Monday, 1 February 2021

February Country Days

February  was the Roman Februaruis  and comes from the Latin verb februare  meaning to purify because the Roman festival of purification took place on the 15th.

February weather sayings include

A February spring is not worth a pin

and

If the cat in February lies in the sun, she will creep under the grate in March 

and the well known

February fill dyke be it black or white

which was really a plea from the farmer for plenty of wet weather ready for sowing seeds in March. Rain or snow, it's bound to be a wet and cold month, although there are often a few warm days

There is always one fine week in February

 The February page from An Illustrated Country Year by Celia Lewis is Magpies..........the bullies of the garden!


Numbers of magpies seem to have increased and it's rare for a day to go by without seeing them somewhere in the garden, meadow or lane.


My little book of country poems has one titled

AFTERNOON IN FEBRUARY

The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead 

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.
 
The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;
 
Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

If you weren't miserable about February weather before reading this then you would be afterwards!

 
February 1st is also .......... Imbolc (pronounced imulk) - The ancient Celtic feast day held to celebrate a stirring of life after winter and fertility at the beginning of the lambing season. The word Imbolc may derive from old Irish meaning 'in the belly'. The celebration  was presided over by the Goddess of youth and fertility -Brighid (later St Brigid) I wrote about St Brigid on the 1st February last year.   and made a St Brigids cross with paper strips which I kept until I cleared the "dresser" shelves ready for moving.   

 

Back Tomorrow
Sue

 

 

13 comments:

  1. Just love that print of magpies in your book. I have magpies in my garden and miss them if they're not around, such beautiful birds.

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    1. I'm not fond of them as they tend to drive away (or eat the fledglings!) of the smaller garden birds.

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  2. Since forever I have greeted the first Magpie that I see of the day.(even did it when living in France Bonjour M.Pie!) But I dont know why. Are they bullies?

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    1. It used to be unusual to see one now they are everywhere and bigger than all the other garden birds

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  3. Darling Sue,

    Some intriguing facts about February.February at least is the shortest month and Spring is surely round the corner now. Small signs of the harbingers of Spring are welcome.

    The magpie woodcut is charming and is particularly fitting in black and white.We never seem to see or hear many birds here in Budapest, so any feathered visitors are welcome.

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    1. Don't think I've ever been called darling before by someone I don't know!!..... Not a common form of address for Suffolk!

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  4. I think I need to feel the stirring of life. I have 0 motivation today.

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    1. It's been a grey damp day here - not very inspiring.

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  5. I rememeber the first time I ever saw a magpie - I was driving a car at the time so must have been at least 17. Now they're everywhere.

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  6. I don't think I have even seen a magpie. In fact, your mention of them got me wondering if we even have them in the U.S. so I did a little research and discovered the American magpie (similar to yours) is here but primarily in the Northwest so not in my state. I enjoyed your first of February post. I hope you are doing well and not working too hard on that upcoming move!

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  7. Ah so that is what imbolc is. Thanks.

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  8. We are seeing more magpies and ravens around here. We even had a few vultures last year.

    I had never heard some of those saying before, so I found them very interesting.

    God bless.

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  9. Lovely informative post. Although Henry could have used a cheer me up!!

    January seemed to go by pretty fast around here, and I fear that February will drag by in comparison. We just have to keep our eyes out for March and Easter the first week of April.

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