Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Port Meadow in Spring

Look! The sun is shining! The skies have been bright blue and the temperature in the 70’s (low 20’s C) for a whole week. As you can tell from the lush green foliage, this is not common for England. It makes you want to roll in the buttercups . . .

. . . or row along the Thames/Isis.

Greylag geese are out with a fuzzy gaggle of goslings (count those g’s!)

The young adult swans are showing off their bright new feathers.

The cattle are young enough to be very curious. They buddy up as if missing their moms.

The horses and ponies wintered in Port Meadow, but the cattle didn’t join them until the end of April.


Can you believe that is basically the same view of Port Meadow?

Everything is blooming. The wisteria look lovely by St. Mary’s. The steeple stands out against the perfect blue sky.

I had planned to blog about Merton College, but that will have to wait for another week. When the sun shines on the British Isles, you must get out and enjoy it. After dinner there is still light to stroll along the river.

On days like today, I can’t bear the thought of leaving Oxford. These hours spent working on my novels and walking in Port Meadow have been the best writer’s retreat. In the remaining 2 months of this blissful sabbatical, I’ll have to break my hermitage. I have more material to collect for my English novel, and friends to see before going back home to Maine.

There is still plenty of Oxford to explore although it already feels like a second home. My posts will get longer again as rain is in the forecast. This evening I’ll sit by the river for sundowners and enjoy it while it lasts.

22 comments:

tina said...

I love you taking me on trips around England. Great the sun is shining!

Steve said...

I like how the geese look like the rowers.

Bee said...

Sarah,
I just love your pictures . . . you really capture the beauty of a sunny May day in England. I don't know what I prefer, the dog rolling in the buttercups -- or the wisteria against the stained glass.

I think the "beauty" of being somewhere for a short time is that you really have the mental alertness to "soak it all in." I will be sad when you leave England, but I hope you will then show us some of Maine's lovely scenes!

P.S. I was in Goring yesterday and I thought of you . . .
There is an old house there, close to the post office, that is so laden with wisteria you can hardly see the old brick!

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Tina, it’s pouring and cold today so don’t let me lead you astray about England. Still nice to have captured that sun while it lasted.

Welcome, Steve! You’re right about those geese and the rowers. Come to think of it, the cox was shouting like a honking goose. Your cool turtle sculptures on your art blog seem part of this series.

Bee, Maine is lovely too (see the first 8 months of my archives.) I will definitely keep blogging. I’ve lived about 3 years in England over 2 decades and visit family every year so this won’t be the final UK chapter. Plus I’ll be working on my English novel and flashing back for inspiration.

joco said...

Hiya Sarah,

We live upstream from you, in the very rural part alongside the river.

So quiet and devoid of people and dwellings, that you can't believe it is the same river. Personally I like it better that way.

In a few days' time, when I have paid my Bloom Day visits, I would like to come back and take a closer look at your elegant weblog.

Are there really cygnets on the water already? I shall have to go down and take a look for myself.

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Welcome joco, how nice to find a neighbor upstream! I’ve seen goslings since late April but only older cygnets – the “teenagers” who still have bits of grey mixed in with their white adult feathers. My stretch of the Thames is busy so not ideal for little ones. I enjoyed the plateful of blooms on your blog.

John Kelly said...

You posted this just in time. English weather has now returned with a vengeance.

Prado said...

I love Port Meadow! I read it is the oldest monument in Oxford, mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book. It has never been ploughed or fertilised artificially. (I guess plenty of natural fertiliser over the centuries).

Carol said...

Yes, when the sun shines, everyone wants to be outside to see all the flowers. That meadow of just buttercups (and cows) is pretty. We've had a lot of rain and cloudy days here where I am (Indiana) so a few sunny days would be quite welcome at the moment.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Sarah, you are a splendid ambassador for England! - I miss England when I read your posts... ;-)
Beautiful pictures - the ones with the geese and the Wisteria in particular, oh, and the rest too...
/Katarina

Alyson said...

Absolutely breathtaking photos! I'm especially enchanted by the wisteria in front of St. Mary's.

Good luck with your remaining months in the British Isle. I hope you're able to get all the research done you need.

kate smudges said...

Ît is hard to believe that this is the same view of Port Meadow. What a difference colour makes. I would so love to see the Wisteria growing by the church ... well, growing anywhere might be more accurate.

What fun it is to read about your time in Oxford (and below in Devon). Your photographs and your writing are brilliant.

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

John, did I dream it?

Gracias, prado.

Carol, Katarina, Alyson and Kate, thank you!

Catherine said...

Wow gorgeous! My first visit to your blog, lovely pictures of a beautiful place, thanks for sharing a place I have always wanted to see, but will never get the chance to visit, but have had a wonderful visit through your beautiful photos!
Cat

Sarah Laurence Blog said...

Cat, welcome! I loved the photos on your blog too.

Anil P said...

Such peace sunshine brings in its wake, the shine et al.

walk2write said...

It's not only the rain that keeps one inside. Now that I'm back in Florida, heat and humidity drive me indoors after about 9 a.m. I'm looking forward to reading the novel you are working on now.

LetterRep.com said...

Terrific photos. Tripod? If so, consider longer shutter speed with a slightly smaller aperture on cloudier days. It will give you even better depth of field.

I hope you're having a wonderful time. I'm jealous.

~R

Sarah Laurence said...

Welcome, R! Thanks for the compliment. I don’t need a tripod (got one back in Maine) but do need a digital SLR. Compliments to my Canon Elph for tricking you. It’s a great blogging tool to have something so small with an image stabilizer which fits in my pocket. I also have a lovely Nikon FE2 circa 1980’s that I love, but it’s time to join the digital revolution.

I’m going to invest in a digital SLR when I’m in NYC. No way could I buy one with pounds. I hear Nikon has just come out with the first full screen digital SLR, and I’ve heard good things about the Canon Rebel. I was just waiting for the technology to improve and for the price to come down. Any recommendations?

Sarah Laurence said...

W2W and Anil, sorry, I got behind on replying as I've been busy collecting the material for this latest book before I leave England. On a dark, cloudy day it is nice to revisit this post. Thanks for your nice comments!

Tera Rose said...

that wisteria is beautiful!
what a lovely log....

I especially love the photos of the cliffs,
they remind me of the cliffs of Aquinnah..MA.

Sarah Laurence said...

Tera, welcome! I enjoyed visiting your blog too. You should post some photos of Aquinnah.