So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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Cow Parsley Spring

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One of the effects of this long wet spell, is that the farmers have been unable to get into the fields to cut the first round of silage.  Normally the second two weeks in May means you’re permanently stuck behind a tractor. On the lower levels, all has been ok, but here at about 100o metres its a disaster.

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The grass has gone to seed, and the common Dock or sorrel as I call it, have made a brown haze on the fields, more commonly associated in the UK with derelict land that is full of the larger Dock,which we use to rub out nettle stings.  I’m quite surprised there isn’t more as the slurry is well and truly spread here as soon as the snow goes.

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Likewise, the buttercups are making as good a show as the Dandelions.  Most of all though, is the Cow Parsley. It’s just run rampant.  All of these would have normally been cut back  in the silage by now, but instead our flowering. Some fields I’ve seen are pure white, and there are very few Margarita daisies which make a fantastic show at this time.  So what effect will this have on the silage?  Can it still be made with all these flowers in which I know many animals will not eat?  Will everyone be searching for bailers next week? The rain will also make this long grass lodge, also making it difficult to cut. Poor farmers, they can’t win.

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BUT it makes for great photos, which would be even better if it would stop raining long enough for the flowers to open!

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The New Plant

A repeat but I’m trying to make sure I still post a day while on holiday!  Still worth it I think!

We were watching a service from Willow Creek church in the USA last night and Bill Hybels was talking about how Jesus told the parable of how the seed must die to produce the new life, in reference to his death and resurrection and how when we are reborn parts of us must die, that we must die to our selves which is a main point of christian doctrine.  This is in John, Chapter 12, v24 -25, and of course reflects the parable of the seeds and soils, Mathew Chapter 13 v 1 -23

 Bill said erroneously that the seeds need nutrition from the ground to germinate, but actually they don’t.  All that is needed is moisture and warmth. All the ingredients are present in the seed to create the new plant until it grows its own leaves and can feed itself, through its roots in the soil (the word of God).  Jesus says the soil can be rich or infertile and  the world (weeds and bugs)  determines how you keep the word. 

I thought that maybe this analogy goes deeper and further  than Bills and I am going to give it a go!   When a flower is  pollinated, the new seed (or child) is created from both God and human. As the seed grows, it hardens and matures, forming a carapace that protects the seed until it has the ingredients to germinate (receive Jesus), and this can involve travelling some distance, can be quick or takes years.  The seed can also get damaged, destroyed, lost  on the journey to germination/receiving Christ. – See the likeness between us and plants??!! 

So  the essential, perfect real person, our heavenly being that we spend so much time on earth renewing our minds to become, is already there and is never actually lost.  Jesus coming to live in our soul makes perfect what the world has changed.   Like the seed, we have all the ingredients we need, we just need to receive the living water to grow.  The seed husk that is left in the ground is our old self.  When we become mature Christians/plants, God’s water supports us, but we also still feed from the word (Bible) and the world about us.We are no longer seeds but plants, and can grow or die.  The perfection is still within us.


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Sycamores

At the bottom of the garden are three sycamore trees, which I watch throughout the year as they come into leaf and are brushed by storms and when they are filled with seeds, to when they go brown and sleep for the winter.  They tell me when a storm is coming along the valley and hide the singing birds.  They are there in one of the oldest photos of here that we’ve got.  What they must have seen, the building of the factory, all the workers who lived here, the tyranny of Mr Hart , who’s father owned the flat upstairs,  a Nazi ,who terrorized all the local kids and whose taint still is on his son.  

Our block of flats was built in the 1930s as accommodation for workers in the paper factory that was across the river. It made Hirsch packing paper that went all over the world –  now long gone.  In the picture above, our block is the long building in the left hand corner.  Our flat is at the far end.  You can see the baby sycamores to the right of it. We think the picture is about 1950.

The factory was accidentally (hmm) burnt down during the war, and the flats sold off – to guess who, My Hart who was a leading member in the council. I remember our Estate agent saying our flat has no history – but I think it must have loads.  Workers came here from all over Europe.Yet it was the young Mr Hart who planted the pines that blocked our view of the river, and planted fast growing pines that block one side of the garden and he under planted the Sycamores, strangling the life out of them – the middle one this year looks weak and ill.  What does this say about the man?


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Those Sparrows

They saw that I’d been busy, weeding and topping at the soil on my flower bed.They know also that the supply of seeds has run out and all I have is Sunflower seeds and peanuts, which they struggle with.  So what do they do, they chose a nice afternoon and spend it making earth baths in the soil, they’ll be expecting me to do it every year now!