signs of spring

It’s a bright blue sky, the sunshine is warming my face, the birds are singing and nature is calling! We’ve been having springlike days the last week. It was such a delight after the long winter! This morning on my walk I noticed how the warmth and the sun had made a difference in nature too. Tiny green plants are sprouting from the dark covered soil, snowdrops are blooming and leaves are unfolding. These are really the first signs of spring! Have you seen them too?

The snowdrop is the best flower to announce early spring! Like no other, this flower assures that winter has lost it grip at last. Even though spring itself will let us wait for some more weeks, we know these brave snowdrops will resist the cold and bleak days that might yet come.

 

The February sunshine steeps your boughs 

and tints the buds

and swells the leaves within.

 

William C. Byrant

 

And what about this blooming Hamamelis mollis? The sky is filled with tiny little suns and a sweet scent! Such a delicate flower that even blooms on cold February days. Their petals look like small pieces of tissue paper and they will shine and glow for weeks.

One of the botanical signposts marking the shift from winter to spring is the movement of the tree sap. This is quite visible at the willow trees (Salix caprea) right now. Once they are in full bloom, early spring is coming to an end and spring finally arrives. They provide the so needed pollen for the bees.

Our bees have started flying out and collecting pollen. When I watched them last week I saw bright yellow pollen in their little “pollen basket”. That’s such a good sign! Unfortunately one of our 3 beehives hasn’t survived winter. It isn’t clear yet what the reason might be as the others are doing very fine.

The pussy willow, as they are also called, are the male flowers. They are covered in fine grey hairs and feel soft like silk. They look like tiny tails or brushes, don’t you think?

Pussy willow

 

Close your eyes

and do not peek

and I’ll rub Spring

across your cheek

smooth as satin

soft and sleek-

close your eyes

and do not peek.

 

Aileen Fisher

I’ve collected some branches that were cut down and made a spring wreath to decorate our wall with. During my walk I also collected some these first green leaves to make new porcelain notebooks and herbarium books.I hope to get them ready for spring! So now I will make myself a cup of tea and get back to work in my studio.

 

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