It’s been an odd spring. After the warmth and almost summer-like weather of March, April was a cool, wet disappointment. Spring has sneaked in under the wire, everything gently inching ahead, afraid to make itself noticed. Nature is holding it’s breath waiting for the starting gun of warmer days. Yesterday seems to have been a bit of a faltering, false start. There was sun to warm the damp countryside, but on a bike it was bitterly cold with woolly hat and gloves coming out at 4pm. Yet still nature was awakening, ready to make a dash for it. At Chasewater, the rise in water level allowed small boats out onto the lake, their sails reflecting the sunlight. The railway, too, were showing off a new engine, and everything felt joyous. I cycled to Castle Ring and found the ditches and marshes alive with tadpoles, and a greening, verdant Cannock Chase just aching to get growing for another season.
On my return via Rugeley and Longdon, the countryside glowed in a cool, languid golden hour. I know we need the rain, but please, can we have a few more days like this?
For more photos from yesterday and my everyday cycling exploits, please check out my 365daysofbiking Tumblr journal.
Roger ‘Ziksby’ Jones posted yesterday on twitter, having seen the same loco:
W G Bagnall 0-4-0st No. 2842 “No.2” former Kent Power Company locomotive at Chasewater Heaths station this afternoon.
Cheers to Roger – always first with the information!
Ramsons leaves are edible; they can be used as salad, spice, boiled as a vegetable, in soup, or as an ingredient for pesto in lieu of basil. The stems are preserved by salting and eaten as a salad in Russia. The bulbs and flowers are also very tasty.
Ramsons leaves are also used as fodder. Cows that have fed on ramsons give milk that tastes slightly of garlic, and butter made from this milk used to be very popular in 19th century Switzerland.
The first evidence of the human use of ramsons comes from the mesolithic settlement of Barkaer (Denmark) where an impression of a leaf has been found. In the Swiss neolithic settlement of Thayngen-Weier (Cortaillod culture) there is a high concentration of ramsons pollen in the settlement layer, interpreted by some as evidence for the use of ramsons as fodder.