Nature’s Notes

Featured in the March Semington Parish Council Magazine

This is February by Michael Field. Field was the pseudonym used by Katharine Harris Bradley (1846–1914) and her niece Edith Emma Cooper (1862–1913). This short poem captures the in-between nature of February: not quite Spring, but with the hope of an end to Winter, all tempered by the thought of what the ever-unpredictable March will bring.

Gay lucidity,
Not yet sunshine, in the air;
Tingling secrets hidden everywhere,
Each at watch for each;
Sap within the hillside beech.
Not a leaf to see.

Meanwhile, here’s some very practical advice about dealing with February (and March) from Edward (Ned) Ward (1667-1731). Drab-de-berry was a French fine but hard-wearing woollen fabric.

He who would, in this Month, be warm within,
And when abroad, from Wet defend his Skin,
His Morning’s draught should be of Sack or Sherry,
And his Great Coat be made of Drab-de-berry.