Spring Equinox brings Cold Chickens

Spring Blog from Ramsbury

Today is the Spring Equinox, despite the patches of snow which are still lying on the ground. The Equinox signals the coming of the good times – the days are getting longer, the birds are singing and looking for nesting sites, daffodils add a burst of bright colour to end the drab winter days. The village children have enjoyed the unexpected snow days, although many of us have struggled with road conditions and getting to and from work. Crowood Lane is my nemesis, not on the council’s gritting round, but still the favoured route of lorries and speed demons hurtling around blind bends… and now the frogs are at it (loudly) in the pond like it’s some cheap hotel… This is village life in spring.

Cover you eyes kids! I think it will be a good year for tadpoles.

In the garden the crocus bulbs I planted last autumn (using a power drill to dig individual holes for each bulb!) are now looking splendid…


Then thoughts duly turn to clearing out moss from the lawn and reseeding a rear garden almost ruined by two (non-laying!) chickens. These are a miserable sight in the snow – refusing to leave their coop, unlike the robust brown beauties spotted (main picture) while out on a walk to find a good spot for some family sledding.

While on the subject of fowl, this month I had a ‘Black Swan Event’ at Ramsbury Manor Lake. Or rather a ‘black-and-white swan moment‘! When mute swans breed with black swans, the offspring is sometimes a swan with a black neck and a white body! I’ve read about these but this is the first one I’ve seen. Looks a bit like a goose from a distance, but far nobler! Wouldn’t it be cool if there was one with a black body and white neck – we’d have a matching set! If you’re lucky it might still be there.

Black-and-white Swan at Ramsbury Manor

Motivated by the Ramsbury Artists exhibition in March, I am hoping to get drawing again this year. I might even draw my black and white swan. If you’re keen too, there’s the  Ramsbury Painting Group which meets on a Tuesday. Inspiration to be arty abounds in Ramsbury – the changing landscapes, historic architecture as seen at Holy Cross (I’m particularly fond of the older section of Churchyard and the stained glass inside) or there’s the ever-present wildlife of the River Kennet. I might even draw my black and white swan.

Ramsbury Artist Jonathan Hall at the exhibition in the Memorial Hall

The numerous flyers chequering the charity shop and post office windows signals a flurry of upcoming events in Ramsbury. Watch out for Treloar Coffee Morning, The Roxy’s latest blockbusters, Ramsbury Horticultural Show Spring Fair, Open Gardens and the opening of the new Ramsbury Pre-school in May. For keeping us entertained; The Legion and The Crown have a line-up of entertainment on offer. We’re also keenly awaiting Ravensbury Players next production ‘Oh! What A Lovely War‘ running from 23-26 May.

Although the hot cross buns have been on sale since Christmas – Easter is now upon us and the Whitton Team’s Easter services will soon be published. A couple of years ago I attended a service at Imber St Giles Church with the Bishop of Ramsbury; it was quite something to drive across the grassy Salisbury Plain to the abandoned village – St Giles opens once again this Easter to the public.


Enjoy the longer days and warmer nights.