June at Wycksted

It’s cold but I cannot really complain as I remember sitting in the middle of summer longing for the cold and wintery days of now. So without further ado, one must make the most of this brilliant season and all it has to offer. Fortunately firewood has been done, cut, packed and stored away like the good little squirrels we were last autumn. The woodburner at the house has been cleaned, checked and fired up and will no doubt continue until early spring. The cats are in their element as they too curl up on the hearth and surrounding space making it nearly impossible for one to get close in case one should disturb them. So I spend my time curled around them and many a cat draped over me and we enjoy the warmth and fire gaze together. A pot of soup or stew is usually atop awaiting a quick and easy meal as it bubbles gently throughout the day and once ready is replaced with a the teapot that with a quick boil and a shrill cry announces that its contents are ready so get those brews sorted.

Outside we have seen and felt a few frosts especially when the evening before is clear and the stars sparkle as brightly as they can. With a clear out of the cupboards there are plenty of blankets although I do hear a few complaining as the old woollen blankets are ‘itchy.’ I myself love the old blankets and many far outdate me since they were my grandparents and possibly a grandparent before that, but still very warming and a lot of good life left in them, the blankets that is, not the grandparents. (Although having said that they are still visiting from time to time and are indeed very warming and lively to boot!)

For our solstice pine tree we find that many branches are large enough and make a great tree as opposed to cutting down a tree for its use. It also helps to trim our pines down and help create a strong trunk especially over winter when the winds blow hard and those trees can really sway at the tops. The Apothecary will be stocked up with plants that were dried over summer and autumn months and already I see the need for more coffee jars as they are cleaned and filled with dried herbs. The Moccona coffee jars are great for keeping your dried herbs in and luckily we have friends that drink a lot of coffee. Herbal preps need to be made as there are always new ones wanting to be found and designed. A yule log will need to be found and put to work with its candles and greenery to adorn our hearth along with many other festive decorations to bring indoors. Once burnt we will keep some of the ash to go into our Yule log ash blends and also save some of the log itself to start the following years balefires.

May and June are also great months for tree planting as the ground is softer and with the rains it provides easy watering. We have several trees that need to be planted including the Mugwort that has been sitting in a large pot for many years and now has decided to exercise her right to be free, and free she shall. Placed in the direction of the South and the earth element she will have as much room as she needs to spread herself without getting into trouble with any of the other trees and plants. Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris has a habit of being a very prolific growing plant. 

So although it is winter there is still much to do, animals to be tended, plants to be maintained and the grass continues to grow and needs mowing and eating, by the sheep and cows I mean. The water supply has to be checked and as we are on bore water, every now and again a cow will either stand on the hose or kick off the joiners stopping the water flow to the house in which the pump will stop and make a screeching sound that would near waken the dead. The sheep will probably start lambing soon as the ram has been running with the ewes from the start and no doubt they shall choose an icy, cold day and better be it if by the creek as they tend to do. I must say they have been brilliant lawn mowers and are currently munching through a five acre spot at a rapid pace. About mid-June they will be brought in closer to the house so we can keep an eye on them and the lambs.

I will endeavour to read several books, I have a good supply of Mexican hot chocolate complete with spices, along with treats including chocolate and loads of homemade soup in the freezer to get me by this month. Some dvd’s have been waiting for me including the recent Vikings one now out, I do love a good Viking…along with some golden oldie movies that will help keep one cheered up over the winter. A few early morning trips to the beach will be my usual and will shall see what else June brings our way.

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