Well folks it is almost hard to believe that a whole week has passed since I last wrote a post. There a several reasons for this mostly weather related but also due to a cold, lots of sniffles, snuffles and sneezes but the almost constant varieties of external wetness. Yes we Brits are renowned for our daily conversations about the weather but for farmers it is a an important consideration. The mountain water level has reached saturation point and everywhere are streams and rivulets fast flowing downwards into the valleys below.
Though just to make things more interesting it has come over us in many different forms ...
including the grey, clinging dampness of mist.
It clung to the trees ... to the dogs coat ... to my waterproof clothing and my face. I had to use the camera from under the hood of my coat to prevent the mist droplets on the lens.
Yet, strangely enough below the mist heavy canopy the ground colours almost glowed
and right by my feet there were temporary diamonds clinging to the beech leaves.
A very brief glance of the mist hidden sunshine spotlighted the contrast of a very young pine seedling clinging perilously close to the edge of the small, deep ravine.
But all that happened a week ago and over the last seven days, chances to go out and stay dry were minimal. The downhearted dog was getting really fed up, he wanted to be out and about getting coat drenchingly wet and could not understand my refusals to venture out and about. Oh to lead the life of a dog, I sometimes wish I could swap and not have to bother about getting wet, muddy and cold and then just get dried off with a towel before sitting patiently waiting for a hot meal to be prepared for me & ... no washing up!!
For me however, one look at the storm threatening skies was quite enough. I stayed in.
And the wind has been constantly changing battering the rain against the house windows
blowing wet winter leaves into all sort of corners and chasing the litter all over the place.
In the village, water was responding to gravity and creating small streams down local gullies and even the main road at times looked like a tarmac bottomed if shallow river!
All the water flows past us and down into the valley below where the River Ebbw rises dramatically and races noisily in a surging white, burbling flow towards the coast .
But ... there were brief breaks when I ventured out to go shopping and managed to take the mad mutt down to see how high the river level was. It was so cold that we were trogging through ice covered puddles as the mist hung low over the ground and yet even on days such as these over the last week, there were signs of nature to cheer up the day
such as these bright yellow gorse buds, like candle flames lighting up the mist darkness.But today the whole mountain had changed as we woke to a brilliant blue Sunday. The whole landscape had gone through one of those heart warming transformations when the January sun highlights the contours of the undulating landscape and the air warms up so that even just a few degrees rise in ambient temperature cheers up the January blues.
In the fields the ewes are now showing definite, heavy bellied signs of lamb bearing and despite the winter bare branches of the trees one feels that Spring is now not far away.
But ... having seen the weather forecast for the week ahead, where two opposing weather fronts are due to do battle overhead (even the meteorologist cannot predict what is likely to happen) it's obvious that the wellies and waterproof clothing isn't due to be hung up yet
... except to dry out once again!!