of gloom and no sunshine.
    I didn't know about the ponies, I must go and take a read.

    1. Briony; Sitting by the fire is good--but after a week of grey weather we get a bit restless.

  11. So atmospheric - I really enjoyed reading your beautiful prose today - thank you!

    1. Em; The 'atmospheric' setting went on for way too many days! I'm glad you enjoyed the details of my walk on the wet side.