Candlemas Day, 2nd February, half way between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox; the pagan feast Imbolc yesterday. A beautiful day here full of sunshine but still a biting wind. I've had a rotten cold for the past fortnight, much better today and don't want to venture out properly yet. Not the 'flu thankfully that has brought much finer folk than me down. I'm at the age where I get a yearly 'flu jab and this year the pneumonia vaccination - a once in a lifetime apparently after 65, unless you have serious health problems.
Snowdrops are here again, February's 'fair maids'. Not feeling like doing very much, drawing with a few felt tips, filling the bird feeders, and sewing a bit. Awake at night reading loads. usually have one nature book on the go, presently "Meadowland" by John Lewis-Stempel. He says that Candlemas is the day by ancient rite when the hay field is 'stopped' or 'locked up' when all livestock are removed to allow the grasses to grow unmolested until the hay is mown after midsummer. He is an historic naturalist and organic farmer in Herefordshire so he should know. I used to regularly walk on the Lugg meadow in a different part of Herefordshire, his book brought many memories flooding back, of that time and that meadow - "Meadowland" a beautiful, knowledgeable, poetic, personal record of a year in his meadow. I have to say that I always thought that the sheep and cattle were moved out of the meadows due to flooding at this time of year.
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