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Sunday, 24 December 2017

First Signs of Spring


Well, here we are in the new solar year. When we were out walking this afternoon we noticed the catkins already displayed on the hazel bushes, and were remarking how Nature is never really dormant, least of all in our mild island climate.

 
Spotted in Yorkshire, 19th December 2017

Having said that, I was stunned to see these snowdrops in bloom last week. We were in Horsforth, outside Leeds, and this was still three days before the solstice. I generally expect to see the first of them around the third week of January, depending on the kind of year it is.

Of course, the best (or worst) of winter is yet to come. For me, ‘best’ would include some decent frosts and two or three feet of snow; and just because we have reached the turn of the year with no more than a dusting of the white stuff, that doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. The legendary winter of 1947 (a little while before I was born) didn’t actually get going until the end of January, after which the heavy snows and persistent frosts made everyone’s life in those austere, fuel-deprived times, a misery -  although it was offset by one of the best summers of the century.

Well, I thought my snowdrops might bring a little cheer to anyone who sees them. And if they don’t, let me wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2018.

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