Monday, 23 March 2015

Early Flowers

Everything seems to be a bit late this year. In recent years, the hedgerows have been in bloom for several days by this time, but this year, things are only just starting to kick off. Among the best of these flowers late on parade, are the Blackthorn trees.
That's not to say that all the Blackthorns are in flower. Still most are reluctant to open their buds, but one or two have started ahead of the crowd.
This tree was flowering this morning as we walked through Shipely Woodside.
Close by, another tree was in full flower, although the blooms on this particular tree are markedly different to the Blackthorn. The Male flowers of the Alder take the familiar form of 'catkins' hanging in tassel-like formations.
Above these catkins, the female flowers are rather more colourful, forming ruby red cone-shaped structures in clusters on separate twigs.
So, despite the dull and chilly weather, things are slowly starting to happen in the countryside. No doubt there will be much more to come over the next few weeks.
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