Frost in Exeter

Now I know that many of you experience months of frost and snow every winter, but recently it’s only occurred three or four times a year here. So I rarely get a chance to take icy photos. This morning my car told me it was -1 degrees, and the ground over in the fields was frozen. It was a brilliant blue sky day though and the frost in the hedgerows was slowly melting.

 
Apparently it will rain for the next seven days now, so I’m glad I caught the pretty cold stuff while I could. Rain means a temperature rise of eight to ten degrees, thanks goodness because the heat wasn’t working in my office on Friday, not much fun sitting still in 14 degrees!

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In the valley park

Hedge laying is an ancient skill, it’s been around since the 16th century when landowners had to contain their livestock, because of the acts of enclosure. Different styles of laying can be seen around the country, and laying takes place in winter when there are no birds nesting and before the sap rises.

When I walked in the valley park this morning, the hedge between what I call the middle and bottom fields, had been recently laid. It’s opened up the view from the middle field at the rear of this photo way across the hills on the west of the estuary.

I’m glad the skills are still kept alive, but I can’t help wondering what the foxes make of it.

Hips and Haws

If you’re a certain age, you may have been given Rose Hip Syrup as a child. The bright red round and oval gems were used as a tonic to prevent winter colds because they’re rich in vitamin C. But did you also know they were baked in tarts, added to wine, marmalade and made into  soup? Best of all, they were used as anti varicose vein tea!

Now, the only thing I’ve ever done with haws is mix them with crab apples to make jelly, what about you? Well apparently, since Roman times the cheerful sprays of berries have been picked not just for jellies and jams, but to make wine and as a cure for the headaches that drinking might have caused! Women also gathered them for dyeing their hair, I touched mine up yesterday, I wonder if it’s worth a try.

I’ve always fancied myself as a medicine woman, a curandera, perhaps in a previous life.

Not what I intended

Jude’s photo of oats earlier today reminded me of the seed heads I collected a couple of weeks ago, in the fields. I’d gone out without even a phone to take photos, so I took some home, planning to post them here, so that one of you clever people could identify for me.

So I dug them out, looked for  a spot to snap, and there was my hat.

Aren’t they pretty? but I still don’t know what they are!