One Spring Day on Dartmoor….

This post is dedicated to my friend, Robbie, of Palm Rae Urban Potager  and to the memory of her beloved dog Punk, who was her constant gardening companion.

The air is at once softer and more gentle, yet at the same time tentatively hopeful and new. The Crocus buds are fat and in bloom as Otto the cat and I tread the wet, mossy grass together and try to make sense of this unexpected, Spring- like day. Cautiously, we go into the greenhouse and wonder if we can trust in the moment and not be driven back indoors by a harsh, cold wind or a sharp, spiteful hailstorm. We take a little stroll and Otto scampers off to check out his favourite outdoor sleeping quarters and I rush around, full of joy. With not even a breeze blowing, the sun comes out and we both settle down, Otto to his battered velvet cushion in the greenhouse and I to the Kitchen Garden.

We both begin to stretch and shake off the shadows of Winter. The sky is blue and heavenly, and my little heart sings.  If you want to know what that feels like then take a look at this beautiful little film showing some very special and happy dairy cows finding their freedom and going out to pasture after a long winter in the cowshed.

With much still to harvest in my Living Larder in the Kitchen Garden, I dig up all my remaining carrots and bring in my crop of baby Brussels Sprouts. I feel real gratitude for this day; for my companion Otto and for the difference he and a beautiful Spring day in the garden have made to my heart and soul.

30 thoughts on “One Spring Day on Dartmoor….

  1. Karen, I’m glad to read your post and I hope that you are much better now. I really understand your feelings regarding spring, sun, garden, cats etc. We had such wonderful sunny days, too, and it makes me happy to see a little squirrel in our garden (which we named Barney Wilson) and all the many, many different crocuses, snow drops, spring snowflakes and helebores. Spring is always a season of yearning, hope and joy. Your photos always show a wonderful, sweet and loving atmosphere: Regards Mitza

  2. Good to hear from you Mitza. It is a comfort to know that other people, such as yourself share the same joy in the simple pleasures of Spring. I am feeling much better thank you and am terribly happy to read of your squirrel called Barney Wilson! That is so sweet! I think there was something about the weather here the other day that enabled me to shift from one mindset (that of Winter) to that of Spring. And you are right, it is “a season of yearning, hope and joy”. I have to confess that hope is not always on hand for me in the winter, but once Spring returns, I am re-united with it again.
    Kind regards,

  3. Karen, How lovely of you to write this for dear Robbie. I know she will love this gift and be thankful for it.

    I read this post with her in mind and I found that it was a balm to my own spirit.
    Your words and pictures do this for me, always, and I cherish your presence in my blog community..

    A hug to you and Rubbie both, and a head rub to Otto if he won’t consider that too undignified.

    • Poor Robbie. We all know the pain of loss is the price we pay for loving and we all know it has to come sometime when we have pets. But it is so hard when it does come.
      Thank you so much for your kind words, it does me a great deal of good to count myself part of this special community.
      Otto is a big, rough, tough boy and a head rub is just what he would like. I will pass it on.

  4. Karen,
    What a wonderful tribute to your friend Robbie and her beloved dog punk. Winter is often described as death and spring a rebirth.

    I think of winter as a deep restfull sleep. Spring is the re-awakening. You described perfectly how I have been feeling this past week. We have had some goregous weather this past 2 weeks. We have had cold harsh windstorms that suddenly strike here. I agree that we are all longing for warm sunny days of summer.

    I liked the video of the cows. I always love watching the calves being let outside for their very first time. They make me laugh every year at this time when they skip and buck showing their joy. I guess that is how we all should greet the spring.

    • Thank you so much Honey. I am so pleased that my story of a Spring day here in England so chimed in with your own feelings so far away in Sweden.
      Your comments about how the cows and calves display their joy at being let out onto grass after a long Winter really made me think. I too feel the same joy but if I had not written about it I would not really have found any outward way of expressing it. I wonder if I am exhibiting the great British reserve? I am going to think of a way to remedy this inhibition and create my very own way of expressing some Spring joy! You have, unknowingly, set me a little challenge 🙂

  5. Absolutely beautiful to write a blog post as a tribute for your friend, Robbie! I love Crocus! I had them in a flower pot a few years back, but they don’t do that well in the apartment. I remember last year, I went camping in early spring, somewhere in the mountains, in a very remote location, and the fields were full of them! Absolutely amazing the green and purple color combination. Thank you for taking me back to that moment. Glad to see you had a wonderful day! Love the pictures! ❤ x

    • Thank you so much Lucy. The experience of seeing Crocus blooming in the wild must have been amazing! Did you take photos? Perhaps you did not have your blog then? I know that since I began sweetbabyveg I always carry my camera with me. Although mine is big and cumbersome and I would love something of the same quality but more compact.
      I love, love, love Spring bulbs indoors, but you are right Crocus would not be happy inside I have a friend who regularly pots up all kinds of small garden plants which you would not normally associate with inside and brings them in for the table. But you need a garden to be able to do that. I see you , one day, doing all of that and growing. You love flowers too much for that not to happen!

  6. When we let our cattle out of the sheds in the Spring they gallop and leap like this. They are very agile, being able to leap over a gate if they so choose! They will carry on running from time to time over the following few weeks. They also like rubbing their heads in mud?

    • Hi Erica, I think you are so lucky to have seen that. I thought seeing them jump and prance and kick was so special. The second follow up film showed a big brush being fitted in the cowshed through which water ran. They loved it! Perhaps the mud rolling is done to help them scratch an itch!

  7. Oh, how beautiful:-) I have to tell your your kindness brought tears to my eyes…I am so deeply touched. Thank you so much:-) Otto is a stunner! His markings are like no other;-)
    I played the story of the cows + yep, tears were rolling down my face as I watched them “jump for joy”…I have never see cows do that before! It was not just a “moment” it continued and they ran with joy all over the field. ….what beautiful people to take those cows and provide a place for them to age……what we do with our garden animals:-)…..that was so beautiful + when they cried, I cried for I could understand their love….that was a perfect post:-)
    Big cyber hug- Karen!
    you are priceless:-)

    • Oh Robbie, I just wanted you to feel some love and care for yourself when you are hurting so much. And all your friends and followers DO care. For you too have a gentle heart, a love of nature which you want to help protect, just like you protected dear Punk, right up to the very last moment. 🙂

      • I have to admit, I have been a bit lost since the routine was to take care of her…just like an old person you have to help….I really did not mind, but did not realize how much time she required..I would do it again in a heartbeat!

  8. Wonderful photos and account of spring’s arrival. I too find myself tentatively sticking my fingers in the dirt. We don’t plant here until after Mother’s Day because it could suddenly snow. However, this has been a very warm winter so maybe I will need to garden before then. Mine is a deck only pot garden but a garden none the less.

    • Pots enable you to have a perfect garden in miniature. I bet it is a perfect little haven. I have cleaned my greenhouse, that’s all really, but soon it will all begin. Then I will wish that I too had not quite so much garden 🙂

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