There was recently some discussion concerning a tree in the churchyard. Felled many years ago, due to it’s unsafe condition, many residents are convinced that it was a yew. There are few who remember that it was, in fact, a splendid specimen of a Cedar of Lebanon. The proof came to light when a current resident, whose family had lived in Epperstone for many years, was going through a scrapbook compiled by her late mother and found a newspaper cutting with a picture of the tree, undeniably a cedar, with an article recounting how the felling had been necessary. It is unfortunate that the local History Society no longer exists. Today’s current events quickly become history but are easily lost in an age when so much is consigned to computers, and scrapbooks are a thing of the past.
Anyone who had been hoping that the spring equinox would bring a change in the weather will have been disappointed. In fact we saw widespread snow again, with drifting in a strong east wind. My hens managed to keep the ice in their water trough broken during the day but it froze each night, so that they were unable to drink at first light. It meant an early start to the day to thaw out the ice and provide warm water. Incidentally, I was inspired to look up the meaning of equinox. My dictionary tells me that it is the time when the sun crosses the equator, making the night equal in length to the day. It occurs about March 21st and September 23rd. Shall I remember that, come September?
The hazards of rural life: the congregation at the Easter Sunday Service in Epperstone church was larger than usual. The reason? Wellington boots would have been needed to access neighbouring Gonalston church as the path was completely water-logged, causing the vicar to take the unusual step, possibly for the first time, of cancelling the service.
Attendance was also up at the Annual General Meeting of the Women’s Institute. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month and guests are always welcome. The programme of speakers and activities is varied and interesting so it is no surprise that, in three year’s time the local branch will be celebrating one hundred years in existence.
Bollywood Dancing; the W.I. under instruction.
A last word on life outdoors. Songbirds are pairing up for the breeding season. The colours of the male birds are noticeably brighter and their songs more insistent as they seek to attract the females. Blackbirds chase each other around the lawn, robins claim their territories, a thrush sings lustily from the top of the cedar tree and the pheasant struts around the orchard in a very possessive fashion. Overhead buzzards, once a rare sight round here, are now to be seen and heard, wheeling and mewing over the paddock.