Friday, March 21, 2014

OHC - Spring Trees and Weather


Yesterday, being the Vernal Equinox, officially ushered in spring thus making it the perfect time to tackle two of this months Outdoor Hour Challenges. I decided that our walk today would be about signs of spring focusing especially on how spring is bringing about changes in the trees that surround us.

In keeping with this turbulent spring weather which typifies March, our morning started off beautifully. Clear skies and a gentle breeze. As our time outside progressed, we witnessed the breeze turning into a strong wind and the storm clouds rolling in. We discussed what kind of weather we have had so far this March and likened it to the traditional rhyme 'March winds, April showers brings about May's flowers'. We agreed that we are all looking forward to the 'May's flowers' bit :o)


Our walk today was intended to be an 'overview' of the start of the spring season, but it forms the foundation for a more in-depth year-long study on our chosen tree, a lovely Magnolia which grows just outside our conservatory. 

We have been observing this tree closely over the past week and noticed how the furry little flower buds have begun to crack open and come to full flower. In a few days or a week at the most, this tree will be something to behold.

Other trees and shrubs that we looked at within our own garden's boundaries before heading out was the Forsythia...


Over the past 5 days it's buds have opened up. It is a magnificent cascade of yellow joy - in perfect time to welcome in spring.

Heading out of our drive we inspected the Lime tree's that stand sentinel along our street. For some reason I expected them to be further along in their spring journey and was slightly disappointing to see the buds still locking up that new fresh green that I am longing to see...


As I sit in my conservatory and look at the trees at the end of my garden, I have noticed a green tinge to them. I assumed that these were young leaves but it's not...


turns out to be these lovely green catkins - correction - pussy willows :o)

Along our walk I noticed that the dandelions are beginning to make an entrance...


the girls and I discuss making dandelion honey bread again this spring.

Further on we see that the Gorse is in flower...


and loads of white blossom gracing the Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) at the moment...


It's just beautiful! The blossom comes out before the leaves which makes it stand out in the hedgerows at this time of year.



At the start of our walk I was hopeful of seeing some Cowslips (Primula veris) - they are so lovely and I have been looking forward to their return. But I was to be largely disappointed, it seems that we are still a bit early and I could find no trace of the Cowslips in their usual haunts. (April and May are their usual flowering times)

Turning back to head on home, we chose to duck through a rather overgrown path - little used. To my delight I noticed one small solitary Cowslip in flower - with lots of little new Cowslip's nearby by not yet showing any signs of flowers.


As I bent down to capture it's sweet little image, I noticed a little way away some dried up and well preserved Cowslips from last season! I have brought these little treasures home for our nature table :o)

Back home the girls drew 1 spring find that they loved - One chose to draw a Daffodil - which are quite prolific at the moment, not only along the roadsides and in gardens, but out in the woodlands too...


and the other one chose to paint some Gorse...


Have a lovely weekend everyone :o) Hope to see you back here again soon.



5 comments:

  1. Hi Shirley Ann, What you have described as catkins in the photo is actually known as 'Pussy Willow' as it is soft and furry like a little cat. We love seeing them up and down the hedgerow each Spring. First time on your blog and am loving it!

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    1. :o) Thanks for the correction Lucy - I always get mixed up between the two LOL

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  2. I so enjoy your nature study posts, Shirley Ann, and the glimpses you give us into your daughter's nature notebooks. They do very nice work!

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  3. This was such a lovely post!

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