Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Looking forward and looking back

Come January and I eagerly seek the first signs of spring. This has been a very cold winter so far, so my first sign of spring, the flowering of Hazel, is delayed. The Hazels in Pearson Park Wildlife Garden would normally flower on the third week of January. Look what we saw today:

Today's best catkins, tightly shut!

The fully open catkins two years ago on the same day

I don't think they are going to open in January at all this year.
The second event to come is usually the first song of the Song Thrush. A few winters this thrush has sung all through December and January. I haven't heard the first song yet.

Busy song thrush, but no singing
The third event is the Lesser Celandine flowering. This is a very unique plant. Its foliage dies out in the summer and the only surviving part of the plant is its finger-shaped thin tubers. In November, the new shoots start growing and the flowers appear in January- early February, when there are few other flowers around. Their shiny yellow flowers brighten up the dullest winter day. No signs of flowers yet. Sadly, no signs of spring to report.

Lesser Celandine flower

Patch of Lesser Celandine in March

Summer Lesser Celandine tubers (end of may 2009)

First shoots of Lesser Celandine last November
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