Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Spring flowers and the first swallow of 2015.

Well spring is well and truly here. This morning we took a walk from Queens Head up to the little shop at West Felton and on the way:

The little black blob on the wire is this years first swallow. Actually it is a house martin but I'm prepared to overlook that. Later, as we sat in the conservatory of the Queens Head, we saw several flying over the meadows beside the canal, but this was the first.
Over the last couple of weeks I've been seeking out the spring flowers, so the following is not a report on one day but a compilation.

One of the earliest is Coltsfoot, the flowers first blossom in February and appear before the leaves.

Butterbur is another plant whose flowers arrive before the leaves but when the leaves do appear they make a show of it, spreading up to thirty-six inches wide. In medieval times, so it is claimed, they were used to wrap fresh butter, hence the name.

Violets, these were growing on the site of some old allotment gardens so are obviously a cultivated variety.

It wouldn't be spring without primroses and their close cousins

the cowslip. I remember, as a child, seeing entire meadows on the chalk of the South Downs yellow from the cowslips. All gone now, long ago ploughed and planted with a mono-culture grass. No more hay meadows speckled with a plethora of wild flowers, alive with the hum of bees, just vast black polythene wraps of silage.

Bugloss, a large plant with dainty little flowers of the purest blue.

Stars have fallen to earth.

Lesser celandine and

wood anemones, a.k.a. windflowers. Perhaps my personal favourite spring flower.

And this sad little fellow? The first cuckoo flower of the year. Growing in the un-restored bit of the canal. Perhaps we will hear the bird it is named after soon?

Watch this space......

1 comment:

Maffi said...

Well done been trying to get a handle on some of those this year.