Thursday, 26 February 2009

First signs of Spring

I know that snowdrops are really the first sign of Spring, but although I love them, they don't make me feel that Spring is on its way because they are so wintry. No, here in the countryside the sight that really gladdens my heart and makes me think longingly but hopefully of the warm, balmy days of Spring and Summer to come, is the beautiful yellow hazel catkins that festoon the hedgrows. Although we do have some hazel in our own garden hedge, we keep it closely trimmed in the winter which meanns the catkins do not have a chance to develop. I also have a Corylus Contorta ( Twisted Hazel) just outside the kitchen window, but this is slower to open its catkins. The place to see them for me and where I took this photo yesterday, is along a farm track which leads from my neighbours garden which we call "the concrete path" and which is a favourite place of ours to walk, cycle, pick blackberries...

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