Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Nuts!

A short walk this morning as the weather was not too good, but yesterday, with the sun shining and the sky blue, we set out for a walk around Shipley Lake.  It's very nice to see the first stirrings of Spring in the hedgerows.  Among the most noticeable are the Hazel trees (Corylus avellana), decorated with dangling catkins.
The catkins are the male flowers and hang below the branches ready to disperse their pollen on the wind to fertilize the female flowers.
The female flowers are much smaller and far more difficult to see.  Looking like tiny strands of red wool attached to the branches of the tree, above the hanging male flowers, they benefit from closer examination.  From these small, red bunches of threads, will eventually spring forth the Hazel nuts at the end of Summer - still a few months away yet!
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