In 1906 Edith Holden started a Diary, now known as ‘The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady’. In it, she observed Natures cycle through the months of the year, writing simply about the weather, the birds, the flowers and the natural world around her. All the pages are beautifully ornamented with her original artwork and favourite poems. In this Blog, I’m going to try to emulate her Diary in a modern way. For a start, this is a blog on a computer, not pen and ink lovingly written on paper! However, I hope that the end result will have some similarities, in that I want to capture day by day, month by month the steady rhythm of Nature through the year. For although our 21st century lives are hectic, chaotic, noisy and deafened by electronics, the beat of the natural world, which is the backdrop to all our lives whether we notice it or not, remains ever the same. So take a sedate, gentle and steady-paced journey with me through the next year, observing the natural world. Our way of life may have changed almost beyond recognition since 1906, but nature is doing what it always has done, the cycle of nature remains constant and reassuringly predictable. In that respect, nothing has changed. ‘ No Winter lasts forever; no Spring skips its turn.’ (Hal Borland)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

1st February.

February is named after the Roman word 'Februa', the Roman festival of purification and cleansing.  The Anglo-Saxons called this month Sol-Monath- Cake month, as they offered cakes to the gods in this month. In Welsh it is often referred to as Y Mis Bach- the little month.
Traditional days in February.
1st February- The pagan festival of Imbolc or Gaelic Brighid's Day.
2nd February-Candlemas day or Gwyl Fair y Canhwyllau in wales (Mary's festival of candles.)
14th February-St. Valentines Day.
24th February-St Mathias Day.

Folk-sayings about February.

' When the cat lies in the sun in February
She will creep behind the stove in March.

' Of all the months in the year
Curse a fair February.'

'If February give much snow
A fine Summer it doth foreshow.'

'If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight.
But if Candlemas Day be clouds and rain
Winter is gone and will not come again'.

February has arrived in very much the same fashion as January finished- wet, grey, windy and stormy! January in Wales has now been officially reported as the wettest on record.
The fields still have huge ponds of water on them and the brook over-topped it's banks again in the night leaving the grass flattened and strewn with debris. The Gulls and Herons seem to be the only creatures reveling in the constant floods. There are now many snowdrops and crocus in flower and even the occasional celendine. The Witch Hazel in my garden is covered in bright yellow sweet smelling flowers.

A Year's Carols: February. A.C. Swinburne

"Wan February with weeping cheer,
Whose cold hand guides the youngling year
Down misty roads of mire and rime,
Before thy pale and fitful face
The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace
Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears,
But lit with hopes that light the year's."

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