Excerpt from Months at the Lakes
The Roman did well in putting the first month Of the year under the special guardianship of the god Of the two faces - Janus. For truly in our Lake Country, as these Old Roman legionaries at Amble side or Keswick must needs have found, the mon... th Of January has two distinct moods. It is a month of wind and calm, of winter cold and almost summer mildness. A month that sets the thrushes singing and sometimes sets the hedge Sparrow building, and then slays the birds with fierce frost; a month that Often comes in with a look of spring and goes out with a grimmer look Of winter than has been before seen upon our fells. I have known the willow branches heavy with the Silver bosses of the palm buds, coltsfoot peeping, catkin yellow, honeysuckle green, celandines and snowdrops in ¿ower in the orchard; I have seen primroses and aconite yellow in the garden, and then there has come a snow-fall and a biting frost, all the hope of spring has been blasted and a cheerless February has been ushered in with lamentation for frost-bit leaf and shrivelled ¿ower.
As a rule in our Lakeland the snow falls towards the end of the month, and the lengthening day and strengthening sunshine upon the silver heights makes rare atonement for the hint that winter will not yet be unthroned, and may yet rule lake and vale with his rod of steel.
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